The end of the fall season is a great time to do some work on your gutters. The gutters will most likely be filled with leaves from the fall, so you can clean your gutters, and repair them, at the same time. Here are a few tips for cleaning and repairing your gutters.
You need to clean out the gutters in the fall, so the drainage from the roof won't be compromised, when the snow hits in the winter. Unfortunately, cleaning is not something that can be done from the ground by spraying a hose onto your roof. You need to get out a ladder, to get a close look at those gutters.
You'll surely see all the leaves, dirt, and twigs that got stuck in the gutters over the past year or so. The mixture of debris is what causes water to drain very slowly from your gutter, or not drain at all because there is a blockage. Leaving the sludge in the gutters will cause water to eventually back up in the winter, potentially getting underneath your shingles and freezing, which will damage the shingles and your roof deck.
Wear gloves, and be prepared to scoop out the dirt and debris with your hands. It helps to have a bucket nearby that you can drop the dirt and debris into and properly dispose of later, when you are on the ground. This process can involve a few trips down your ladder to empty the bucket, so be sure to have someone help hold the ladder, and have a fresh bucket ready to go.
Once the majority of the dirt and debris is gone, use a garden hose to run fresh water through the gutters, clearing out all the loose stuff still sitting along the bottom.
If you notice small holes in the gutters, fill them with caulk, so water cannot get through. The caulk should thoroughly dry, so be sure to apply it on a day when rain is not in the weather forecast. If the gutters are pulling away from the house, you will need to install new brackets, to attach the gutters properly once again.
When you see problems such as sagging gutters, cracks running along the metal, or a lot of rust, you may be in need of gutter replacement, rather than repair. Contact a local gutter installation company for help with this task.