Summer is officially over. It's time to start preparing your home for the wet winter weather. If you have rain gutters, don't forget to add them to your maintenance list. Clean, properly maintained rain gutters will help protect your home from water damage. This is particularly true if you have a basement. Excess rain water around the foundation of your home can leak into your basement, leading to water damage. If your rain gutters are working properly, the water will be diverted away from your home. Luckily, you don't have to go to any real expense to get your gutters cleaned and ready for winter. Here are three simple steps to get your gutters ready for the inclement weather.
Scoop Out the Debris
During the spring and summer, your gutters probably filled with their fair share of dirt and leaves. They might have even been home to a few birds. Now that the rains are about to arrive, it's time to remove the debris. For this project, you'll need three items:
- An old spatula
- A plastic bucket with a wire handle
- A ladder
Climb up on your ladder, and place the bucket handle over your arm. Beginning at the end farthest away from the downspout, use your spatula to scrape along the bottom of the gutter. Dump the debris right into the bucket. Continue the process until you've removed all of the debris from all of the gutters.
Flush the Downspout
A clogged downspout can lead to serious water issues during the winter, especially if the water backs up under the roofing shingles or overflows along the foundation of your home. Once you've removed all of the debris from the gutters, you'll need to flush the downspout. This will remove all of the residual debris from the gutters and clear the downspout. Attach a high-pressure nozzle to your garden hose and climb up on your ladder. Use the high-pressure nozzle to wash the remaining debris out of the gutters. Once the gutters are clean, place the nozzle directly into the downspout and flush until the water runs clear.
Repair the Damage
Now that you have the gutters cleaned, you're ready to repair the damage. Minor cracks and holes can be repaired using heavy-duty aluminum foil and silicone caulking. Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than the damaged area. Apply a generous amount of silicone caulking on, and around, the damage. Carefully set the aluminum foil on top of the caulking and press down firmly. Allow the caulking to dry and then apply an additional layer to the top of the foil.
Winter will be here before you know it. Use the tips provided here to make sure that your gutters are ready for the rains. If your gutters are significantly damaged, be sure to have them professionally repaired or replaced before the rains arrive. For more tips or supplies, contact a gutter cleaning company.