People have this misconception that having gutters alone and depending on water is good enough to manage the roof drainage. Some of us think that water alone can drain it all. Unfortunately we are terribly wrong. The gutters are one of the most neglected parts of the house and ends up in costly repairs. Aside from cleaning, there are other things we can do to prevent major repairs. Gutters that don’t have gutter guards installed are the ones that suffer the most.
Cracked House Walls – This is one of the most feared effects of bad roof drainage. Water flow isn’t properly redirected and it flows down right beside the house walls. This weakens the foundation and gives your walls an ugly crack. Your house won’t crumble down in seconds but you’ll feel the damage eating up. Have this repaired as soon as possible by using an epoxy-injecting device. This costs about 60 dollars – worth it compared to a major house renovation. The device works the same way as a caulking gun.
Sidewalks and Walkways – Just like house walls, they also get cracked. This is very easy to deal with. Make sure that water flow from downspouts is redirected to the proper places so it won’t create any water puddles on your walkway. Imagine having frozen water puddles along the driveway or walkway – a safety hazard.
Wood Rot – One of the disadvantages of cleaning the gutters from the ground is the slight difficulty of seeing the whole span of the gutter. There may be mirrors or telescopic devices but for the typical homeowner, he/she won’t bother to do that. What we usually want is to get things done and over with so we can deal with other things. This results to undetected potential clogs, and gradually be one. Clogs pool up the gutter and water overflows either to the edge or to the shingles. This affects the fascia and we all know that moisture makes wood rot. Rotten wood is weak and potentially be the main cause of sagging or even detached gutters.
Leaks or Holes – Similar to wood rot but this time it’s on the gutters itself. This also occurs at winter when the gutters suffer from ice dams. It expands in size and turns some screws or bolts loose. When it gets too big it might even give way to small holes, resulting into leaks. When there are leaks, the seepage begins. It crawls through the fascia, the ceiling, and the walls and totally ruins the paint. Say hello to repairs, my friend.
When you decide to do gutter cleaning, don’t settle for doing it from the ground. It’s understandable for most of us to stay safe but as long as you have the right tools then it shouldn’t be something to be worried about. If you want to stay on the safe side, you can hire someone to do the cleaning for you. If doing the cleaning by yourself, have someone to help you out as a lookout for tools, holding the ladder and making sure it’s stable. Be wary of electrical wiring and insects that have built any nests or hives. Wear the proper work clothing such as gloves, clothing that aren’t too loose and your tools should be easy to reach.
Gutters already clogged? You can simply use a garden hose, safety shoes, safety gloves and a stable ladder. Pick or scoop the debris out of the gutters and hose water down the downspout to check for and clogs or flush out smaller stuff. If there are problems with water redirection you can have the downspouts extended to make sure the water is at least 4ft away from your house.
Another good remedy to difficult gutter cleaning is the installation of gutter guards. They greatly minimize the need of gutters to be cleaned. It shields the gutters against debris, particularly leaves and twigs that cause the clogging. Other companies may tell you that you won’t be cleaning your gutters again – but that isn’t true at all. A regular cleaning schedule, proper tools and the right gutter guard can save you a lot of money.