It’s time to get your roof in shape for winter and an important part of this process is to get your rain gutters in shape. This will help to prevent leaks in the roof, and keep ice damming from occurring. Ice damming is when water accumulates in blocked rain gutters and freezes. The ice that is formed creates space between the roof and the house, which lets in moisture. This can be very damaging to a structure and can be avoided by keeping gutters in tip-top shape.
Getting Gutters Clean
Before your gutters can be properly inspected, they have to be thoroughly cleaned. Dirt and debris that wash down from the roof decrease the capacity of the gutters and can cause blockages that will allow water to back up. Fall leaves are a big contributor to gutter problems, so keeping your gutters clean during this season is especially important. Power washing your gutters is a great way to get them clean quickly and to push out any blockages. If you don’t have access to a power washer, run a hose along your gutter, using your hands (wear gloves) to dislodge dirt and debris. Give special attention to the downspouts, since this is a common area for blockages.
Checking for Problems
Once your gutters are clean, it will be easier to inspect them for problems. Check the attachment points along your home to see if the gutters have come loose, or if they’re pulling away from your home. Check rivets between gutter sections and at the downspout attachment to make sure they’re still intact and tight. Run some water through the gutter and look for any leaks along the way, paying special attention to the seams between sections. Any leaks or seepages need to be fixed before winter, because water accumulating and freezing in these areas will make the leaks worse.
Repairing rain gutters can mean anything from securing hardware to re-caulking seals. When repairing anchors, be sure to use hardware that is designed to work with your eaves, soffits, or rafters, depending on how the gutters are attached. When fixing leaks, scrape away old caulking before applying new so that it will adhere properly. Minor holes and cracks can be filled with silicone, but more extensive damage may require replacing a section of your gutter system. If you’re unsure about how to make a repair, contact us!