You probably don't think about your home's gutter system very often. After all, when your gutters are working as they should, it's pretty easy to forget they even exist. Still, your home's gutter system plays a very important role in keeping moisture away from your roof and the foundation of your home. Unfortunately, neglecting your gutters can lead to serious moisture problems down the road. By being aware of some common gutter mistakes homeowners make (and how to avoid them yourself), you can protect your home and save yourself from some headaches down the road.
Not Scheduling Regular Gutter Cleaning
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make with their gutters is simply not taking the time to have them cleaned as needed. Ideally, you should have your gutters cleaned by a professional; DIYing this project can be dangerous, especially if you have a two-story home. How often you should have your gutters cleaned will depend on a few factors, such as whether you have any tree branches hanging over your roof (and thus shedding debris frequently).
Another common misconception homeowners have is that if you have gutter guards, you'll never need to clean your gutters. While gutter guards do keep a lot of larger debris out of your gutter system, it's still a good idea to clean out the system of smaller debris at least once or twice a year.
Not Knowing When to Replace Gutter Systems
Your gutters should typically last about the same amount of time as your roof (about 15 years for a traditional shingle roof). However, it's important to be on the lookout for signs that your gutters may need to be replaced sooner. Some common "red flags" to watch for include:
- rust and corrosion
- water or mildew around your home's foundation
- visible sagging
- splits or cracks
Overlooking Gutter Color in a Replacement Job
When it does come time to replace your gutters, make sure to take the current color/paint scheme of your home into account. Ideally, your gutters should be the same color as your home's trim to achieve a seamless look. Choosing the wrong color could make your gutters stick out like a sore thumb, which can take away from your curb appeal.
By properly maintaining your gutters and replacing them as needed by a gutter installation service, you can protect your home from costly water damage and keep it looking its best for many years to come.