Clean gutters to prevent mold, protect foundation

Clean gutters to prevent mold, protect foundation

When should I have my gutters cleaned?

DeHart: It varies by the house and what kind of trees they have. Minimally, it's at least twice a year for most people.

Bradley: About six times a year, if you have an average amount of trees. It only takes a handful of debris to clog a gutter, and you'd otherwise leave it clogged for months.

Baker: There's no set time. If you have a lot of trees and you see the water overflowing, it's time.

What are the benefits of clean gutters?

DeHart: It'll extend the life of your gutters, prevent fascia board rotting, and guard against foundation issues and damp basements.

Bradley: Clogged gutters can harm the fascia and rafters, wash away landscaping, cause mold and become a breeding ground for insects and rodents.

Baker: You want water to flow away from your house, not drop off your gutters and get into the foundation or basement.

What do I need to know when deciding to repair or replace my gutters?

DeHart: There's no such thing as a gutter that can't be repaired. The question is whether it's worth repairing, or if it makes more financial sense to replace it.

Bradley: Make sure whoever you hire is properly insured. Ask about the guarantees they offer and the materials they use, such as the number of hangers, the thickness of the metal and the type of caulk.

Baker: Many times, people don't need new gutters; we use a high-quality seal and it holds up for much less than the cost of replacement.

How long should new gutters last?

DeHart: About 20 to 25 years, and longer if there's a lot of sunlight.

Bradley: If they're installed and pitched properly, at least 25 or 30 years.

Baker: They should last indefinitely. We put a 20-year guarantee on our gutters.

How can I ensure the longest life for my gutters?

DeHart: Moisture is the enemy; it ruins the finish and eats at the sealer. Keep them clean and have a maintenance tuneup every 10 years to tighten it up and replace rusted hardware.

Bradley: Carefully research gutter protection systems, because a poorly installed or low-quality guard can be worse than doing nothing. We recommend GutterGard.

Baker: They need to be installed properly. The secret is to have a bracket holding it up every 3 feet. I've seen gutters with a bracket every 8 feet, and those will eventually fail.