Gutter maintenance is a vital part of homeownership, but did you ever realize that it’s also a crucial component of caring for your home’s siding? It’s true – letting your gutters overflow with leaves and other debris can be directly responsible for wear and tear on your siding, as well as significant interior damage to your home.
Of course, there’s also more to gutter care than simply digging out those masses of dead leaves. If your home’s siding doesn’t seem to be holding up to the elements as well as it should be, it may be that you’re missing some of these key maintenance steps. Here are 5 things you should be doing to care for your gutters and your siding.
1. Bust Clogged Gutters
During the fall, and often during the spring as well, homeowners tend to remember that their gutters are due to be cleaned, so they get out the ladder and start chucking the debris. This is a great first step in gutter maintenance, but many homeowners forget about another part of their gutter structure – the downspouts.
Just like cleaning out the upper gutter paths, it’s vital that you clean out your downspouts at least once or twice a year. Your downspouts aren’t any help in draining water away from your roof if the water can’t get down them due to all the leaves, sticks, and pinecones lodged inside. Without clear downspouts, your gutters might overflow or fill with ice. When water frequently drips down your exterior siding, there is a distinct possibility that you may develop leaks inside the home. These leaks may cause damage to paint and wallpaper and may also cause mold and mildew to develop in the home.
Your downspouts may also fail to function properly if the rest of your gutter system is not properly pitched. Gutters need to point towards the downspouts in order for water to flow into these passageways. The angle shouldn’t be extreme, but it does need to offer a direction for rainwater to flow in.
2. Don’t Rely On Gutter Covers
Some people buy gutter covers, which consist of grates or screens, as well as a porous foam component, in order to avoid regular gutter maintenance. Unfortunately, these folks are in for a rude awakening when the guards get blocked and cease to function properly.
With gutter covers you won’t end up with a load of leaves inside your gutters and you’re less likely to have downspouts troubles. However, you’ll still need to clear all of the leaves and other plant matter from the gutter covers to keep them from weighing down your gutters, causing them to pull away from the house. Gutter covers also cost a pretty penny, often more than the gutters themselves.
3. Check Your Connections
When on the roof, cleaning out the gutters, most homeowners are pretty eager to get their feet back on solid ground – but don’t climb off the ladder just yet. Make sure that as part of your regular gutter cleaning, you check all of the connections between your gutters and your home siding. Broken connections can increase the stress on certain areas of siding, which can pull them away from the house, damaging siding and creating major leaks.
If you’re unsure of what to look for in terms of gutter connectors, it may be wise to hire a professional who can spot problems. Because gutter care is such a vital part of home maintenance, it’s important not to skimp on the details. The cost to get these preventative jobs done right is far less than the cost to replace your gutters, roof, and siding.
4. Watch The Water
One way to gauge the state of your gutters – and a strategy that will keep you off the roof for now – is to wait for a rainy day and watch how your gutters respond. Water should be flowing freely from the downspouts and not flowing from holes in the gutters or overflowing from the sides. If you spot water coming from places other than the downspouts, it’s time to check for holes up close, and then caulk or fill them to prevent the water from running along the siding.
Additionally, it’s important to check where rainwater goes when it reaches the end of downspouts. The appropriate ending distance from the home may be as much as five feet from the base of the house in especially wet regions. Water should drain away from the foundation of the home, as continuous draining near the base of the house can cause water damage inside.
5. Don’t Skimp On Repairs And Replacements
Eventually, whether you’ve cared for your gutters with full rigor and attention or not, the time will come when they need to be replaced. This can be a critical home care moment. If you want to avoid leaks, siding damage, and other gutter-related problems, you’ll need to invest in quality gutters, as well professional installation. Proper gutter installation is vital, and it should not be a DIY project.
If you live in an especially rainy area, in addition to quality gutters, you may want to invest in top-notch siding like Hardieplank. Hardieplank Siding is made from fiber cement, a combination of cement and cellulose. It comes in a variety of colors and designs and stands up to environmental wear and tear like heavy rains more readily than other kinds of siding. What you cover your home in – gutters, roof, and siding – will all make a difference in whether your home leaks, rots, and grows mold or keeps you dry and warm.
If gutter problems have damaged your home’s siding, you’ll need professional help to make things right. At Tulsa Renew, we believe that your home deserves the best. Contact us today to discuss options and pricing. Our highly experienced team of home care professionals is committed to providing you with only the highest quality home products on the market as well as efficient and attentive installation and maintenance. No job is too small or too big for Tulsa Renew.