Basic Rain Gutter Maintenance Prevents Pricey Repairs

Javi Calderon

Basic Rain Gutter Maintenance Prevents Pricey Repairs

Cleaning and maintaining rain gutters is a classic example of a situation where slow and steady truly wins the race. 

In school, teachers preached studying a little every night, instead of waiting and cramming for hours the night before the test. Likewise, regular gutter cleaning and maintenance, instead of waiting for the leaves to pile up, can actually prevent significant foundation damage and pricey repairs. 

The first step is to examine your roof gutters. You should clean out the gutters out all around your home, while doing so you will notice where repairs will be necessary. To clean the gutters you will need a tall ladder, work gloves, garbage bags, a trowel and a garden hose. 

Simply prop your ladder against the house, and climb up until you can comfortably work on the gutters. Pull out as much debris as you can, then you can either stuff the gunk into trash bags while up on the ladder, or toss it to the ground and pick it up after you get down. Use a trowel to remove thick, tough clogs. When you have removed all the debris, use a hose to wash the gutter down. Repeat this process all around the house until all the gutters are clean.

While you are cleaning the roof gutters you will notice if any repairs need to be done. If an area of your gutter is sagging, you will need to perform some maintenance to prevent further damage. As you wash the gutters down with the hose, look for leaks that will later need to be sealed.

You will need a hammer and gutter sealant, and your choice between gutter nails and a hammer, or gutter screws and a power drill. The drill will be faster and the screws will hold more effectively, but any number of circumstances could make one choice right or wrong for you. 

Prop the ladder up against the sagging gutter, and then climb to the top. Remove the gutter nails or screws in the sagging section of gutter. Then, put in new gutter screws or nails and tighten until the gutter is straight again. You can add extra screws to hold the gutter tight to the side of the house. 

While you were cleaning and running the hose you should have noticed any leaks in the rain gutters. To fix a leak, apply a small amount of gutter sealant to the crack and smooth it out with your finger. The sealant will need 24 hours to dry.

If you have more significant damage or live in a home that is multiple stories high, you should consider hiring a contractor to do the work. The smallest mishap could lead to nasty fall and possibly a serious injury. 

By: IvanTheInspector
Date: 3/25/2012 10:15:20 AM
I would like to add to this article a better method for doing this once nasty chore, rain gutter cleaning. Having inspected gutters for over 30+ years I can highly recommend the safest method for doing this necessary household maintenance job. I recommend to my customers who want to DIY that a new and improved tool is available by which they can either "vacuum out" or "blow out" rain gutter debris from the ground, with no need for using a dangerous ladder. If you don't want to get wet, dirty, or have extra clean-up after cleaning your gutters I highly recommend vacuuming out the contagious contaminants and allergens that have settled into your gutters. However, if blowing out your rain gutters is your favorite way to clean them this tool

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