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Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

It is extremely important to keep gutters in good repair. If they are not properly maintained, the water can run down the outside wall, ruining the decoration, causing mold and decay damage, and eventually causing problems within a structure.

Late autumn is the best time to begin gutter maintenance and repairs. This is after all of the leaves have fallen and just before winter weather has a chance to do more damage. When performing gutter maintenance, always make sure to be extremely careful with where you set up your ladder. Certain gutters are made from materials that can be damaged easily by ladders. Also, your own safety is at hand with improper ladder use.

Common problems associated with gutters include gutter blockages, clearing down pipes, fixing sagging guttering, corrosion and cracks, leaks, section replacement, and paint repairs.

Helpful Tips

• Clear away all leaves and debris. Trim tree branches that may be interfering with your roof and the gutters.

• Avoid pushing rubbish to the top of a downpipe when clearing gutter blockages.

• When clearing downpipes, try not to compress rubbish downward. This may make the blockage harder to remove.

• Always inspect metal gutters for signs of rust. It is recommended to treat any bare metal areas with a rust killer and fill hairline cracks with at least two coats of rust primer. Sealing leaks with caulk is a good idea.

• Severe rust on metal guttering will most likely need to be replaced. Either the individual section or possibly the whole system. Always use and old section of guttering when purchasing a new one to make sure the size and shape are the same.

• Make sure metal guttering is well painted for protection.

• Avoid painting cement and plastic guttering.

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