Homeowners want to keep their rooftop water runoff flowing smoothly all year round. But with so many things that can go wrong, how can your ordinary Joe keep up with maintaining his gutters?
Here is an easy-to-follow month-by-month calendar we have put together on of how to protect your gutter system.
January: Exterior cleaning
As you take down your Christmas lights, take a wet sponge and some soap and wipe down the outsides of your gutters. They don’t have to be spotless; but you should do this to get rid of a year’s worth of grime.
February: Check for ice dams
Constant cold temperatures can cause ice dams to form in your gutters, which will affect water runoff. Use an icepick or salt tablets to eliminate these ice dams.
March: Check fascia boards
If the fascia boards have cracks or dry rot, your gutters won’t affix to them properly. Replace worn out fascia board a wood preservative.
April: Clean gutters
A winter’s worth of precipitation should have filled up your gutters with dirt and debris by now. Use hand towels and brushes to remove it.
May: Check for gutter sag
If the hinges or spikes that support your gutters are bending, then your gutters may begin to sag in the middle. Make the necessary repairs to avoid water pooling inside your gutters.
June: Clean roof
It can be cumbersome to climb up onto the roof and sweep off all of the debris. But the less stuff you have on your roof, the smaller the chances are of it sliding down into your gutters.
July: Check gutter slope
If your gutters aren’t sloped properly, the water won’t flow through them during a heavy storm. Check the slope by pouring a few buckets of water into your gutters and confirm that it is moving through your guttering sections and out the downspouts.
August: Check downspout direction
Speaking of downspouts, you need to make sure they are dispersing runoff water to the right places (use the bucket test again). Otherwise, it could pool by your home and seep into your foundation.
September: Trim trees
Overhanging branches can result in twigs and sticks falling into your gutters. Trim back these limbs until they are several inches away from your roofline.
October: Clean gutters (again)
Effective gutter maintenance means cleaning out your gutters twice per year. You may be able to use a blower or vacuum to complete much of the work this time around.
November: Check for rust
If you see rust spots on your gutters, scrub the areas with a wire brush and apply a rust remover, followed by an anti-rust primer. Severely-rusted gutter sections should be replaced.
December: Look for leaks and split seams
If you see cracks or holes in your guttering system, clean the area thoroughly and apply asphaltum paint, cement, and/or caulk to seal the leak. If you see separated seams, rejoin the guttering sections with screws or staples. Replace severely deteriorating gutters before putting up Christmas lights.