Home Maintenance in Indiana County, PA: What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Gutter in Shape

Learn how to maintain your gutters with these tips. This is a guide for homeowners in Indiana County, PA.

Home Maintenance in Indiana County, PA: What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Gutter in Shape

Home Maintenance in Indiana County, PA: What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Gutter in Shape

Keeping your gutters free of debris is important to make sure they are working properly. Gutter systems often collect leaves and other debris, which can make it difficult for water to be collected and flow properly. They also keep your home safe from the elements. Now that you know why now is the time to take care of this necessary home maintenance task, here's how:

Why you should conduct gutter cleaning in Indiana County

Conducting gutter cleaning is imperative to make sure your gutters are working properly. Here are some reasons why you should conduct gutter cleaning:

Avoid Roof Damage

If you want to avoid roof damage, then you should pay close attention to the gutters in your house. Gutters can prevent water from hitting the roof directly. With a good gutter system, water will never hit your roof directly. It means that you will be able to avoid cracks in shingles or leaks in the roof.

Prevent water damage

When water flows down from your roof, then it can be disastrous if it finds its way into your home. The water will have a negative impact on your home's foundation, and it might also result in mold growth. Cleaning your gutters will ensure that the water has a clear path to flow downward if there is rainfall or snowmelt. You can also install gutter guards if you live in an area where there is a lot of debris falling off trees since they will prevent clogging.

Prevent pest infestations

During spring and fall, pests like bees and ants look for ideal places to create their colonies. Gutters are perfect because they are hidden from plain sight, and they can provide protection against predators.

How to Clean Your Gutter

Cleaning your gutters is an easy task that can be done by homeowners without any prior experience. You will need to purchase a ladder, a bucket, and a wire brush. To start, here are some best tips:

  1. Check the forecast before you clean your gutters. Cleaning will be easier if you let debris in the gutter dry out.
  2. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the muck, sharp metal, and animals and insects that may be hiding in the debris.
  3. Use a sturdy ladder that can reach the top of the gutters, and place it on a level surface. If you have a one-story house, use a stepladder; if you have a two-story house, you might need an extension ladder.
  4. Scoop out the debris by hand or with a trowel if you’re standing on solid ground or on a ladder leaning against the gutter. Otherwise, use a gutter scoop (a small, shallow shovel with pointed edges).
  5. Hose down the gutter to flush out fine debris and sludge, then flush out downspouts to make sure they’re not clogged (also see 8 Gutters to Consider for Your Home).
  6. Keep cleaning tools handy with a five-gallon bucket attached to your ladder with bungee cords to collect debris as you work so you don’t have to climb up and down as often.

Tips to maintaining your gutters

Keep your gutters free of debris

Leaves, pine needles, and other debris can clog your gutters and make it difficult for water to be collected. Keep your gutters free from debris by cleaning them out once a year.

Repair or replace any worn or broken parts

If you see anything that is loose in the gutter system, repair it or replace it as soon as possible so that water continues flowing down the roof.

Check the condition of your flashing

Flashing is necessary to keep water out of your home's interior walls. Make sure there are no cracks in the flashing or sealant that needs to be replaced.

Protect your gutters from bird droppings

Bird droppings contain acid which will wear down metal gutters and make holes in them. You can protect your metal gutters from bird droppings by installing a protective coating on them such as a siliconized acrylic enamel paint with an aluminum oxide primer designed for metal surfaces.

Get a professional roofer for an inspection

Having a professional roofing contractor inspect your gutters is probably one of the best ways to maintain them. They can clean out hard-to-reach debris and make sure that your gutters aren't damaged or clogged. If they do find a problem, they can fix it before it becomes an issue. Hire a professional roofing company every few years to make sure that everything is in working order.

Check for leaks

This is a must if you want to avoid water damage. To find leaks easily, try running a hose through the gutter in order to see where the water is leaking from. If there’s any rust on your gutters, use sandpaper to clean them up before sealing them with caulk or sealant.

Inspect for pests

Pests like rodents and birds love living in gutters since they offer shelter from predators and the elements. If you notice any nests or droppings in your gutter, then call an exterminator as soon as possible. If you don’t want to deal with pests at all, then consider installing gutter guards in order to prevent them from entering your home entirely.

Signs of a problem with your gutters

Here are some signs of a problem with your gutters:

  1. Water damage to siding or trim - When gutters overflow, water can run down the side of your house and cause damage to the siding or trim.
  2. Cracks in foundation - If water collects at the base of your foundation or underneath your crawlspace, it can weaken it and cause cracks to form in your foundation.
  3. Peeling paint on doors and windows - Water that runs down the outside of a door or window can create peeling paint on them.
  4. Leaks in interior walls - Gutters that are full of debris can cause water to back up under the roofline, which can lead to leaks in interior walls and ceiling stains.
  5. Standing water near the foundation - If gutters are clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris, water will not be able to drain properly through them and will instead overflow from them onto the ground near your foundation where it can pool up and leak into your basement.

Conclusion

Home maintenance should be a top priority for anyone who owns their own home in Indiana County. Gutter cleaning is one of the easiest and most important things to keep up with.