Exterior Home Maintenance: Gutters

In our Exterior Home Maintenance blog series we'll take a look at several common problem areas in your home and pass along a few tips and tricks to troubleshoot issues and keep your home looking great!

Let's start with an easy one to neglect: gutters. Gutters tend to suffer from the "out of sight, out of mind" dilemma until you're faced with a major blockage or gutter failure. Nobody likes a major gutter problem, so here are a couple pointers to keep in mind to help ensure your gutters stay blockage free and carry water away from your home (rather than directing it into your basement):

  1. Clean and inspect your gutters twice a year. This is an easy thing to forget, but 10 minutes of leaf cleaning or inspection can go a long way to make sure small problems don't become big ones. 
  2. Check for any leaks along the gutter line. Ensuring proper flow along the length of the gutter will help prevent wood rot and paint failure at fascia boards and other areas of house.
  3. Check your downspouts to ensure they are not leaking and that the water flow is directed away from the structure’s foundation.  Leaking or clogged downspouts can allow water to “flood” areas prone to drainage problems.
  4. Downspouts should have extensions which lead several feet away from the house.  If your downspouts are connected directly to an outside drain pipe leading water into the basement wall / footing drain system, correct this problem immediately.

There you have it, four quick tips to help you keep your gutters free and clear and water away from your house. Check back soon for more exterior home maintenance tips!