Preparing Your Gutters for Spring

Preparing Gutters for Spring Seamless Gutters Madison WIGutters aren’t something homeowners think about much — unless they’re not working right. That said, spring is the perfect time to ensure that your gutters are in good shape to function well after the winter months.

To help you check for proper gutter functionality, we’re sharing five tips …

1. Trim Those Trees
If there are branches overhanging or in contact with your roof and/or gutters, have them trimmed ASAP. This will ensure that once leaves start to appear on your trees, they don’t wind up in your gutters. This also makes sure that branches and bark don’t break off and damage your roof or gutters, which can happen during heavy rain storms, or when winter weather causes branches to bow or break due to ice and snow accumulation on them.

You can trim branches yourself with the right tool, hire a tree care company, or even a local experienced handyman. If the branches are large, we recommend hiring out the job to a professional for safety reasons.

2. Inspect Your Gutters
Take a look at your gutters to see if there is any damage. You’ll also want to see if there is any debris in the gutters that needs to be removed (more on this in our next point). The Wisconsin winter — with its snow, ice, freezing temperatures and wind — can weaken or cause damage to the structural integrity of gutters. Things to look out for include sagging — which can lead to poor water drainage, and potential damage to a home’s foundation. You should also be on the lookout for loose brackets or fasteners. Sometimes gutters will “pull away” from the roof due to sagging or loose brackets. During the inspection, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for rust, corrosion, and general wear-and-tear like dents or bends in the gutters.

3. Clean Your Gutters
As mentioned above, cleaning gutters is something that needs to happen in order to keep them functioning properly, so they continue to protect your home. From leaves, to sticks, to shingle granules, gutters are bombarded with debris that needs to be removed for proper water flow. Even the downspouts can get clogged over time. In addition, stagnant water caused by backed up gutters and downspouts can cause mold, mildew, and mosquitos to appear.

4. Check the Pitch of Your Gutters
Proper pitch is a key element in proper gutter drainage. To check the pitch of your gutters you can use a 2’ level and a tape measure, although if you identify that the pitch is off, adjusting the pitch is often best left to a roofing professional unless you are experienced in such repairs.

5. Have Gutter Guards Installed
Gutter guards are a fantastic way to keep your gutters clean, and free of debris. Well-fitted, properly-installed gutter guards can virtually eliminate the need to clean your gutters as debris just doesn’t get in there anymore. The key element here is which type of gutter guards you have installed, as they are not all created equal. Josh Gauwitz, owner of Legacy Exteriors, has seen many homes with sub-par gutter guards that failed to do their job, and he’s also done a lot of investigating into which manufacturers make gutter guards that actually WORK — and Master Shield gutter guards are simply the best gutter guards out there. So if you’re looking to have gutter guards installed, we highly recommend you talk with your roofing contractor about Master Shield.

A final word on preparing your gutters for spring …

Many homeowners don’t want to be bothered with inspecting, repairing and cleaning gutters. If this is the case for you, there are a few things to keep in mind when hiring a professional to do the work.

  1. Make sure the roofing contractor you hire is licenced.
  2. Make sure they are truly local, and that they’re going to be around if you need assistance down the road.
  3. Make sure you get any and all warranties in writing. A warranty is a good indicator of the quality of the products — and the installation process — a roofing contractor offers.
  4. Make sure you NEVER pay for an inspection of your gutters, your roof, siding, or any other exterior part of your home. At Legacy Exteriors, we offer complimentary inspections, and if we find any issues, we take pictures to show the homeowner exactly what’s going on. Make sure whoever you hire to work on your home does the same.

If you have questions, or would like to schedule a complimentary inspection of your gutters, feel free to get in touch with us anytime.

And if you’re looking for more info on preparing the exterior of your home for spring, you can check out these other articles in the series …