Gutters: How to Maintain Them

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Summary: Learn about maintaining your gutters. Find out how to take care of your gutters, including using gutter guards.

TOM: From collapsed foundations to flooded basements to even broken bones, from those slippery sidewalks that get wet and freeze in the winter, if you don't take care of your gutters, they can cause some trouble.

Here's where to begin. Let's start by talking about these loose spikes. The next time one of these falls out, replace it with one of these, a gutter screw. Once you put a gutter screw in, it will never fall out again.

Now, let's talk about how to prevent these, clogged gutters. There are a lots of different types of gutter guards on the market. This is the kind that I like, it snaps into the top of your gutter and lets the leaves wash off the top, but the water stays in, down the downspout and away from your house. Gutter guards like this rely on surface tension to do just that.

Then, of course, there's the screens. With the screens, I find that sometimes the leaves sit on top and deteriorate, and can clog your gutters. I'm not as much of a fan of these as I am the type that have surface tension principles. These gutter guard screens here do the same thing, except this kind hinges, but again, the leaves just don't wash off these.

This is probably the most important part of your gutter system, it's the discharge. Now most stop right here against the foundation, but that means that this water can get too close to the house and possibly flood the basement.

A better option is this, it's a downspout extension. Put it in here like this, snap it in. This way, the water stays away from your house, away from your foundation, the basement stays dry, the foundation stays stable and you are good to go.