Many homeowners pay little or no attention to their roof gutters until they notice an issue after heavy rainfall. However, roof gutters are important parts of the roofing system. So, just like other valuables, they must be regularly serviced. Besides, cleaning or maintenance, and repairing roof gutters are vital to the lifespan of the available roofing system and building.
They are one of the essential components in the modern-day roofing system. It’s understandable that not so many people know how to clean and repair roof gutters. Thus, the reason for this article. Stay glued!
Roof gutters are the horizontal metal parts of a roofing system installed along the roof’s eave edges to allow water to flow down the roof. They are specifically designed to stop water from dripping down from the roofing system to the walls of the building.
Generally, roofing a house requires some technical skills and ideas to construct a long-lasting and safe roof properly. That is why roof gutters are made of different quality materials like steel, cast iron, aluminum, and many more metallic materials.
Allowing leaves, debris, and other unsafe materials to accumulate and clog the roof gutters prevents water from flowing down the roof. Standing or stagnant water that doesn’t flow down the roof absorbs atmospheric oxygen and rusts or wears out the roof. Plus, the roof could start having leaks in the process, reducing the lifespan of the roof.
To carry out the process of maintaining and cleaning your roof gutters, you’ll need some basic equipment. Some of them include:
You don’t need to be an expert or skillful personnel in cleaning and repairing gutters. Anyone can do it. Unlike roof repairs where you need a professional, cleaning roof gutters doesn’t. The only people advised not to clean roof gutters are older adults or people with health conditions.
The cleaning process involves basic hygienic cleansing, scrubbing unwanted materials, waste, and filth from the gutter. Below are tips on how to clean and maintain roof gutters:
Roof gutters could be cleaned at least twice a year depending on environmental factors and the weather conditions. However, if you notice unusual leaks, you’ll need to clean and repair the gutters.
Also, you always ensure you’re practicing safety when engaging in the cleaning process. Avoid wearing any unsafe or slippery footwear; rather, use protective footwear. Always protect your hands with gloves, eyes with face masks, and other safety apparatus.
In addition to the tips for maintaining and cleaning roof gutters, the roofing system needs to be constructed with quality materials. The functionality of your roof gutters is determined by the chemical make-up of the resistance the material offers to harsh environmental conditions.
Sometimes, it’s not just debris causing your gutters not to work properly. In some cases, you’ll need to repair the roof gutters. Below are steps to follow to repair roof gutters:
Fix up any small crack or hole in your gutters and downspouts using a gutter patching kit.
Use a stainless-steel wire brush to get rid of peeling paint or rust in the gutters. Afterward, cover the scraped area with an anti-rust paint or rust treatment solution and allow it to dry. Then, apply a slightly thick layer of roof cement or gutter repair cement to the area.
To prevent a dam from forming, flatten and smoothen the edges of the cement. After that, cover the area with strips of heavy aluminum foil while the cement is still wet. Finally, lightly press down the patch with a dry cloth.
Ensure you overlap the patch material in the direction of the water flow when joining them together. Then, carefully cement the edges together to prevent liquid from leaking at the seam. This procedure will help maximize drainage speed.
To replace the gutter sections, remove all the gutter hangers around the damaged area using a pry bar or screwdriver, depending on your gutter type. Next, place a 4″ x 4″ woodblock inside the gutter to prevent it from becoming misshaped when you apply pressure.
Take out the faulty gutter section using a hacksaw and cut a new section on each side that is 2″ longer than damaged area for overlap. Use a stainless-steel wire brush to scrub the inner edges of the existing gutter. Caulk the inner area about 2″ in on the bottom and sides using a gutter caulk.
Then, place the new piece in the center of the old gutter so that the caulk is covered on both ends and press it in. Finally, rivet or screw the pieces together, caulking over exposed screws. Don’t forget to reattach the gutter hangers when you’re done.
During the first installation of your gutters, they dropped at approximately 1/16″ for each gutter foot. Ensure the drips are still there; else, you’ll have to readjust the pitch of your gutters. Use a level and chalk to take reading and record the slope of your gutters.
Alternatively, you can pour a bucket of water into the gutter and observe the flow to check the pitch. The pitch is correct if it flows without leaving any water in the gutter. However, any low or high spots can be corrected by slightly bending the hanger that supports the gutter. You may need to add extra gutter hangers to lower or raise the gutter slope at any given point.
The last thing to do is install gutter guards and screens to prevent the gutters from getting filled up with debris. You can install an aluminum gutter screen or a metal gutter guard. Gutter guards extend across the entire width of the gutter, allowing water to enter while leaves and foreign materials fall off the side.
It’s necessary always to keep your roof gutters clean and repair them when need be. Installing gutter guards, for instance, will prevent your gutters from clogging even during the worst storms. If you need a professional hand to handle your roof gutter repair, you can visit us at 118-35 Queens Blvd Forest Hills, NY, or contact us on 11375 (718) 414 – 6067 https://www.nycrenovators.com/.