Winter is one of the roughest times of the year on your roof. During winter, your roof has to deal with extreme temperature changes and lots of precipitation, which is why fall is a great time to take care of your gutters.
#1 Clean Out Your Gutters
Fall is when the most debris accumulates in your gutters. You should clean your gutters out in late October or early November when most of the leaves have fallen off the trees in your area.
To clean out your gutters, you will need a ladder, a trowel, a bucket, a hose and gloves. Place the ladder on sturdy and level ground. Hang the bucket on the top shelf of the ladder.
When you start cleaning out your gutters, begin near the downspout and work your way across your gutter system to the downspout. Use a trowel to scoop up and remove all the big debris inside of your gutters. Empty out the bucket when it is about halfway full; you don't want to make the bucket too heavy to handle by filling it up all the way with debris.
Once you get rid of the large debris in your gutters, wash them out with a hose. Place the hose at the opposite end of the gutter, away from the downspout.
Placing the hose away from the downspout will allow you to make sure that the water flows appropriately out of the downspout while cleaning away any left-over small debris. Keep an eye out for leaking in your gutters and clogs in your downspout as you rinse out your gutters.
#2 Fix Leaks
When spraying out your gutters, keep an eye out for leaks. If you see water leaking out of your gutters, you can repair your gutters instead of replacing them.
To fix a leaking gutter, purchase gutter sealant and a putty knife. Gutter sealant works well for small holes and leaking gutter joints.
Place your ladder near the leaking hole or gutter joint. Place the sealant on the top shelf of the ladder and bring along a rag and putty knife. Dry off the hole or joint and wipe away any debris or dirt in the area. The sealant will attach better to a clean surface.
Apply the sealant over the leak. Use your putty knife to spread the sealant over the hole or joint. Spread the sealant about an inch or more past the hole or joint to create a firm seal.
#3 Unclog the Downspout
If water did not properly flow through the downspout or water spilled over the edge of the gutters when you cleaned them, the downspout is clogged.
First, check the downspout cage, located where your gutters and downspout meet. If the cage is bent or improperly placed, it could be preventing water from getting through the downspout. Replace the downspout cage or reshape it.
Second, check the top and bottom of the downspout for debris. If there are any leaves, dirt or other items you can see at either end of the downspout, pull out the debris and see if that fixes the drainage problem.
Third, if water is still not coming out of the downspout, use a plumbing snake, also known as a handheld auger, to remove the debris. Put the plumbing snake in the top of the downspout and feed it down as far as you can, moving it around inside of the downspout as you force your way through the debris.
Once you get the plumbing snake all the way through the downspout, run a pressure washer or hose from the top of the downspout to push out the debris that is obstructing up your downspout. This should clear everything up.
Make sure your gutters are clean, strong and ready to go before winter hits. The professionals at Top Dog Roofing can help you take care of your gutters this fall.