Cleaning Your Gutters – When And How

Many homeowners have not fully grasped the importance of cleaning their gutters. Debris will eventually clog these up and block the water’s path without regular attention. Instead of flowing down the pipes, water will accumulate on the gutters and go back up, causing major damage. Water can spill over to the yard and weaken the foundation. It can also flow to windows and cause flooding in the house.

Winters can be particularly troublesome as the water can turn into ice. The hardened icicles can become a hazard to the people passing through below them. The weight of the water may also cause the nails to move away from the fascia board, slowly reducing the gutter support. Some sections can fall off due to the heavy ice.

Clogs should be cleared before winter as these make the gutters freeze up quicker. You will notice ice developing on the roof right away. If ice dams are formed, then you may need to pay for costly repairs afterwards.

Periodic maintenance will make cleaning a fast and straightforward task. It will also avoid more difficult and expensive problems in the future. Read on to learn more about cleaning your gutters – when and how.

When Do My Gutters Need Cleaning?

Although some homeowners know how crucial gutter maintenance is, they are not entirely sure about the ideal cleaning schedule. The usual recommendation is to clean them up throughout the fall or whenever you notice that leaves are falling from trees in large quantities. It is also prudent to check for seeds, fruits, and flowers that could fall early in the summer or late in the spring. Even if these conditions are not present, it is still a good idea to clean the gutter if you notice any signs of common gutter problems.

How to Access the Gutters Safely

Beware that gutters cannot carry heavy loads such as a person’s weight. They might fall off if those trying to perform maintenance work lean in too much. Plan everything carefully to prevent accidents and gutter damage. Use gentle cleaning solutions as well.

It would be wise to use a step ladder when cleaning the gutters. This is a self-supporting ladder with an A-frame that will maintain balance. The weight will be on the ground instead of the gutters. Straight ladders are not recommended for this type of work. Make sure that you do not step higher than the second rung from the top. No matter which type of ladder you end up using, you must pay attention to nearby power lines and steer clear of these at all costs.

Gutter Cleaning Tools

Carry a bucket to the top of the ladder and hang it on one side. You can also place it on the roof if this is more convenient. This setup will reduce the mess while cleaning. It is also a good idea to wear a pair of waterproof gloves. If you don’t have one, then you can improvise by layering latex gloves and regular work gloves.

Most homes will have a plastic gardening trowel. This is a great tool for gutter cleaning because of its size and shape. Those who don’t have one can get one of their empty plastic milk jugs and cut this diagonally to create an improvised tool.

Avoid using sharp trowels for the gutters since these tools may create dents and other forms of damage that cannot be easily undone.

Ice is more likely to build up near areas with heavy amounts of debris in the winter. If you are trying to remove the ice, put heat tape inside the gutter and plug this in. Wait for it to warm up so that the ice can partially melt. It should be able to cut across the ice and eventually make the debris accessible. You can find heat tape in any hardware store.

Cleaning Your Gutters

You can utilize any tool to clean gutter clogs manually. If you encounter difficult debris to remove, you may want to pour water on it first to soften the mass. This should make removal easier after a few minutes. As for loose debris, you can quickly remove them while they are dry. There will still be bits and pieces left, so spray the gutter with your garden hose to remove these.

Cleaning Your Downspouts

Check whether water is coming out of the downspouts. If you can’t see any, you are probably dealing with a clog. Inspect the inlet to find debris since this is where you can usually find them. This is easily accessible, so you should be able to remove everything by hand.

Clogs don’t usually get to the downspouts themselves, but it can happen. You may have to take these apart by removing the screws in this scenario. Spray water inside these pieces to clear them up before assembling them again.

Check Your Gutter Slope

After clearing the downspout of dirt and debris, try to place the garden hose at the other end of the gutter from the downspout. This time, check how it drains when you turn the water on. If the water still refuses to drain correctly, then you may be dealing with an insufficient gutter slope. The minimum recommendation is a quarter of an inch for every ten feet. If yours is lesser than this, then water will not flow as readily as it should in your preferred direction. Gutter technicians can make the necessary adjustments for you. If you prefer to do it by yourself, then you will have to remove screws of the fasteners from the fascia board. Adjust the gutter until you get the desired slope and screw everything back to normal.

Roof Repair Tips For The Average Homeowner

With the fall starting to get colder and the days getting shorter, winter is at the door. One common characteristic of winter is that it comes with many house-related issues such as roofing problems. During the winter, homeowners tend to face various roofing problems such as ice dams formation, damage to the roof, and condensation. The sad part is that these problems are hard to rectify during winter as the weather is always harsh. Interestingly, one can easily avoid roofing problems by taking good care of their roofing system in the fall.

Fall is the appropriate time to ensure that your house is ready for winter. However, that does not mean that you will totally evade the roofing problems that come with winter. Hence, even if you take suitable precautions for roof preparation but still face issues that you did not foresee, you should not despair. You can always get these problems rectified immediately.

In this article, you will learn some Roof Repair Tips for the Average Homeowner that would prove helpful through the winter months without many struggles.

Fall Roof Maintenance

One of the worst mistakes that many homeowners make is that they never take the proper precautions until very late. It is wise to inspect your roofing system for deterioration or any damage during the fall. If you spot problems during fall, it will be easy for you to carry out a perfect repair as the weather conditions are less likely to interfere with the process. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you need to be vigilant in winter. In any case, you need to be more vigilant in winter because this is the season that more damages are likely to happen. For instance, you should check for signs of ice dams and icicles build-up, especially after windstorms or snowstorms. Additionally, ensure that your downspout and fascia are not clogged with ice, snow, dead leaves, or debris. You can use a roof rake to eliminate any blocking element.

Chimney Repair and Flashing

If you spot droppings or any leakages in your house, that is an indication that the chimney’s flashing could be having a problem. Such a problem may end up damaging both the chimney and the roof. Therefore, it is wise to get the chimney and the flashing inspected by professionals in the fall to repair any problems. A professional roofing company should handle chimney repair problems with a lot of ease. On the other hand, if you decide to make the chimney repair a DIY project, you will need to pay attention to the temperature.

Repair the Shingles

If you have used the shingles, then they can always replace or repair them at any point of the year. However, you may need to be extra cautious to avoid a situation where the roofing materials crack or break. Further, if you have a good understanding of the qualities of your roofing materials, then you can proceed with the repair work. But if you do not know how to handle the materials, you should not worsen their condition by trying to repair them. Instead, you ought to call a roofing repair contractor and allow them to handle the task for you. Additionally, you need to make sure that you choose an experienced roofing contractor because an armature might end up doing a disappointing job.

Gutter Repair

While gutters are the most underestimated part of a roofing system, they play a crucial role in protecting the entire property. For instance, they can save your roofing system from winter damage by keeping it dry and clear. It would help if you kept a regular schedule for cleaning your gutters and repairing them immediately whenever they get damaged.

Another role that gutters play is in protecting the fascia board and the walls from water damage while keeping walkways dry and clean. If your gutters get blocked, they will not direct water properly, which can result in the overflow of water in your property. The overflowing water can lead to losses such as damage to the foundation of your house. The trick to avoiding these unnecessary inconveniences is to keep your gutters clean and in good shape.

Attic repair

Problems with your attic can lead to sudden leaks in your house. Homes produce a significant amount of heat in winter, which escapes through the roofing system. With time, this process may weaken your attic’s insulation, and when the snow melts, it leaks into the house. Therefore, it is wise to examine the condition of your attic and take the necessary precautions before it is too late. You can tell when your attic needs repair or replacement with regular inspections. Notably, if you take time and resources to redo your attic insulation, you will make it sustainable and face fewer leakages and other roofing problems.

Roof Replacement

Whether you use wood, metal, or shingles, there will always come a moment to consider roof replacement. For instance, if you want to make your roofing system more appealing, you may need to replace the old roof with a new one. However, some roofs may dictate the time to carry out roof repairs. If your roof is flat and made of rubber, you may want to wait until spring to proceed with the replacement. This is because some of the adhesives utilized during the roof installation are temperature dependent and can freeze during winter, hence not working properly. It is essential to call professional Natick roofers and take their advice.

If you embrace some of the easy roof repair tips mentioned above, you should be able to get through the winter season without lots of problems. However, if you face more complex roofing problems, it will be prudent to contact your roofing repair professional immediately.