Spring Gutter Maintenance, Cleaning & Repair Tips

Avoid Water Damage – Clogged Gutters Can Cost You

You may have heard the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.” There’s no doubt that this classic phrase holds especially true to gutter cleaning and maintenance!

Clogged or damaged gutters can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs if left unchecked. Basement flooding, roof leaks, interior damage, and mold formation can all occur if water doesn’t properly flow off your roof, into your gutters, down the downspouts, and away from your home.

How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?

While most gutters need minimal maintenance, it’s always important to keep an eye out for indicators of gutter damage or blockage. We recommend homeowners inspect and clean their gutters twice annually: once in the fall when the leaves have fallen and once again in spring in anticipation of increased precipitation.

How to Clean Your Gutters

Depending on the size and layout of your home, cleaning gutters can be accomplished in under an hour, or it could prove to be an all-day affair! While many people are comfortable carrying out this task on their own, safety should always be a top priority. If you do not feel comfortable climbing a ladder and working on your gutters, we highly recommend contacting a gutter cleaning service.

If you do feel comfortable climbing up a ladder and cleaning your gutters, the overall process is fairly straightforward. Most blockages occur when leaves, twigs, loose bits of shingle asphalt, or organic sludge accumulate and block water flow to the downspouts. These obstructions can be easily removed by running a spatula or garden trowel along the full length of the gutter. If you’re concerned about dumping the compost on your landscaping, simply scoop it out and drop it in a five-gallon bucket.

 Downspout blockages can prove to be a bit trickier, but tools like a plumbers snake or dryer exhaust vent cleaning tools can pull out most stubborn clogs. Run a hose or pressure washer up the ladder and spray any remaining residue down to the downspouts. You should be able to see water flowing freely out the end of the downspout below.

Cut Down on Gutter Maintenance With Gutter Guards

If your home is surrounded by foliage and your gutters get clogged frequently, gutter guards will help cut down on the amount of time you spend on a ladder pulling out those pesky leaves! Raindrop Gutter Guards® provide one of the highest performing gutter guard products currently on the market. They are designed to keep leaves and debris out while avoiding overflow issues common with other gutter guard designs. Our team has used this product to great effect on a variety of home gutter projects throughout Southeast Wisconsin.

Maintain Curb Appeal by Removing Gutter Mold & Mildew

Portions of your home may lie in the shadows of surrounding trees and foliage. A lack of direct sunlight can lead to unsightly mildew formation on both the interior and exterior of your gutters.

There is a wide selection of specialty gutter cleaning products available that will help remove mold or mildew from your gutter’s exterior, but a simple diluted bleach solution, a scrub brush, and a little elbow grease will get the job done in a pinch. Keep an eye on your gutters over the next few weeks to make sure the mold or mildew doesn’t return. If it does, simply repeat the process above and your gutters should look as good as new!

Gutter Maintenance & Repairs

Much like gutter cleaning, gutter repairs and maintenance can range from simple projects to complex operations. A leaky gutter may be easily repaired with a quick application of some seam sealer or the application of a patch. Minor gutter overflow issues can be solved by attaching a simple diverter.

Sagging gutters are typically caused by loose gutter hangers (metal spikes that attach the gutter to your home). Detached gutter hangers can fairly easily be replaced. Sometimes hangers become loose because the wood fascia they attach to is rotten, and needs to be replaced.

Our repair team is on-hand to resolve these kinds of common problems.

Other more complicated problems (like water flowing behind the gutter) can be remedied with the installation of an ice and water barrier under the drip edge, but for less handy homeowners, projects like these may require the assistance of a home exterior professional. You can find a few examples of more extensive gutter problems requiring professional repair work in our Common Problems Gallery.

When Is It Time to Get Help With Your Gutter Project?

If you’re unsure that you’ll be able to repair your gutters, we’ll be more than happy to walk you through the process of a simple fix. If it sounds like your project will require more than a straightforward DIY repair, we’ll dispatch one of our team members to your home to inspect the damage and find a solution to your problem.

Do you have a worn or leaking roof? Are you looking for advice or assistance with your next roof repair or replacement job? Contact L.H. Krueger and Son, Milwaukee’s home exterior repair experts.

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