Too often, homeowners forget about yearly maintenance of the home in favor of waiting for something to break before fixing it. However, catching problems while they’re small may cut down significantly on cost and even help avoid the need for total replacement of various home features.
Safety is Job Number One
You may certainly put on your do-it-yourself hat to inspect the gutters on your home, but remain aware of the dangers of such inspections. Although it may sound dire to suggest it, falls are one of the major causes of death in and around the home, as well as at commercial businesses.
According to a report by the University of Maine at Augusta:
Falls are one of the leading causes of death in and around a residence and many commercial industries. According to the National Safety Council, over 6,000 people die from falls each year, and many times that number suffer severe or disabling injuries. Causal factors range from slipping on icy surfaces, falling down stairs, falling off roofs, and falling off ladders. More than 30,000 people are injured annually as a result of falls involving ladders.
It’s likely that many of the people injured or killed while using ladders were trying to hang holiday lights, but the danger exists any time a ladder is used to inspect the gutters. If you’re not extremely confident on a ladder and unafraid of heights, it’s best to call in a professional for a quick inspection.
Remember these safety tips if you decide to mount that ladder on your own:
- Ensure the ladder’s feet are on stable ground
- Have a family member or friend spot you for safety
- Don’t inspect during inclement weather like rain or snow
What to Do Between Inspections
Conventional wisdom suggests getting most areas around the home inspected at least once a year, which is usually sufficient for the gutters on your home. However, the gutters need attention more often than their once or twice yearly inspection.
Does your home sit beneath some beautiful trees? Your gutters might fill with an extraordinary amount of leaves in the fall. Don’t allow those leaves to decompose, clog, and rot inside the gutters. Take the opportunity to get the gutters cleaned before the winter begins.
Tip: If you experience a particularly harsh winter or a nasty storm rolls through the region, you’ll want to consider getting an early inspection of your roof to rule out damage caused by the storm.
What an Inspection May Find
A gutter might not seem like it needs to be repaired if you take a quick look at it from the ground, and you might not realize you have gutter problems and need new gutters until you wake up one morning with a flooded basement, water streaming down the interior walls, or a leak in the roof.
Gutters help direct water away from your home’s foundation, and when they’re cracked, clogged, or broken they won’t perform this simple service. Even if you’ve been diligent in getting your gutters cleaned, an inspection of your home’s gutters could find cracks in the joints, bends in the metal, and rust holes.
Remember: Clogged gutters age faster. Enhance the lifespan of your gutters by keeping them clear of leaves and debris.
Need New Gutters?
Don’t take the risk of living with old windows and doors. Contact Builders & Remodelers today for information on how you can improve the security of your home through exterior renovations.