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Gutter Problems: Tips to Fix Common Problems

Everyone knows autumn is one of the two times a year when it’s important to clean your gutters. They will need to be clear and in good working order before the snow to prevent any water damage from compromising the structural integrity of your home.

  • Clogs. Unless you have an unusually tall house or are unable to safely climb a ladder, you can save money by doing it yourself. Once you think you’ve freed all the blockages, run a hose to flush out anything left and to make sure the water flows freely through them.
  • Leaks. Small holes and leaks can easily and inexpensively be fixed with gutter sealant. It’s a good idea to use sealant around every joint, regardless if there’s a current leak or not. If a larger hole has developed, you’ll need to patch it using a kit from the hardware store.
  • Sagging. Before you install new mounting brackets, make sure the wood behind the gutter hasn’t rotted. If it has, you’ll need to call in a professional. Generally speaking, floating hangers are usually more secure than spike hangers. Both are relatively cheap.
  • Downspouts draining too close to the house. To avoid water draining into the basement, downspouts will need to extend several feet from the house. Luckily, gutter extensions are easy to install and again, an inexpensive solution to protect your home from the elements.
  • Ice dams. If we’re in for another snowy winter as predicted by the Farmer’s Almanac, this one will be especially important. Make sure you have the appropriate insulation and ventilation in your attic to avoid the roof becoming too hot. Heated cables and roof rakes can also help prevent the dams from forming.

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