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Maintaining Your Gutters: A Fall Checklist for Homeowners

Fall brings falling leaves, cooler weather, and the need to prepare your home for winter. Part of that preparation should include cleaning and inspecting your gutters. Well-maintained gutters are essential for diverting water away from your home's foundation and preventing costly damage. Follow this fall gutter maintenance checklist to keep them in top shape before winter arrives.

Clear Out Fall Debris

As trees shed their leaves in autumn, all that debris tends to accumulate in gutters. Leaves, sticks, and other organic matter can clog gutters and downspouts. This prevents proper drainage and water flow, leading to overflow and potential leaks.

Thoroughly clean out all leaves, sticks, plants, and debris from gutters and downspouts. Use a gutter scoop or trowel to dislodge buildup. For second story or high gutters, consider using a leaf blower to safely clear debris without climbing a ladder.

Check for Proper Water Flow

After clearing gutters of all debris, turn on your hose or wait for rain. Observe how well water flows through the gutters and downspouts. The water should drain completely without overflowing or pooling.

If you notice areas with poor drainage or standing water, there is likely a blockage. Use a auger snake to clear stubborn clogs in downspouts. Checking water flow is key to preventing ice dams and icicle buildup in winter.

Inspect Gutter Fasteners and Hangers

Examine gutter hangers and fasteners that connect to the roof and fascia. Check for signs of looseness or deterioration. Heavy rains or wind can compromise and loosen gutter connections over time.

Reinforce any loose hangers by screwing them back into place. Replace any damaged or missing hangers. Secure gutters are essential for proper functioning and longevity.

Patch Holes and Joints

Scan gutters and downspouts for small holes, cracks, or separations that may have developed over the year. Use gutter sealant caulk to patch any minor holes or separated joints you find. This helps prevent further leaking and damage when winter arrives.

Remove Gutter Debris Buildup

Even after cleaning gutters, some debris and dirt buildup may remain stuck to gutter walls and joints. Use a stiff scrub brush and water to scrub away stubborn debris on the insides of gutters. A pressure washer is also an effective cleaning tool if needed.

Consider Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are mesh screens that fit over gutters to prevent leaves and debris from entering while still allowing water to flow through. Install gutter guards over the length of your gutters to reduce maintenance and cleaning this fall.

Trim Overhanging Trees

Trees located near your home can drop leaves, seeds, sap and more into gutters. Trim back any overhanging branches to prevent excess debris buildup this autumn. Focus on thinning areas directly above your gutters.

Schedule Professional Fall Gutter Cleaning

For comprehensive gutter cleaning and maintenance, contact The Gutter Experts. Our technicians use commercial grade equipment for thorough debris removal and can provide any needed repairs. Rely on our expertise to inspect and prepare your gutters before winter.

Proper fall gutter maintenance keeps your home protected from rain, snow and ice buildup throughout the winter months ahead. Follow these tips for clog-free, damage-free gutters that function effectively all season long.

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