Summer is the time that your gutters go on vacation. In the hot, dry summer months, you might think that you don’t need to do much with your gutters. However, summer is the ideal time to take a look at your gutters and make sure that any chronic issues are addressed before the rains and leaves of the fall. Here’s what you should do to give your gutters their summer checkup.
1. Remove Debris
The first thing you need to do when you’re checking your gutters is to make them visible, and this means that you need to remove debris from the area. Using gloves, scoop out debris such as sticks, needles, and leaves from your gutters. Make sure that the gutters are clear of any remnants of last fall.
2. Remove Nests
Sometimes animals like the high perch afforded by a gutter. Usually by the summer months, nesting birds will have fledged, and you can check the old nest for signs of life and remove it from the gutter if it’s empty. Look for wasp nests as well, and if they’re inhabited, remove them by calling a pest control company.
3. Clean Off the Gutters
Now that you’ve removed all of the debris from the gutters, you can almost see them clearly again. It’s time to use a scrub brush and a gentle abrasive or soap to clean out your gutters. Test your brush and your cleaning product on a test patch of the gutter before you commit. As you scrub off the mold, moss, and algae from the gutters, look for areas that seem particularly bad and go back to them when you’re looking at roofing drainage. Areas with a lot of mold, algae or moss could signal a drainage problem.
4. Look for Damage
After you’ve finished cleaning your gutters, you may see areas that are rusted, holes that need to be filled, or places where the gutter is askew. Move sagging areas upward with pliers. Make a note of rusty areas or holes and ensure that you replace extremely rusty areas and fix gaps or leaks.
5. Repair Leaks
After your gutters are clean, it’s time to check for leaks. Take a look inside and outside the gutters to find areas of buckling or places where there are visible holes. You can also run a bit of water through the gutters to find smaller leaks. If you find a leak, you can either call in a gutter professional or fix it yourself with a patch of metal flashing adhered with roofing cement or by applying gutter or silicone caulking around a clean, dry piece of gutter.
6. Check Your Roof
While you’re up on the ladder cleaning your gutters, it’s a good idea to check out your roof. From loose shingles that cause leaks to ponding water caused by clogged or inadequate gutters, your gutter system and your roofing work together. Make sure that you fix any areas of poor repair, and watch for gutter problems that could be causing issues on your roof.
7. Install New Equipment
Since summer tends to have less rain and snow than other parts of the year, it’s the perfect time to work on long term gutter maintenance. If you’re thinking of installing new gutters or downspouts, the dry season is the ideal time to do that. If you want to greatly reduce your fall maintenance, installing gutter covers will prevent fall leaves from entering your gutters.