Your gutters might’ve been designed to take a beating, but they might be overlooked. A solid gutter system efficiently protects a household’s other structures, prevents water damage and reduces rooftop grime accumulation. That said, a poorly maintained gutter system will eventually fail—draining unwanted water, sludge and even trash into a house’s soil foundation. It’s important to know how to maintain your gutter system, and it’s important to follow the rules below to ensure optimum performance.


Rule One: Ensure Placement Tightness


Above all else, you should constantly check your gutter system’s tightness against the house. Loose screws will result in a gutter system being pulled from a house’s wooden sides, requiring roof repair over the horizon. If gaps are left, other roof and wall materials might similarly degrade. Always check your gutter system’s hangars, and secure it when anything comes loose.


Rule Two: Clear the System


Few things damage a gutter system like blocked-up trash. To maintain your gutters across all seasons, you should routinely “flush” the system with a hose. Sometimes, rainless weeks can skew a homeowner’s idea about what’s blocked and what’s not. By doing a routine hose check-up, you can ensure minor kinks and blocks can be removed before major problems occur.


Rule Three: Patch Any Small Holes with Roofing Cement


Sure, it might be a small water dribble, but you should absolutely target problem areas before damages become severe. Patch small gaps, holes and tears with roofing cement. Then, use a putty knife to spread excess cement away. Always conduct a roofing cement job on a warm day, as warm temperatures assist with material spread.


Rule Four: Check for Sagging Areas


Sometimes, a gutter system’s loose aluminum areas sag. While the process may be subtle, it’s important to catch. Sagging gutters, eventually, become split gutters. You’ll need to check for signs of internal standing water. To do so, use a level. Check the slope, and target any areas drooping approximately one-fourth of an inch. If you find any areas, target the brackets and tighten them. If this fails to work, replace the brackets altogether.


Rule Five: Gently Scrape Out Standing Material


Sometimes, excess material “sticks” to gutters. When this happens, excess grime buildup deteriorates the gutter system’s foundation. It’s important to scrape away this excess grime—and it’s important to do so regularly. Once you’ve checked for leaks, check your gutter’s open-mouth portion. Use a high-pressure nozzle to scrape away standing grime.


Prevention is vital to your home’s gutter health. By caring for them frequently, examining them for problems and being proactive, you can assure long-term stability.