Keeping your home clean around the clock is a time- and energy-consuming endeavor, but if you want your home to look nice both inside and out, it’s also necessary. Though many homeowners groan at the notion of cleaning their gutters, doing so helps them last longer – and it protects your home. The tips below will help you do just that, and they’ll make your gutters look like new for many years to come, too.
Choose the Right Material for Your Climate and Home
Keeping your gutters looking like new starts with choosing the right gutter materials in the first place. Vinyl is versatile and comes in any color imaginable, including more contemporary options, but it isn’t the best option for a home in a climate that is extremely hot or cold all year since extreme temperatures can make the material brittle. On the other hand, stainless steel is a great choice for its unsurpassed durability, but because of its plain color, it is best for industrial applications.
Wash the Gutters Thoroughly
Most gutters are made of aluminum or vinyl, and others may be made of materials like steel or copper. No matter what your gutter is made of, it’s possible to give it a thorough cleaning to wash away dust, dirt, and even road grime that finds its way onto many surfaces outside. All you need is a soft bristle brush, warm water, and perhaps a mild soap for removing sap or animal droppings.
Apply a Protective Coating
Look into using protective coatings or covers that will help protect your gutters from the elements. Aluminum and steel can rust or corrode, and this leaves your gutters looking run-down. By applying a coating that adds an extra layer between your gutters and the outdoor elements, you can extend the time it takes for that corrosion to occur. Along those same lines, if you do notice rust or corrosion, make sure you treat any spots you see immediately. Once it starts, it spreads very quickly.
Use Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are tools that fit over or inside your gutters to keep debris of all sizes out without impeding the flow of water. You can find a huge variety of gutter guards with each one designed for a more specific purpose. Some will keep out leaves and twigs; others offer fine mesh that keeps out pine needles. Using them will prevent clogs that can weigh gutters down and cause serious sagging. Though sagging may not be noticeable up close, it certainly is noticeable from further away.
Clean Gutters Regularly
Even if you use gutter guards, and even if there are no trees anywhere in your general vicinity, you will still need to check and clean your gutters at least once a year just to be on the safe side. Cleaning debris from your gutters prevents the development of mold and mildew, keeps insects and other pets from moving in, and much like using gutter guards, it can also keep gutters in good condition by preventing unsightly sagging.
Your gutters are more than just an annoyance that you must clean every year to prevent clogs and damage. In fact, they help keep your roof, landscaping, sidewalks, lawn, and your entire home safe from water damage. If you follow the tips shown here, your gutters will look like new every single season for many years to come, regardless of the material you choose.