Five Important Gutter Maintenance Issues to Watch Out for This Summer

Updated August 17th, 2022
Gutter Maintenance Issues

Gutter maintenance may seem like something you only need to think about during the fall, when leaves cause problems, or when snow and ice become the enemy in the winter. But if you want your guttering to last the decades it could, you need to consider maintenance year-round.

You probably know the drill around winter and fall, but what about that spring and summer gutter maintenance?

Here are five tips for keeping your guttering in pristine condition through the warmer months. They’re needed no matter what your usual routine is through fall and winter, but if you use good quality gutter covers through that half of the year it should make these tasks easier. Follow this expert gutter advice and decrease your worry.

Spring Cleaning isn’t Just for the Home – Clean Your Gutters

You’ll want to clean your gutters every spring, usually at the end of the season. Pollen, bugs, dirt, sand, leaves, and even the odd bird’s nest are likely caught up there.

You should also give your gutters a thorough cleaning. This means scrubbing off any moss, tough muddy patches, and grime. You’ll need a rough brush and a cleaning product designed for the specific material, whether steel, aluminum, or vinyl. And even if you’re pretty sure you’ve made the right choice, always spot test – using your brush and product on a small area before carrying on with the job.

Test Your Gutters in Summer

Gutters cleaned yearly are less likely to leak and degrade, but you’ll still want to test them. A lot can happen over fall and winter!

To fully test your gutters, you will need to:

  • Find the best and crucially safest place on your property to set up a ladder for access. Remember to work from as low as possible and with someone to help.
  • Make sure your hose reaches the spot you’ve chosen! Setting up repeatedly isn’t ideal and has led to many hot-day bad moods!
  • Turn on the garden hose before you take it to your chosen ladder spot. Even if you have someone helping, they’ll be of greater use passing up the hose and spotting the ladder than at the faucet. If you don’t have a helper, fix the hose in place (say with duct tape) so that water is flowing into the guttering. If you have a helper, one can just hold the hose while the other makes checks.
  • Now, walk around the perimeter of your home looking for any drips, water running down walls, or, worst case scenario, deluges through holes in the guttering. You might need to move the hose from time to time to check every piece of guttering, and you’ll want a torch for any darker areas.
  • Either mark or make a note of any issues you find.

Repair Any Leaks in Your Guttering During Good Weather

If you find any leaks during your guttering tests, don’t panic. Most can be repaired pretty easily.

If you have aluminum gutters, use aluminum flashing. For other metals, a metal patch repair kit is your best bet. Both can be applied with roofing cement, with another layer added over the top for extra protection.

Use silicone sealant if you need to seal a crack or a seam in any kind of gutter. It dries almost instantly in case of any summer rainstorms.

Finally, really badly damaged sections of gutterings can be replaced. Simply measure the gutter section, and purchase the appropriate gutter repair kit from a DIY store.

If You Want to Make Any Gutter Upgrades, Summer’s the Time

Have you been thinking about getting new guttering entirely? Or do your gutters often overflow during heavy rain and need a new downspout?

Either way, the summer is the time to get your DIY on, which can include upgrading or overhauling your gutters.

Adding a downspout is pretty straightforward — you’ll need the correct length of the downspout, a couple of downspout elbows, sheet metal cutters, sheet metal screws, and downspout straps.

If you’re a first-timer, there are plenty of guides to installing downpipes and even entire new guttering systems online.

Prepare Your Gutters for Fall

Summer has to end eventually. Depending on where you live, that can be a joy or a tragedy!

Either way, you’ll need to prepare your gutters for fall and winter when they get the most abuse by leaves, snow, and rain.

If you have any branches that hang over gutters, it’s a good idea to trim them back. More close-by branches mean more clogging leaves. Do this carefully, especially with larger branches and taller trees! A branch smashing through your guttering will not get it ready for fall.

Finally, investing in good-quality gutter covers is the most important thing you can do to protect your (now fully clean and upgraded) guttering through the colder months.

Installing most gutter guards is easy – you just slide them over the top of your gutters, and they slot into place. Some types of gutter or gutter cover may make things more tricky, but any handyman or DIY lover should be able to handle them.

There is a huge range of options out there for gutter covers, so whether you’re protecting your guttering from leaves, seed pods, or pine needles, you’ll be able to find something perfect.

And with your gutters sorted for fall, you can sit back and start on those cinnamon lattes, watching the changing of the leaves. Until it’s raking time, that is…

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