Five Tips For Maintaining Rain Gutters To Protect Your Home and Family

By Chris A. Harmen

Rain gutters are never at the top of the list when considering threats to a home or family safety, but a single leak may ultimately result in a cracked foundation, dangerous mold growth, or even fallen trees. Shallow-rooted evergreens are easily uprooted in waterlogged soil, potentially endangering your family and home. Water in basements or crawlspaces often causes mold and mildew growth, resulting in foul smells within the home and increasing the risk of respiratory illness. Soil erosion under foundations can lead to costly repairs. Properly maintaining rain gutters and gutter extensions is far more affordable than foundation repairs or medical bills. These tips can help protect your family’s health and the investment in your home.

1. Schedule Maintenance And Install Downspout Extensions

The first step to protecting your home and family is to create a regular maintenance schedule for rain gutters. Rain gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions should be cleaned out at least twice a year, and they should be checked for clogs frequently during autumn. Visually inspect rain gutters and gutter extensions for rust, holes, fungal growth, and splash marks. Installing downspout extensions allows homeowners to redirect water away from the home, vulnerable landscaping, and problem areas. Gutter extensions allow homeowners to pull water away from the home and deposit it 25 or 50 feet away, where it will not harm their property.

2. Consider Automatic Downspout Extensions

These are an excellent way to redirect water away from the home when there is a clear, straight path to a better place for all that water. Rollout downspout extensions stay neatly out of the way, unlike rigid plastic types. When rainfall begins, automatic downspout extensions unroll themselves while you stay warm and dry inside and move water far enough away from your home to help reduce the likelihood of soil erosion and damage to landscaping. When the rain stops, they roll themselves back up, ready for the next rainfall. Automatic downspout extensions are available in 4- to 9-foot lengths, making it easy to customize them to suit your unique layout.

3. Install Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are installed on top of rain gutters to prevent clogs from leaves, pine needles and other debris. These are especially useful if you have large deciduous trees nearby that drop their leaves, frequently clogging rain gutters and causing spillovers that may lead to soil erosion or mold growth.

4. Seal Leaks With Gutter Seal

There is no need to replace an entire section of gutter to repair small leaks. When a leak is identified, clean the problem area thoroughly and simply apply Gutter Seal. These adhesive gutter liner strips can also be used to reinforce seams and corners to prevent future leaks.

5. Inspect & Reposition Splash Blocks

Splash blocks are the concrete or plastic ramps found in many yards, under downspouts. As water strikes the splash block, the block can be pushed down or out of position, allowing water to flow under the foundation or into crawl spaces. This is a heavy, messy job, which is why flexible downspout extensions are better choices for rainwater control.

Regular maintenance and the installation of downspout extensions may be all that is needed to protect your family and your home from water damage caused by undirected rainwater.

Rainguard Corporation provides valuable information about how to protect against erosion and water damage with regular maintenance, downspout extensions, and gutter guards.

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