Finishing Your Basement

Five Gutter Maintenance Tips For New Homeowners

Owning a home for the first time comes with many new responsibilities and things to learn that you most likely didn't have to worry about when you had a landlord. One important but often overlooked aspect of homeownership is your rain gutters. These simple but crucial components of your home's exterior help redirect rainwater and snowmelt away from your home, preventing expensive damage to your roof, siding, attic, and foundation. Here are five gutter maintenance tips to follow as a new homeowner:

Consider Upgrading to Seamless Gutters

If the gutters on your new home are old and worn-looking, switching them out with seamless gutters can be a big improvement. Old-fashioned rain gutters are made from multiple sections held together with joints. Over time the area where the different sections of your gutters join together can wear out, leading to leaks and causing your gutters to be much less effective. Seamless gutters eliminate this issue, tend to last much longer, do a more effective job of redirecting water from your home, and often look nicer as well.

Clean Your Gutters Regularly

Over time, gutters fill with fallen leaves, sticks, branches, and other debris, making it much more difficult for them to do their job effectively. For this reason, most experts recommend that you clean out your gutters twice a year. If you live in an area with heavy storms or have a lot of large trees on your property near your home, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently than this.

You can hire a professional gutter cleaning and repair company to handle this task for you or get up on a ladder with a trash bag and heavy duty work gloves to clean out your gutters yourself. A plastic scoop can help you grab the dead leaves more effectively. Some people use a power washer or hose to clean their gutters, but you may then end up with a lot of leaves and debris on the ground to clean up, not to mention mud puddles.

Consider Adding Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are specially designed mesh screens that fit over your gutters. These help keep out larger leaves and other debris so that you don't have to clean your gutters as often, while still letting rain through. In theory, the leaves and debris blow or rinse away from the gutter guards, but in most cases you will still need to remove and clean them from time to time.

Make Repairs Quickly

If you notice that your gutters are cracked, broken, warped, missing sections, or otherwise damaged, be sure to have them repaired or replaced right away. Broken gutters let water through to your roof, and one bad storm with non-functional gutters can quickly lead to costly water damage and mildew. One great option is to hire professionals to tackle your biannual gutter cleaning, so that they can also inspect your gutters for needed repairs at the same time.

Don't Forget Your Downspouts

Downspouts are what direct water that flows down from your gutters away from your house. They must be positioned so that the water flows outward from your house and doesn't pool up near your foundation. Sometimes downspouts aren't quite long enough to do the job, but you can pick up downspout extenders at most major home improvement stores. Just like gutters, downspouts should be repaired or replaced right away if they are cracked, rusted, or otherwise in bad repair.

By following these rain gutter maintenance tips, you will be starting off your life as a homeowner on the right foot and proactively protecting your roof and home from water damage.

For more information, contact local professionals like Allstate Gutter & Siding.