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Maintaining Your Gutters

Posted on: September 17th, 2012 by admin

As fall is coming we need to think about how to best protect our homes gutter system because as the leaves fall in New England this can be a real problem.

Gutters and downspouts are there to protect your home from moisture related damage.  If they leak or are clogged water can pool and spill out accumulating near the foundation which can cause foundation walls to settle.  It can also cause the basement walls to bulge and crack and in some scenarios come inside due to hydrostatic pressure.

Cleaning Your Gutters
Clean leaves, seeds, sticks and needles from your cutters scooping out debris with a garden trowel or a gloved hand.  Do not try to remove the debris with a hose because this may cause a downspout to get clogged.  Remove the pasty goo made up from your asphalt shingles that have mixed dirt and water.  Flush out the residual matter with a garden hose.  To clean out the downspout turn on your hose full blast and thread it into the drain opening.  Check the gutters after flushing them for pools that indicate low spots and adjust the gutters as necessary to correct this problem.

Fixing rust holes
If you have rust holes in your gutters, although they do make patch kits for them they do not last and are really a temporary solution.  Unfortunately, the gutter is likely finished and it’s time to get new ones.

Repairing Gutters
Install new hangers to hold gutters firmly in place. Typically, gutters are attached with straps, hangers or long nails inserted through metal collars — a system called “spikes and ferrules.”  Don’t bother replacing straps, renailing old spikes or adding new spikes. Because you must pry up roofing materials to replace straps, it’s easier to make repairs using individual gutter hangers with self-tapping screws, available at home improvement centers.  Also replace spikes with gutter screws and matching ferrules.  Over time spikes always push out however gutter screws have holding power.

Replacing Gutters
Replacing gutters can be a difficult job not generally suited for your average do-it-yourself-er.  If you have done it then you are probably well aware of this, however if you need help and would like a professional to come and do it, it can be a lot cheaper than you might think and it can be done right the first time.   Call us today.