What happens when you avoid regular maintenance on your gutters and downspouts? You might just look up one day to see your ceiling has a leak, or you may start to notice cockroaches and mosquitoes roaming your home. What’s worse is you might not see the structural damage that may be happening to your home until it is too late. This kind of damage will seep slowly into your home’s foundation, invisibly metastasizing into a potential and very expensive problem.
Your home needs to prepare for the changing seasons, so that it may be ready for the elements and nature’s many surprises. As winter rolls around you want to do some routine maintenance in order to avoid major damage.
One important item on the list, according to HGTV magazine, is ensuring no air is flowing through cracks in your windows or doors. They recommend making a yearly maintenance plan, to organize the kind of maintenance you should do before each season. Take some time before fall fully sets in to check the caulk on the outside of the window frame. It might have dried up with summer temperatures and so you want to remove and put in new caulk to seal potential gaps. Bad seals can cause:
- A large increase in energy bills
- A draft in the house
Make sure to check and maintain your plumbing pipes. Huffington Post includes pipes in their essential winter home maintenance checklist. Pipes that collect water and freeze can cause damage, leaks, and flooding. Once this happens you’ll more than likely need a plumber to come look at your pipes. The Balance recommends insulating pipes with insulation sleeves or foam insulation as well as maintaining a heat source in the house to protect them from cold. They suggest having water dripping allowing water to more freely pass through and keep from freezing.
Gutters and Downspouts
Another tip is cleaning your gutters and downspouts. As Fox News reports, one of the most important and yet overlooked projects is that of cleaning the gutter. They recommend not waiting until the end of fall, but doing this once or twice a year, not only to make the job easier, but to avoid problems, which could cost up to thousands of dollars. Clogged gutters are said to be the “first line of defense against water problems in your home.” Clogged gutters can cause:
- The weight of excess water, leaves, and debri can cause the hanging brackets holding the gutter up to break and come crashing down.
- Water overflow can ruin outside paint
- Water and moisture get inside the house, causing damage to the wood structure
- Can lead to basement leaks
- Ice can push against the roof structure and work its way under the shingles destroying wood
Cleaning gutters and downspouts is a dreaded task for many homeowners. Scheduling this kind of maintenance might be a better choice, to ensure it’s not put off and then forgotten through the winter. CNN Money suggests maintaining gutters every spring and fall to avoid massive problems. The cost of maintaining gutters is minimal when compared to the kind of damage caused when this maintenance is neglected. A gutter cleaning service will remove all leaves and other materials from the roof, as well as the condition of gutter spikes, and debris from your yard. Home Advisor gutter cleaning in Raleigh ranges from $87 – $158 and takes two hours.
It is small investments like these that will spare you headaches later. Keeping track of your home maintenance will not only save your wallet, but it will save you time and hassle. There is no need to put your home and your home’s value at risk. Consider these important maintenance projects and enjoy the winter weather as one should, with a cup of hot chocolate near the fireplace.
This blog was written and created by Paul Denikin who owns the blog “Dadknowsdiy”