Getting your mind on Minneapolis gutters
By Jackie Browning
You know the old saying: April showers bring May flowers. They can also bring flooded basements.
To safeguard your home from this costly calamity, professionals recommend cleaning and inspecting your gutters in the spring to detect any potential problems that have cropped up during the winter months.
Consider buying a rain barrel and attaching it to one of your downspouts. Collecting and storing roof runoff in a barrel is an inexpensive and Earth-friendly way to irrigate your garden.
"Timing isn't that critical in the early spring, due to the frozen ground," says Jim Herron, owner of Twin Cities Seamless Gutters in St. Paul. "By the middle of spring, thawing is complete and problems can rapidly appear."
If not cleaned properly, leaves and debris will cause your gutters to clog and the water running through them to overflow. Or, water will mix with the debris and turn into ice. Once ice has damaged the gutters, the spring rains aren't directed away from the home properly and flooding can occur.
To eliminate the need to hire someone to scale the ladder as frequently to clean your gutters, Mark Bjorkstrand, manager of Burnsville-based Gutter Topper, recommends gutter covers. "A good gutter system can cost anywhere from $6 to $17 per foot and will prevent water in the basement and lower levels," he says. "It [also] protects driveways, walks, decks, and shrubbery from damage and premature costly repairs and replacement."
Well-tended gutters have a lifespan of 20 years. If you do encounter problems, most providers will be able to make the repairs in one to two weeks. Simple maintenance can also make a world of difference. "The gutters should be cleaned all year long, but spring and fall are the critical times," Bjorkstrand says.