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How to Fix and Maintain Your Rain Gutters

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0
Clean gutters keep the roof healthy.
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsofan/2903371548/

When not attached to a tree, leaves love to gather in rain gutters, which is why gutter-cleaning professionals recommend that home owners clean them out at least twice a year - unless those same homeowners enjoy spending time on ladders or the roof cleaning out and fixing gutters.

There are basic steps that anyone can do to both fix and maintain gutters, according to doityourself.com.  

Keep them clean, keep them happy.

Avoid being the creepy house on the block.
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skrubu/6029808304/

Anyone living in a wooded area should check gutters and downspouts frequently, especially after big storms, to make sure they aren't overflowing with leaves, tree limbs, and all kinds of debris. Houses on lots that are not especially tree-filled can check the gutters and downspouts twice a year, generally around spring and fall. When checking a gutter, collect any and all debris from the gutter by hand or with a shovel/trowel. Or, anyone feeling a little more enthused about cleaning out the gutters can get on the roof with a leaf blower and send all of the gutter's collections into the air and onto the ground.

To clean out a clogged downspout, haul out a garden hose and give the downspout a good blast. A hanger or plumber's snake can reach any hard-to-remove debris.

A little patching goes a long way.

Keep the gutters in shape and keep the water flowing.
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blhphotography/484353297/

After the gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, spray them with a hose to remove any remaining dirt and debris. This also provides homeowners with a chance to see if there are any leaks anywhere in the system. If there are any holes, use premixed cement to seal the holes. Spread the cement with a putty knife and smooth away excess to make sure that the water runs smoothly through the gutter. Silicone caulking can also be used to prevent further cracks or splits found on the gutter.

Another way to fix a broken gutter is to use a cut metal sheet to place over the hole. Make sure the metal is the same type as whatever the gutter is made of. Use roofing cement at either end of the metal sheet to fix the metal to the gutter and ensure a smooth passageway for water to flow.

Here's the pitch to fixing the angle of the dangle.

Battle complicated gutter situations with ease.
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Gutters that are installed improperly often times don't work correctly because the pitch is wrong. Because gutter sizes vary the pitch needs to be accurate. Gutters should be installed with a drop of one-sixteenth of an inch for every foot of length of the gutter.

To make sure a gutter is set properly dump water into it and watch it flow. If there is any pooling within the gutter, then it is pitched improperly.

Bend the hanger that supports the gutter with a set of pliers to move it up or down to fix the pitch. Remember that gutter hangers come in two forms: strap hanger and bracket hanger. The strap hanger supports the gutter by wrapping underneath the gutter. The strap is then attached to the top and nailed to the sheathing under the edge of the roof. Bracket hangers are nailed/screwed underneath the eave of the roof to the fascia.

Go with the flow.

Clean gutters and downspouts keep that water flowing.
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zooboing/4483807927/

Properly cleaned and maintained gutters and downspouts allow for rainwater to flow seamlessly off the roof, into the gutter, down the downspout and out into the yard without a problem. Keeping an eye on gutters and downspouts is one of the best ways to maintain the two to keep them in good working condition.

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