Tips to Keep Gutters Clean in the Winter

Even if you did a methodical gutter cleaning in the fall, you might still need to perform some seasonal home maintenance to avoid costly repairs. Vancouver gutters have to deal with rain, snow, and very active windstorms. A lot might happen to a gutter system between the last time it was cleaned and now. Use these practical tips to keep gutters clean this winter. 64 words

Trim Branches

If the trees around the house close to the gutters and the siding haven’t been trimmed back recently, inspect them to see if they are near enough to drop bark, twigs, or bits of other debris into the gutter channels or on to the roof. Depending on the types of seeds, grass, small shrubs, and even trees can take root when silt or decaying organic materials are left unattended. Prune branches back so that they are at least 2.5 meters (8 feet) away from the gutters.

Remove Debris from Gutter Channels

Particularly after high volume rainstorms and windy days or a combination of both, it is important to check for debris buildup in your gutter system. If you find twigs, leaves, and pine cones gathered around the gutter outlet, remove the debris to allow water to flow into the downpipes. Also look for debris in the middle of the gutter channel for each horizontal run in the gutter system. After manually removing any clumps, use a garden hose to run water through the system. This will help rinse away any residual gunk that might cause problems in the future.

Keep Downspouts Clog-Free

If the gutters are fine and don’t need spot cleaning, it might still be beneficial to run water into the gutters and observe how it exits the downspouts. A mere trickle from out of the downpipes is most likely an indication that they are clogged somewhere along the length of the pipe. When you can’t see a clog at either the top of the downspout (the gutter outlet) or at the bottom (mouth), use a plumber’s auger to free any debris from the middle.

Is it Time to Hire Someone?

 Mid-winter inspect the gutters for any wear and tear. Assess the damage to decide if repairs should be done now or if they can wait until spring. Windstorms can loosen hardware on gutters and downspouts. Pounding rain might wear away sealant, causing leaks. DIY minor repairs on a day that’s not too wet or windy. When gutters are noticeably sagging, display obvious gaps, or have been dented, it’s probably time to call a gutter technician.