There are few household chores that homeowners dread more than cleaning out their gutters—yet gutters left to gather dirt and debris can eventually lead to major roofing problems, structural breaches, problems at the house’s foundation, mold and mildew, and even erosion to the landscaping. As such, taking the time to clean out the gutters, at least a couple times a year, is certainly better than the alternative.

Fall is an especially important time to make sure your gutters are clean, and ready to withstand the rigors of winter. A few basic tips on Gutter Maintenance 101 for homeowners—those who don’t have gutter protection systems installed, anyway—are as follows:

  • First and foremost, make sure you’re thinking about your own safety. You would be amazed at how many injuries are caused each year when well-meaning homeowners fall from their ladders; this is why more and more of us invest in gutter guards. Make sure you check your ladder to ensure its sturdiness. We also recommend wearing thick gloves and protective eyewear.
  • Scoop out all the debris and dirt in your gutters, and scrape out any goop or residue that has accumulated. Pay special attention to the downspouts; clogs here will have the biggest impact.
  • Spray down your gutters, both to clean them and to look for potential leaks. If you spot any leaks, you can likely fill them with some silicone sealer from the hardware store.
  • Also pay attention to areas where the gutter brackets may have come undone from the home; you can buy new ones to re-attach the gutters quite affordably and easily.

Of course, we might also recommend simply calling professionals—a more expensive solution, but ultimately safer and more likely to address any and all potential issues. However you approach it, we do recommend that all homeowners make sure they look after their gutters as we head into the fall season!

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