Reports are slowly trickling in from residents of the Twin Cities with northern cabins and vacation getaways: fall is just around the corner! Although we would all like to enjoy these last warm days of summer, it is important to look forward to the next month to schedule out important home maintenance tasks. Today, we would like to focus on the importance of maintaining the gutters on your home.
Minnesota can be tough on gutters
Taking care of your gutters can be a grueling task and for homeowners who cannot easily or safely climb to the required height, it is also an easy task to ignore. Many Twin Cities residents look up at the gutters atop their two story homes and hope that nothing will go wrong. Unfortunately, with ice buildup in the winter and severe storms in the summer, the chances are high that your gutters will require an annual or bi-annual cleaning. The question is: how do you know when it is time?
Signs of damaged/clogged gutters
The primary function of any gutter system and downspouts is to divert water runoff from the roof away from your foundation and roof eaves. Visually inspect your gutters for:
- Backed up water (overflowing gutters)
- Separation from the roof
An undetected gutter problem can eventually cause problems to your foundation or promote rot and deterioration to your roof decking, fascia, and sometimes siding. A quick visual inspection of your gutters on a monthly basis (or at least during a rainfall) can save you from costly repairs in the future.
What to do if you notice damage
Some gutters can be easily repaired. A clogged gutter merely requires thorough cleaning in order to begin functioning properly once more. (A more permanent fix may include installing a specially designed leaf guard onto the system.) Cracked or broken gutters may require more extensive repairs or a full replacement.
Whenever working with a gutter system, it is important to pay attention to safety first. Single-story homes are easily tended to with a stable ladder and a familiarity with safety regulations and practices. For multiple-storied homes, it is recommended to call in a professional contractor for gutter repair and replacement. Services to clean or repair gutters are minimal in comparison with medical bills associated with an injury sustained by a DIY-minded homeowner.
Professional Help in the Twin Cities
For more information on the gutter repair and replacement options available to homeowners in the Twin Cities metro area, contact Midwest Exteriors. We service the home improvement needs of homeowners in Maple Grove, Plymouth, and the surrounding area.
Originally published: April 18, 2013
Information updates: August 31, 2015