Preparing Your Eavestroughs for Winter
Once fall arrives, we start to prepare for the stormy, rainy, snowy winter months ahead. Although not the most exciting task, a top priority should be gutter cleaning and repair. Clogged and sagging gutters not only look bad, but can also cause damage that could have been prevented.
Emerge2 has prepared some useful tips for prepping your eavestroughs for winter.
Tip #1: Clean out the leaves and debris
Over the winter, snow and ice will accumulate in your gutters. In the spring, if they are still clogged from leaves and other debris, water will have a tough time flowing through your eavestroughs and downspouts, away from your home. Eventually the clogged gutter can turn into detached, split or cracked gutters and, even worse, water damage to your home’s walls and foundation.
The simple task of cleaning out all the leaves and debris that accumulate in the fall will pay off in the long run. Pay close attention to the corners and junctions where gutters meet – this is where leaves often get stuck.
Tip #2: Inspect your eavestroughs for wear and tear
While cleaning your gutters, inspect them. Look for cracks or holes. If you find any, make sure you seal or repair the damage. Pay particular attention to joints – the spot where gutters meet. Confirm that all fasteners are in place, since a missing fastener could cause a gutter to blow off the roof and potentially damage your home.
Tip #3: Straighten your gutters
Over time, gutters can warp or shift. To help water flow smoothly and quickly, make sure you realign them so water can’t pool in any one spot.
Tip #4: Seal leaking end caps
Even if your home has seamless gutters, there’s going to come a time when the end caps will leak, which may eventually damage your home. To prevent damage, you’ll need to seal the leaking end caps. The easiest way is to scour off the oxidation around the seam and end cap with coarse steel wool or a rigid scrub brush, then rinse with water and let dry. Once dry, apply a sealer around the seams and end cap and work it in using a finger (it’s best to wear gloves).
Tip #5: Install gutter guards
Installing a gutter protection system is a great way to keep leaves and debris out of your gutters, but it’s not foolproof. Talk to your local hardware store experts about what systems work best and allow easy access for annual cleaning.
Tip #6: Extend your downspout
The downspout is where water (from melted snow and rain) is whisked away from your home. By extending the length of your downspout, water is diverted away from your home and prevents damage to your foundation.
Typically, downspouts should terminate at least three to five feet away from your home’s foundation.
Tip #7: Check for structural damage on and near your roof
Your eavestroughs are only one part of your roof system designed to keep the elements out of your home. To work effectively, each part of the system has to be in good working condition. While you’re cleaning your gutters, examine all the other components, such as the fascia, siding, roof and foundation. Look for staining, rotting and damage. If you locate any of these issues, and suspect water damage has already occurred, locate the source of the water and repair it immediately.
In one weekend, you can accomplish virtually all the tasks that will prepare your eavestroughs for the winter months and prevent future, potentially expensive damage to your home.
For supplies and expert assistance, stop by Emerge2 – we will be happy to help!