It takes a real pro to help install an effective gutter system that helps to defend your home against water and moisture. Proper gutter maintenance isn’t difficult or time-consuming, but it is an ongoing task that should not be ignored.
Old gutters need love, too!
During regular maintenance, it is not uncommon to come across other issues that need to be addressed. Below, you will find four tips for dealing with old gutters and maintaining new ones. And if you need the help of a gutter professional, be sure to check the contractor’s online reputation prior to signing a contract.
Tip 1 – Replacing Hangers
- Hangers are the brackets used to attach the gutter to the fascia of the house. In some cases, it is necessary to replace gutter hangers.
- Remove old hangers by unhooking them from the lip of the gutter and then unscrew them from under the shingles of the roof. Remove and install one hanger at a time.
- The installation begins with hooking the hanger to the lip of the gutter. The next step is using the drill to screw the hanger into the fascia and into the rafter board behind it.
- Gutter hangers should be installed fairly close together. To prevent sagging, most experts recommend spacing the hangers about two feet apart.
Tip 2 – Spikes
- Most gutter systems consist of long spikes that run through the tubular sleeves, and ferrules (spacers). Over time, the spikes have a tendency to work free from the fascia and the rafter behind it.
- Take the time to securely fasten the gutters to prevent future problems and provide peace of mind. Include this as part of your annual gutter inspection and gutter maintenance.
Tip 3 – Leaky Joints
- A drippy gutter is more than just annoying – it can cause water problems around the foundation of your home. If the spike pulls free from the fascia of the house or the gutter, the gutter can sag, and in some instances, it may even pull completely free and fall to the ground. It’s important to repair the spike hole and replace the spike as soon as possible.
- Matching the material of the gutter is important. Please note: Silicone caulk can also be used to repair leaky gutter joints.
Tip 4. Safety
Regardless of anything else, always put your safety first. Make sure the ladder you are using is the right kind for the job and that you place it on a flat, stable surface. The ladder should be “locked” or secured to prevent movement.
Always face the ladder when you are climbing up or down. Both feet should be on the ladder – don’t place one foot on the roof and one on the ladder. Keeping old gutters in good shape isn’t difficult, but it can be dangerous. Take safety seriously.
By Debbie Allen
If you have a tip that will help others maintain their gutters, please share it below.