Mid-January Gutter Inspection

Wind, rain, sleet and snow can adversely impact your home’s exterior. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as a fallen tree or caved-in siding. This mid-January, take advantage of any break in the weather to check for dings, dents and other kinds of damage that could eventually become a big problem before winter is over.


Make sure there are no sagging or missing gutter sections. Wind, snow and heavy rain can shake things loose and weigh gutters down. Examine brackets, screw and nails to ensure they are not rusted, loosened or missing.

Also, ensure there is no debris buildup in the gutter channel. Even if you recently had the gutters cleaned, winds can toss some strange things into a gutter system, causing water to backup and/or overflow.


Downspouts should still be securely fastened to the house. Brackets must hold the downpipe in place without any side-to-side movement.

To check for blockages, look in three places – the top of the downspout where it connects to the gutters; the bottom or mouth; and inside in the middle. The first two places can be checked visually; to check inside for any debris buildup, you might need to pour water into the downspout either with a garden hose or a bucket. If the water just trickles out of the downpipe, it’s mostly like due to a clog situated in the middle of the downspout.


Particularly now that it’s most likely still damp, avoid walking on the roof. Using binoculars visually inspect for damaged roofing shingles, missing roof tiles, and loose shingles.

Stormy weather can leave behind excess moisture – check for water damage. Look for rot, mold or rust on walls where the roof and wall meet. Examine flashings for rust streaks.


Siding can take a real beating during the winter months. Signs the building envelope has been compromised include dents, scratches or holes. Missing or severely damaged siding panels should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.