When it’s summer in Vancouver the last thing you probably want to do is check your gutters. But now that the weather is nice, it’s the perfect time. If you do end up needing to call a gutter professional, they won’t be as busy during the summer months as they will be after the rain returns (and you won’t have to wait as long).
The gutters should be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a year; twice or more when there are trees growing near the house. If you didn’t clean the gutters this spring, it should be done first. Pick a day; plan to do the chore in the morning, or early afternoon if you’ll be mostly in the shade; get a helper or two. Once the gutters are gunk-free, give the gutter system a detailed inspection. Look for following problems and fix them yourself or hire a gutter professional before they become expensive problems.
Leaks – Most leaks occur where gutter sections are joined together. With a garden hose, make water flow through the channels like it would if it was raining and take note of any leakage. Apply sealant to leaking seams.
Blockages – When checking for blockages that can cause overflow, don’t overlook the downspouts. Place the hose at the top of the downspout where it connects to the gutters and run water through it. If it’s just trickling from the end of the downpipe, check at the top of the downspout and at its elbow, the two most likely areas where clogs occur. If flushing out the clog doesn’t work, you might have to remove the downspout at the elbow.
Damaged Sections – If gutter sections have become severely rusted, dented or loosened, they should be repaired or replaced before the damaged areas further compromise your gutter system. Also look for any nails, hangers or other types of fasteners that have pulled away from the fascia. They will have to be reattached or replaced.
If you can’t do the gutter repairs yourself, you don’t have the time or you’re afraid you might have missed something important, call a gutter professional. They will advise on what exactly needs to be done, how much it will cost and if they are other potential problem areas that require immediate attention.