Spring cleaning isn’t just for the interior of your home. As the snow melts, leaves and debris that gathered on your roof during the winter are carried into your gutters, along with anything that escaped during your fall cleaning. When the spring showers start, you’ll want to make sure they’re properly functioning to avoid water damage inside and outside your home. Gutter cleaning is a must for your spring home maintenance routine, and it’s also important to check for gutter damage to determine if replacement is necessary.

Cleaning Your Gutters

When your gutter system is clogged, it fails to funnel water away from your home, leading to possible water damage on your roof and siding. The weight of buildup in your gutters can also cause them to pull away from the fascia and even collapse, further damaging your roof.

Rainy days make it easy to spot gutter drainage problems. Check to see if water is steadily coming out of the downspout and not running over the edges of the gutter—this is a sure sign your gutters are gunked up.

Much of the larger debris can be cleared from your gutters by hand or using a leaf blower; if you’re using a ladder to reach, make sure you’re doing it safely. Use an outdoor hose to flush out smaller debris and wash hard-to-reach spots, and for bad clogs in the enclosed downspout, use a gutter cleaning tool or plumbers snake to knock them loose.

Your gutters should be cleaned twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. However, if you have a lot of trees on your property, especially pine trees, they’ll need more frequent cleanings every three months or so. While tempting, it’s best not to clean gutters right after a storm. Instead, wait a few days to let the debris dry out, making for easier removal.

Spotting Gutter Damage    

While you’re cleaning, look for damage to your gutters, including holes, corrosion, missing fasteners, and cracks. Also keep an eye out for sections that are sagging, pulling away from the fascia, or creating water damage on the area beneath the gutters. Standing pools of water indicate the slope of your gutters needs to be corrected to 1/4th of an inch for every 10 feet.

Small leaks may be repaired with seam sealer, and if you’re feeling ambitious, you can refasten the gutters to fix the slope. However, when the problems with your gutters outweigh the effort needed to fix them, it might be time to consider a replacement.

There are several attractive options for gutter system replacements that can actually reduce the need for cleaning and maintenance. LeafGuard gutters have a one-piece design with a hood to prevent leaves from finding their way into the gutters. Similarly, MicroGuard is a gutter guard system with perforated holes that allows water in but keep leaves, dirt, and acorns out. RainPro gutters offer heavy-gauge aluminum for an even stronger design, as well as custom-fitting options for seamless systems that look natural with your home’s exterior.

As a licensed distributor of LeafGuard, MicroGuard, and RainPro, you can trust Minnesota Home Improvement’s gutter contractors to help keep your home dry and water-damage-free all year round. Request a free quote for gutter installation services in the St. Cloud, Brainerd, or Willmar areas today.