Homeowners in the Midwest are experiencing one of the harshest cold snaps we’ve experienced in over a decade.
Unfortunately, snow and ice can create hazardous home conditions as well as treacherous driving and dangerous roads. Too often, clogged or leaking gutters that contribute to roof damage are also insufficient for the heavy rainfall or flooding that the Midwest may experience in the spring. Many of these problems can be avoided by homeowners installing seamless gutters.
The Necessity of Gutters
Gutters are integral to keeping the integrity of your roof intact. The grade of your roof as well as the amount of angle on your roof come into play, however, drainage and runoff are the most important factors to avoiding flooding, mildew, and leaks. The first step to protecting your roof and preparing for the weather changes in spring takes place in the fall. Performing basic gutter maintenance is not difficult, but many homeowners are wise to call a gutter company to make sure your gutters are cleaned and functioning properly. Since properly cleaning gutters requires working on a ladder and usually getting up on the roof, many homeowners feel more confident calling a professional.
In the fall, just checking to see if garden vegetation or debris are clogging your gutters is something homeowners can do without a ladder. It is fairly easy to notice if your gutters are leaking as well. Even with seamless gutters, inspection and some maintenance is important to keep them free from corrosion or possible punctures.
Safely Cleaning the Gutters
If you are able to safely get on a ladder and perform some of the gutter maintenance yourself, the best place to start is at a corner of your home. This is where downspouts are typically located and it’s best to start at a downspout and work away from it to avoid pushing additional debris into it. Be sure to set your ladder on a level place and use a ladder or plastic bag to collect debris to make for easier clean-up once you’re done. Removing large pieces of debris can be done with a garden trowel or spade. Once the larger debris is gone, using a garden hose, you can rinse the gutter in the direction of the downspout.
If your downspout remains clogged, you do have alternatives to clear it; using more water pressure with the hose or even a plumber’s snake can help loosen and draw debris out. If clogs are persistent or downspouts are faulty, homeowners may want to call a gutter professional to decide how best to proceed.
Rain Chains – An Alternative to Traditional Gutters
An alternative to traditional, closed gutter downspouts are rain chains. Rain chains are not a new idea; they have been used in Japan for hundreds of years to collect water from the roof of their houses and transport it down to barrels that are then used for household water. They are a beautiful way of not only keeping your roof free from water damage, but they allow homeowners to spend less time on gutter maintenance. Call Scott-Lee Guttering Company at (314) 756-9440 about seamless guttering installation or rain chains. Most importantly, regardless of what type of guttering you have, homeowners need to keep the system clean and working properly to help protect their home before inclement weather.
Photo credit: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, NPS via Flickr