Proper gutter maintenance is essential to the health of your Ohio home. Neglected gutters can cause water damage to foundations, siding, windows, and doors and can lead to basement flooding.

To avoid costly maintenance, begin by having your gutters installed by a trusted local contractor, such as Van Martin Roofing. Then, at least twice a year, during the spring and fall, clean, inspect, and repair gutters. If you feel apprehensive about maintaining your gutters, hire a local contractor to perform the work.

Cleaning gutters

To drain properly, gutters and downspouts must be free of debris, leaves, and twigs.  Buildup of these materials clogs gutters, causing water overflow and other issues.

When cleaning your gutters, keep your safety in mind. Avoid working during weather that causes wet, icy, or windy conditions. Wear heavy work gloves and secure your ladder, placing it on level, firm ground. When working, avoid leaning out over the sides of the ladder and standing on the top two rungs.

Use a narrow garden trowel to scoop out debris. You may want to hang a plastic bucket or bag on the ladder to make debris disposal simple. Scrape out remaining residue, such as shingle granules and caked dirt.

Use a garden hose or power sprayer to wash out each length of gutter. Also, use the garden hose to wash out obstructions in drain pipes. For stubborn obstructions, use a plumber’s snake to dislodge them.

Repairing Gutters

While cleaning, note gutter sections that sag or don’t drain well. These areas may have improper gutter elevation. Gutters should slope toward the downspouts at a rate of a quarter inch for every ten feet. Usually, you can reposition gutters by applying gentle pressure, but you may need to rehang sections to gain proper elevation.

Inspect hangers/straps to be sure that they’re secure. Replace any worn out hangers. If your gutters are attached by spikes and ferrules, replace loose spikes with additional gutter screws and hangers.

Also, look for holes or small areas of corrosion in gutters. Use a patch kit or durable roofing sealer to repair these areas and keep gutters from leaking. However, keep in mind that corrosion in metal gutters most likely means that your gutters need to be replaced in the near future.

For any questions or concerns about gutter and roofing maintenance, contact Van Martin Roofing at 937-222-7855 or through the Van Martin website. Van Martin Roofing is a trusted, locally owned roofing contractor with the expertise and experience to handle all of your Dayton, Ohio roofing needs.