Buying a home for the first time is exciting, but it also means you suddenly have a bunch of new responsibilities that may never have crossed your mind as a renter. One important but often overlooked home responsibility is rain gutters. Your gutters are simple devices attached to the edge of your roof that collect rain water and debris, guiding it away from your home. This protects your siding, roof, and foundation from costly water damage. Here are the main things you need to keep in mind as a new homeowner:
Replace Old Gutters and Downspouts
If your home is older, there is a good chance the gutters and downspouts (the vinyl or plastic chutes that carry water from the gutters downward and away from your home) need to be replaced. Over time and exposure to the elements, gutters and downspouts can crack, break, and generally become much less watertight. Having new gutters and downspouts installed means starting with a fresh slate and not worrying about water damage or flooding when that first big rainstorm appears.
After the gutters are installed, simply inspect them a few times a year when you clean them out. If you notice any holes, rust, or other damage, schedule a repair right away. High-quality, seamless gutters are unlikely to show any damage for quite a long time, though.
Schedule Regular Gutter Cleaning Sessions
The best way to care for your gutters is to clean them out at least a couple of times a year, typically in the fall and spring. This gives you a chance to remove all the accumulated dead leaves and tree branches that will otherwise block the flow of water. Clogged gutters are not only less effective, but they can also attract pests. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves with a pair of sturdy gloves, a ladder, and a big trash bag. You can save time and avoid climbing up high by hiring a gutter installation service and maintenance company to handle this task for you.
Consider Adding Gutter Covers
If your property has a lot of trees, it may be worthwhile to have optional gutter covers added when your gutters are installed. These screens allow rainwater into the gutters while blocking out larger leaves and branches, keeping your gutters cleaner longer.
Adding basic gutter care and maintenance to your list of homeowner tasks is a simple way to gain peace of mind and protect your home from water damage.