8 Gutter Mistakes That You’ll Pay for Later
At Gutterworks, we are committed to helping homeowners maintain the integrity of their homes. Our experience has taught us that gutter care is not something everyone has expertise to handle. The mistakes we identify below are mistakes we have seen homeowners and even other gutter companies commit, so we share them to prevent homeowners from making risky choices in the future. Keep reading for eight gutter-related mistakes that could end up costing you:
1) Not cleaning your gutters regularly
Your gutters collect water from your roof, but that’s not all. Over time, debris from your roof, pests, and nearby trees piles up in your gutters and can cause serious issues. The saying “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” does not apply in this situation. If you wait for a sign from your gutters that they need to be cleaned, it’s likely too late to avoid expensive damage. You may not notice that your gutters can no longer drain effectively until there is water damage inside your home. Only then will you be able to tell that collecting debris caused water to overflow and penetrate your home. Instead of waiting for a sign, take matters into your own hands and make sure you schedule your gutter cleanings. At Gutterworks, we suggest twice a year, at least, and Lowe’s agrees.
2) Incorrect gutter guard installation
Gutter guards are a great way to cut down on the need for intensive gutter cleaning, especially if you live in an area with mature trees nearby. However, if you choose the wrong gutter guards or if they get installed incorrectly, your reliance on something that you thought would help your home combat water damage might backfire.
3) Pressure washing your gutters
A pressure washer is a homeowner’s best friend - until they try to use it to clean their gutters or roof. A pressure washer’s power is certainly strong enough to clean algae and unwanted marks off your roof, but it’s also strong enough to strip the granules from your shingles, leaving them thin and unprotected. It can even blow shingles from your roof entirely. Using a pressure washer to clean out your gutters is also ill-advised. A pressure washer could exacerbate any vulnerabilities your gutters already have with sagging, separation, or corrosion.
4) Ignoring safety precautions
If you like to “do it yourself,” then you are well-versed in what it takes to do routine home maintenance. At Gutterworks, we value precautionary safety above all else. We blogged about ladder safety here. Not using the proper equipment for gutter maintenance can be costly - not only for the Emergency Room visit if you have an accident.
5) Using a leaf blower to clean your gutters
Using a leaf blower this fall to clear out downspouts and gutters may seem like a quick way to remove debris from your gutters, but is not as effective as an actual gutter cleaning. When you blow leaves out of your gutters, the debris becomes airborne – and may land on your roof or elsewhere in your gutters. You also risk sending allergens from your gutters into the air, subjecting you and your family to another brief “allergy season.” Regardless, using a leaf blower as a shortcut almost always costs you more time in the long run, and leaves you with half-clean gutters.
6) Trying to install gutters yourself if you’re not a professional
In today’s world, you can find information on how to do almost any home project on the internet. Sometimes too much information can be a bad thing, though. Beginners should simply not tackle certain projects, and at Gutterworks, we firmly believe that gutter installation is one of those projects. Gutter installation is more technical than meets the eye, and there are countless ways your project could go wrong. A bigger issue is that you may not know your gutter project didn’t succeed until it’s too late and you observe water damage.
7) Timing your gutter cleaning incorrectly
As long as you clean your gutters, it doesn’t matter when you do it. Right? Wrong. If you clean your gutters once a year or less, the timing of your cleaning matters tremendously! If you clean your gutters more often, you have a little more wiggle room. We recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year: once in the early spring and once in the late fall. If you don’t clean them in the early spring, they may be ill-prepared for the heavy rains we usually expect during the height of spring and occasionally in the summer. If you miss a late fall cleaning, leaves and other fall debris will sit in your gutters throughout the winter, impeding drainage and breaking down into a sludge that will be harder to deal with later.
8) Not choosing Gutterworks for your gutter needs!
You can trust our experienced professionals at Gutterworks to guide you in making all your gutter decisions. We want to empower you with the knowledge and know-how to tackle projects you can handle, and know you can count on us to handle the rest! Reach out to us at (304)848-9870 to get all of your gutter needs taken care of!