Gutter Preparation Guide for Summer Storms
Gutters have a big job. They are solely responsible for directing water away from your house. They take the water from your roof and funnel it away from your home, so you don’t experience water damage.
If you have clogged or broken gutters, the water may not be whisked away from your home, putting the integrity of your roof, walls, and foundation at risk.
Here are the steps for gutter preparation for summer storms.
Steps to Take to Prepare Gutters Going into the Summer Season
Before the summer weather and storms hit, here are the essential steps to take for gutter preparation.
Clean your gutters
If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your gutters and there’s a large storm coming, it’s time to clean them. You can take the DIY route or hire a professional to handle it for you. The important thing is that your gutters are free of leaves and debris, so the water can easily flow from your roof and out into the grass or other area away from your home.
If you aren’t comfortable climbing ladders or don’t want to risk getting injured, hiring someone to clean your gutter is best.
Assess your Gutters
After cleaning your gutters, assess their stability. Look for cracks, water stains, rust, mold, or sagging gutters. These are all signs of ineffective gutters. We’ve also compiled these 11 signs you need to replace your gutters.
If you notice gutter damage, consider contacting a professional to determine if you need new gutters or if simple repairs will work. If you need new gutters, consider having the job done before the summer storm season to ensure the heavy rainfall doesn’t hurt your roof or home.
Check your Roof
You might not think your roof has anything to do with your gutters, but in high winds and rain, loose roofing can clog your gutters. If it’s been a while, consider having your roof inspected.
Loose shingles, screws, or eaves could blow off during a storm and clog your gutters, causing water damage.
Like gutter cleaning, it’s best to leave this job to the professionals who can safely climb onto your roof and check its integrity.
Trim Trees and Bushes
During heavy storms, trees and bushes can get whipped around and damaged. In addition, if you have too many loose branches and leaves, they can quickly clog your gutters. Before the summer season, consider trimming back trees and bushes to minimize this risk.
Check the Downspouts
The downspouts are the most critical component of the gutters and often the most overlooked.
The downspouts are responsible for filtering the water away from the home. If they aren’t attached properly or are damaged, the water can leak through and cause damage to your home.
If the downspouts look damaged or are not working properly, we encourage you to consider replacing them before the summer storms hit.
Secure all Loose Items
Before the summer season hits, secure all loose items around your home. Tie down anything you can, and any large items that could get blown around in a big storm, and bring them inside to avoid them from flying around and causing damage to your gutters.
Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are a great way to preserve the life of your gutters. They install over the top of your gutters, allowing the water to go through but any debris to remain out of the gutters. This ensures your gutters don’t clog, and the water can flow freely during big storms.
How to Test Downspouts
If you aren’t sure if your downspouts are working properly, we have an excellent way to test them.
Run a hose from your roof down the gutter. This will replicate what would happen in a storm. If you notice water pooling at the end of the gutter, your downspout may be clogged or broken.
Consider using a plumber’s snake to remove the clog if you have a clogged downspout. Run the snake down the downspout several times, then run the hose through the gutter again. This time the water should flow through the downspout and away from the home.
If you notice the water leaking out of the downspout before coming out the bottom, or it doesn’t come out, it’s best to replace your downspouts as a part of your gutter preparation for summer storms.
Risks of Avoiding Gutter Preparation in Summer Storms
Gutter preparation in summer storms may feel like another chore you must do that you might consider skipping – but here are several reasons not to:
- Improperly flowing gutters can damage your roof and cause premature failure
- Water damage at the foundation can cause a cracked foundation
- Standing water can cause mold growth in your home
- Accumulated leaves and debris can invite pests
How do I keep my gutters clear?
Keeping your gutters clear year-round is important, especially during summer storms. Here are four simple ways:
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Install gutter guards
- Check the downspouts
- Check that all fasteners are tight on your gutters
When should I consider replacing my gutters instead of cleaning or repairing them?
It’s time to replace your gutters if:
- They are rusted, warped, or rotting through
- Parts are missing or detached, beyond repair
- They are sagging or pulling away from your roof
- Repairs would be more expensive than partial or full replacement
- You want to upgrade to a more durable material like aluminum or copper
Replacing severely damaged gutters is the best way to ensure they continue protecting your home from any water clogging issues.
How do you stop your gutters from overflowing?
If you know a big storm is coming, it’s important to clear your gutters beforehand. If it’s been a
while since you’ve had your gutters inspected, consider contacting a professional to check them. Also, be sure to clear out your downspouts so the water can flow freely.
What happens if you leave leaves in your gutter?
Leaving leaves in your gutter can cause roof damage because leaves allow water to accumulate in the gutter. Standing water puts pressure on your roof, causing sagging shingles and even water damage that can lead to mold.
Is gutter maintenance a DIY task or best left to professionals?
While minor gutter cleaning and repairs can be DIY tasks for experienced homeowners, it’s best to hire a professional for:
- Inspecting and repairing gutters on tall ladders
- Replacing gutters and downspouts
- Unclogging stubborn debris or blockages
Professionals have the proper experience, equipment, and safety gear to thoroughly clean and inspect or replace your gutters without risk of injury or further damage. For major gutter work, it’s worth the investment to hire a professional.
Before summer storms hit, consider cleaning your gutters, inspecting their condition, testing the downspouts, and replacing any gutters that aren’t in perfect shape.