When it’s time for spring cleaning, you have a lot on your to-do list:
- Cleaning your windows and window screens 🪟
- Donating rarely and never used items 📦
- Shaking out the rugs and shampooing the carpets 🧹
- Dusting every inch of your ceiling fans, baseboards, and lights
Did you know that the outside of your home needs spring cleaning just as much as the inside? Gutters in Louisville, KY, need some TLC throughout the year, and there’s no better time to get this done than at the change of seasons!
Keep reading for six tips to guide your next gutter cleaning session.
1. Thorough Initial Cleaning
Before you can perform any gutter repair or maintenance, you need to clean out all the gunk that builds up in the fall and winter months.
Every spring, take some time to clean out the dirt, leaves, twigs, pollen, and other debris that builds up in your gutter troughs. You can purchase a gutter scoop from your local hardware store, but a small cup or other bucket-shaped material will work just as well.
This task will probably require you to climb up a ladder. Be very careful, and have a spotter with you whenever you can.
Once you’ve removed most of the visible dirt, give your gutters a gentle wipe-down to help you see any trouble spots more easily.
2. Clear Clogged Downspouts
Don’t neglect your downspouts while you’re clearing the dirt from your gutters. While rinsing out your gutters with a hose, you may find that one or more of your downspouts won’t allow the water to flow through.
When this happens, there are a couple of tricks you can employ to get rid of the clog.
First, unscrew the gutter extension from the bottom of the downspout. Starting from the bottom, use a trowel or other tool to clear as much of the clog as you can. If necessary, tap the sides of the downspout to shake the clog loose.
Once you’ve removed most of the clog, let water from your hose run through the top of the downspout to wash the rest of the debris away.
If you have frequent issues with clogged gutters and downspouts, consider trimming back overhanging branches to reduce the amount of debris that falls into your gutter throughout the year.
3. Get Rid of Rust
Since the Louisville area gets rain year-round, there’s a lot of opportunity for your gutter system to experience water damage. When left unchecked, this can lead to unsightly rust spots that can affect the performance of your gutters over time.
If you catch the rust in a timely manner, there’s still time to save your gutters.
Start by sanding away all visible rust spots with sandpaper, a wire pad, or a wire brush. Once all the rust has been sanded away, clean and dry the affected area. Finally, cover the sanded area with a coat of primer and paint.
If the rust has damaged the gutters to the point where it has eaten holes through them, it’s unfortunately too late to save your existing gutters. While you might be able to cut out the affected area and patch it up, it might save time to simply replace the entire section of metal with new gutters.
4. Eliminate Mold
Increased moisture in the air leads to increased opportunities for mold growth, so keep an extra eye out in the springtime for mold and mildew spots on your gutters.
If you find any mold growth, spray it with a mixture of bleach and water. After letting the bleach mixture sit for a few minutes, scrub the mold spots. Continue as necessary until there are no more visible signs of mold on your gutters.
5. Patch Up Leaks
Some gutter leaks aren’t caused by corrosion of the metal. It’s not uncommon for seams to start leaking or for entire sections of your gutter to come loose.
If an entire section of the gutter has started sagging or come loose, you can reattach it and tighten the screws. If necessary, replace the hangers that held the section of the gutter in place.
If the issue is not an out-of-place gutter, but actual leaks through the metal, silicone or rubber caulk should do the trick. Get the affected gutters clean and dry, then spread the caulk on the leak. For extra protective power, apply a sealant on top of the caulk.
Note that this isn’t a permanent solution; it won’t fix damaged gutters forever, but you will be able to get an extra year or two with your existing gutters before you need to get a replacement. If you want to keep leaks from happening in the future, consider choosing seamless gutters for your next gutter installation.
6. Use Gutter Guards
If you’re looking for superior gutter protection with low maintenance requirements, consider taking the time to install gutter guards on your gutter system. This will keep most sizable debris out of your gutters, eliminating clogs and preventing birds and other creatures from making their homes inside your gutters.
When choosing the gutter guards for your home, keep a few things in mind. First, think about the kinds of debris that generally end up inside your gutters. For example, a regular screen gutter guard might not keep out pine needles and maple seeds, and if you commonly find these in your gutters, a micromesh gutter guard might do you more good.
Also, solid gutter guards will keep out all potential debris from your gutters, but they also won’t allow you to see inside your gutters, making it hard to know if you need to get in there and fix anything.
Finally, never use a gutter guard that requires you to install it under the edge of your roof, as this could void the warranty on your shingles or put you at risk of being denied insurance coverage for future roof damage. If you’re unsure of how to safely install gutter guards on your own, consider hiring an installation service to help you out.
Get the Cleanest Gutters in Louisville, KY
Use these six tips to guide your springtime gutter cleaning. From removing debris to scrubbing away mold, regular gutter maintenance will keep your gutters, roofing, and siding in peak shape for years to come.
Despite your best efforts, a full gutter replacement may be the best course of action if your current gutters are beyond repair. If you’re looking for a free inspection, exceptional service, and only the highest quality materials, look no further than Andes Roofing. We have everything you need to get the best gutters in Louisville, KY.
Interested in learning more about what we have to offer? Give us a call!