While you might not think about them much or hardly notice them on the exterior of your home, your gutters have an important job. By collecting rainwater and carrying to a series of downspouts where it can pour harmlessly onto your lawn, the gutters are keeping moisture away from the roof where it could cause damage. Given their value to your home, it's important that you take a proactive role in helping them work properly. Here are three simple jobs that you can either perform on your own or hire a licensed contractor to handle for you.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
Homeowners who don't bother with cleaning their gutters will often encounter roofing problems. Over time, your gutters will get clogged with leaves and other plant matter; eventually, these blockages prevent the flow of water and the water will be able to seep under the bottom edge of the room. It's imperative to have your gutters cleaned consistently. The general rule to keep in mind is to schedule this important task for twice every year. However, there are times that you'll need to get the job done more frequently – for example, if you have a significant number of trees in your yard that shed a lot of leaves.
Cover Your Gutters With Gutter Guards
The installation of gutter guards can be an effective way to keep the gutters clean without having to empty them repeatedly. Many gutter services can do this work for you after removing the leaves and other debris. Gutter guards are screen-like shields that are attached to the tops of the gutters. This design means that the rainwater can flow off the roof and into the gutters but that leaves and other bulky objects will be blocked. In most cases, the use of gutter guards means that you won't have to have the gutters cleaned.
Trim Back Tree Branches
If you have trees near your home, it's important to check to see how far the branches extend. Branches can be detrimental to the health of your gutters; they can dent the gutters, lift the gutters off your home and otherwise impede the flow of water. Trim back any branches that are growing toward the gutters and make a point of consistently checking your trees to see if newer branches are growing in the area. Performing this job has a double advantage, as tree branches can also cause damage to your roofing shingles.