On average, gutters accumulate anywhere from 40-250 pounds of debris per year! This buildup can create all kinds of problems for your home such as foundation erosion, mosquito infestations and damage to your roof and gutter system, which can cost thousands of dollars to replace.
Need a hand? To hire a professional to inspect your roof, visit Angie's List to find a service provider in your area.
Safety Note: Gutter maintenance generally means using a ladder. Please use ladder safety precautions at all times.
Remove all debris from your gutters. Get every leaf and twig with a gloved hand. Go section-by-section, dump the debris you can reach in a bucket, and then move the ladder down (very carefully).
Check for damages. After removing debris, check for corrosion and any holes or dents. Tip: If you find small holes, place a piece of painter’s tape by the hole so you can easily find it when you’re ready to repair. If you’ve found small holes in your gutter, you can seal them with clear silicone sealant.
Test the drainage. Gently run water through your gutter with a garden hose to ensure your gutter is draining correctly. If water is standing still, increase the grade of your gutter to create and maintain a proper drain slope. To do this, simply bend the hangers. The gutter should slope at least 1/4-inch for every 5-10-feet of gutter.
Check for sagging. A sagging gutter is a useless gutter. Rainwater will get trapped in the sagging portion and become stagnant mess (a love nest for mosquitoes). If the gutters are sagging, it’s likely because the nails holding the gutters have loosened. Try to hammer them back into place. If the nails won't hold, replace them with screws.
Unclog your downspouts. If the downspout is clogged, work to loosen the debris from the bottom up to avoid further clogging the downspout. Turn your water hose on high and run it up the spout from the bottom. If this doesn’t work, try a plumber’s snake (again, from the bottom to the top). If all else fails, remove the downspout and tackle the clog by hand.