Spring is the Time to Check Your Gutters
Daylight Savings time changes this Saturday night, spring is close. Something that should be on a homeowner’s and property manager’s radar this time of year, gutters! Following are some things I’ve learned either from my own home, or in my years of house checks:
Spring means rain…. and things associated with rain should be on our radar. Let’s start at the top and work our way down. Gutters should be cleaned to remove leaf litter from late fall. We had a very late leaf drop this year so even if you had your gutters cleaned last fall you should do so again, ASAP.
Often overlooked are the elbows at the downspouts. I can tell you these are often clogged. So even if the gutters are clean, if the downspouts will not carry the water away, you will potentially have problems. They should be checked to make sure they are open. Tapping on them with a screwdriver will tell you. You will hear either a hollow empty sound or a dull thud when tapping on them. Hollow good, thud bad! Hollow they can be left alone, a thud means it needs to be disassembled and cleaned.
Next the runaways from the house need to be adequate in length to make sure the water does not flow back toward the house. Gutters, downspouts, and run aways are relatively inexpensive to have installed vs the cost of water damage a poorly functioning system can cause.
Grates on drives and catch basins are ripe for becoming clogged with leaf litter. When spring clean up is being done, these should be cleared, and looked into to make sure they are not filled with accumulating dirt and debris. Some of the flat covers with slits in them are vulnerable to being covered with leaves etc. when rains come. If this happens, where applicable, consider replacing with a raised dome to cover the drain. Much less likely to fail in the same way flat covers do.