Today we're going to discuss the always fun job of maintaining your home's rain gutters! I think this is one of my least favorites for sure, but it is really very important. Rain gutters are important on houses because they keep water from pooling at the foundation of the home. When water does that it can, over time, erode and damage your foundation. Also, that pooling water can seep into your home and flood your basement or crawl space. Water is an essential in life, but it can also be quite damaging if not corralled.
1. Keep Them Clean.
Luckily, if you are on top of the issue, maintaining rain gutters isn't really all that difficult. The most important thing to do is clean the gutters out at least twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. Where I live we have a lot of mature trees so I usually have to clean them out two or three times in the fall. This consists of climbing up on a ladder and cleaning all the debris out of the gutters. If it's dry you can use a leaf blower even. If there is a lot of dirt or silt in the bottom of the gutter, you can also run a hose at the end of the gutter and flush it all out down the downspouts.
I remember the first time I cleaned the gutters on our house after we moved in. They hadn't been done in ages and they were so gross. But now that we are cleaning them consistently they are never bad and it's a pretty quick job.
2. Check For and Repair Damage
While you're up on the ladder cleaning, keep your eye out for any damage in the gutters - cracks, sagging, splitting, water damage around them, etc. And then fix them. If you can fix the issues early, they will be easier (and often cheaper) to fix and save you from possible worse damage later.
3. Extenders are Important
I think every single home inspection report I've ever seen tells the home buyer to install extenders to the rain gutter downspouts. The extenders channel the water away from your foundation into your yard or driveway, etc. I've even seen rain barrels on downspouts to be used to water plants as well. The important part is to keep the water runoff away from your foundations and windows.
And, really, that's it. Rain gutter maintenance is simple and so very important. Remember, if it's too much for you, there are lots of great companies out there that can do this for you. The important part is making sure it gets done!