When there’s a break in the weather like today, this is a good time to check the gutters, just to see how they’re holding up. A quick inspection now might save you time and money later. Here are some ways to avoid making these common mistakes when inspecting the gutters for clogs or damage.
Ladder Placement and Safety
It might have stopped raining for a while, but the ground where you need to set up the ladder might still be damp. Make sure the ground is even, relatively dry, and won’t interfere with or bring you too close to power lines. Don’t lean the ladder directly against the gutters.
Use basic ladder safety precautions including, no overreaching, 3-point body contact when climbing up or down, no standing on toes, and avoid standing on the top rung.
Not Wearing Proper Gear
It’s just a quick trip up the ladder to have a look – there’s no gutter cleaning involved, right? Don’t take any chances. Wear gloves to protect your hands from scratches and germs. Wear proper shoes that will grip the ladder or roof surface, preventing you from slipping.
Missing the Obvious
If you’ve recently had the gutters cleaned or you intend to check inside the gutters, you might see some loose debris but no clumps or clogs. Unfortunately, you’re missing the obvious. Check for debris buildup around gutter outlets; if any, remove it so that water flows freely through the downspouts.
Take the Required Action
When inspecting the gutter system, you are looking for:
- debris buildup in the gutter channel and around gutter outlets
- cracked sealant and/or gaps where sections are joined together
- holes in aluminum gutters or cracks in vinyl gutters
- pooling water underneath downpipes or gutter sections
After inspecting the gutter system, take the required action. Debris should be removed before it forms clogs. Seams need new caulking and holes or cracks repaired. There are a number of reasons for pooling water such as blocked downpipes or overflowing gutters – the source of the problem will need investigating before it can be fixed.