Prepare Your Gutters for Spring!

cleaning guttersOne thing that homeowners need to think about as the seasons begin to change is their gutters.

Between the fall and winter seasons, there are probably a lot of leaves and other debris in there that should be cleaned out if you live in an older neighborhood.

Doing this regularly can not only make your gutters more efficient, but they could save you money in the long run.

Having too much debris in your gutters can cause rot and damage, which is much worse than just having to clean them out.

Tips for Cleaning Out Gutters

First, prune all the tree branches that hang over the roof. This will cut down on damage done to your roof shingles and gutters, and will also limit the amount of leaves or needles that get into the gutters.

Next, very gently pull on your gutters to make sure they are secured. Once you have done this, look to see if any of the supports have come loose. If this is the case, they should be able to be reattached.

If you ever remove Christmas lights from your gutters, make sure the plastic clips do not fall in as they could serve as a blockage and not allow water to flow properly.

Clear out any debris you find in the gutters. Many have installed guards or nets in order to make this process easier but these screens also need to be kept cleared off or water will shoot overtop of them and the gutters

If you think you may have a clog in your downspout, tap on it lightly. If it sounds hollow, then it’s all clear. However if you hear a thud or more muffled noise, then there is most likely a blockage. If you find one, take off the section of the downspout and clean out the debris.

Lastly, inspect the bottom of the downspout. Make sure the opening is open and not crushed. If your downspout has an elbow at the bottom, make sure the curve is still pointing downward so that the storm water can flow freely away from the house; be sure to always have your downspout extensions in the down position and extending at least 5 feet away from the house.  Remember, the number one way to prevent basement leakage or seepage is to ensure the ground around the entire home is sloped away from the house and the downspouts are in the correct downward position.

Information on Rainfall in Alberta

  • Annually the province receives about 335 millimeters (13”) of rain from May to October.  On a typical 40’ x 110’ lot, this will be about 145,112 liters of water.
  • 6 millimeters of rain (1/4”) on the 40’ x 110’ lot will produce about 2,600 liters of water.
  • 335 millimeters (13”) of rain on a roof of a 2000 square foot home would produce more than 65,960 liters of water which must be directed away from the foundation of the home.
  • 6 millimeters (1/4”) of rain on the same roof would produce 1,180 liters of water that must be directed away from the foundation of the home.
  • All this is in addition to any snow melt, or lawn and garden watering that occurs.

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