Your home’s gutters have the vital job of diverting water away from your home. Gutters catch the rain that runs off of your roof, funnel it through downspouts, and wash it away from the foundation of your home or into a storm drain. Some downspouts empty into the grass while others may empty over a driveway to trickle into the street gutter, eventually flowing into the public sewer system. No matter what type of gutter and downspout configuration your home has, it’s essential to prepare them for storm season.
Empty and clean your gutters
If you are expecting heavy storms in your area in the near future, you want your gutters to be able to move as much water as possible as easily as possible. They can’t do this if they’re full of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Before the storms hit, take time to thoroughly clean out all your gutters. Remove debris and then clean your gutters thoroughly.
When it comes to cleaning your gutters, you can use a standard scrub brush or a power washer on a low power setting. Scrub away any accumulated dirt and grime and pay close attention to any sections of your gutters that seem to have high concentrations of algae and mold. These areas could indicate serious moisture problems, or a leak in your roof, and you should have a professional inspect them as soon as possible.
Check the hardware
Heavy storms typically mean high winds, so you’re going to want to ensure your gutters can withstand the punishment that heavy thunderstorms can bring. This is especially important for older homes or if you recently bought your home and haven’t done much with the gutters yet. Take time when the weather is dry to thoroughly inspect all of the fasteners and brackets holding your gutters to the house.
It’s worth getting on a ladder and feeling for yourself how sturdy your gutters are. If you notice any places where the gutter seems insecure or wobbly, you need to address these areas before the stormy weather arrives. It may not take much aside from a few new brackets to fully secure your gutters. The last thing you want to have happen is for a serious storm to rip down a weakened section of your gutters. This can have a domino effect and cause adjacent sections of your gutters to fall, potentially damaging the sides of your house or your windows.
Think about installing gutter guards
Gutter guards are simple yet effective devices that attach to the tops of your gutters, preventing debris from entering them but allowing water to flow freely. These devices can be a great investment before storm season. They’ll ensure your gutters keep working at peak levels while preventing them from overfilling with heavy debris that can weigh them down and cause them to break.
Gutter guards can help keep your gutters in top shape and minimize maintenance requirements. You won’t need to worry about cleaning soggy leaves and other wet debris out of your gutters and they’ll keep the rain flowing correctly off of your roof.
Perform one last cleaning sweep before the storms hit
If you’re worried about how your gutters hold up during the next thunderstorm, keep an eye on the local weather forecast and aim to clean them out before the storm hits. One last cleaning will help ensure your gutters can handle whatever the next big storm will throw at them.
Check your downspouts
Many homeowners make the mistake of neglecting their downspouts. While these may seem sturdy at a glance, the reality is they are some of the most important and most vulnerable parts of your gutter system. Downspouts collect the water from your gutters and drain it away from your home. If a section of your downspout becomes dislodged, all the rainwater from your roof will simply spill out of the resulting opening and fall to the ground, potentially in a very bad spot.
If your gutters wind up draining right next to your home due to a broken downspout, you might see some flooding in the lower level of your home. This can not only damage your belongings but also lead to serious structural problems for your home. Eventually, your foundation may start to crack and crumble and you’ll require significant and expensive repairs.
These tips can help you prepare your gutter system for stormy weather. However, if you encounter any problems you don’t know how to fix yourself or don’t feel safe handling on your own, it’s always best to call a professional. The team at Mr. Roof can handle your gutter issues and help ensure they’re ready for storm season. Get a free estimate today and we will let you know how we can help.