From barbecues and pool parties, to late nights spent sitting outside on the porch, summer is a chance to spend more quality time at home. For many of us, it’s also the perfect time to perform some very important home maintenance tasks in-between those fun times.
While it might not be as talked about as other maintenance projects like window replacement or roof repair, gutter maintenance is on the list as one of the most important summer tasks for homeowners. After all, a well-maintained gutter system protects the roof, siding, and even your yard and landscaping from water damage by guiding rainwater down and away from the house through a proper course.
It’s essential to ensure that your gutters are in good condition, especially for homeowners living in the Midwest—where fall and winter weather are wet and intense. In this guide, our experts at Smart Exteriors will explain why summer is the best time for gutter cleaning and repairs, and reveal some of our favorite tips and tricks that you can use to optimize your efforts to protect your home.
Why Summer is the Perfect Time for Gutter Maintenance
We get it—cleaning out the gutters is probably never on your list of things you’re looking forward to doing. Unless your home is equipped with stainless steel mesh gutter guards—the only gutter guard system recommended by our team at Smart Exteriors, Consumer Reports and other industry experts, regular summer cleaning of your gutters will always be a critical part of your summer routine.
Here are some of the reasons why summer is the best time to clean and do necessary gutter maintenance.
Spring Rain Recovery: Spring seasons can wreak havoc on your gutters. Addressing the problems spring rains caused now means you prevent future problems from happening.
Summer Storm Protection: While not as frequent as spring, fall, or winter storms, summer storms in the Midwest are also quite common. Not only does water end up in the gutters, but other materials like dirt buildup and debris are also present after a storm. By cleaning out the gutters while they are dry, you ensure your gutter system remains protected and capable of handling whatever thunderstorms can throw at it.
Fall Preparation: At some point, summer will end and a new season will begin. With the fall season comes the falling of leaves. In most cases, this translates to leaves ending up in your gutters. When this happens, a lot of extra weight and blockages will strain your gutter system.
How to Clean Your Gutter System
At this point, you likely believe in the importance of cleaning and maintaining your gutters during the summer months. However, we haven’t covered the specific tasks that need to be completed. For a quick review, take a look at the following steps:
Debris Removal: This needs to happen first before any other task. While this is more common in the fall, it also happens in summer after a storm. Debris blocks water from flowing, which can quickly lead to clogged gutters. As such, it’s time to break out the ladder and gloves and start scooping out everything that’s trapped inside, from twigs to bird nests.
Clean the Gutters: Once the debris has been cleared out, it’s time to actually clean the gutters. Take your hose and use a high-pressure setting on the hose attachment to remove any residue left behind from the first step. Once complete, use a scrub brush and gentle cleaner to scrub any mildew or mold that exists on the gutter exterior. Finish with one last rinse off from the hose.
Damage Check: Part of cleaning and maintaining the gutters is checking for damage so you can get ahead of potential problems. Check for the basics such as holes, cracks, rust, or misalignment.
Leak Repair: If you noticed holes or leaks while cleaning out the gutter, it’s time to perform the necessary repairs now before fall leaves and winter snow make an appearance. Gutter sealant works great for minor repairs.
Schedule Replacement: It’s possible that you’ll find the gutters need professional repairs or replacement. Reputable services for gutter repair and replacement are more popular over the summer for many reasons, like better weather conditions and more flexible scheduling.
Consider an Upgrade to Steel Mesh Gutter Guards
One thing to consider while performing your cleaning and maintenance is to invest in a high-quality gutter guard system. When the right one is chosen and installed correctly, this guard can significantly reduce the amount of maintenance you’ll need to perform. Keep in mind that when it comes to gutter guards, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is very true—so stay away from cheap materials and shoddy products to avoid wasting time and money on systems that don’t work.
There are many types of gutter guard systems made from a variety of materials like foam and plastic. However, most of them perform poorly, which is why we recommend investing in high-quality, stainless steel micromesh gutter guards.
Surgical-grade, stainless steel micromesh ensures that the tiny, barely visible holes keep out everything but water. This means less debris clogging up your gutters, less maintenance, and a better protected home.
Gutter Maintenance Tips For Every Season
Even the most well-maintained gutter system needs maintenance done throughout the year. While summer is arguably the easiest and best season to perform this chore, it doesn’t negate the need for keeping up your gutters throughout the other three seasons. You can ensure your gutters are maintained year-round by doing the following:
Clear the Gutters: The gutters should be cleared in every season if possible. Leaves, debris, and materials from animals are always present, which translates to damaged or sagging gutters.
Secure Gutters: Any part of the gutters that are sagging or loose should have the gutter spikes replaced with gutter screws. The screws have a much more secure hold that ensures you maintain support and security for your gutter system and roof.
Leak Repair: We mentioned this before, but this is the biggest concern regardless of the season. You can repair leaking joints by cleaning the area and then applying silicone caulking to seal it.
Repair Downspouts: Sometimes, the downspouts get compromised, which only disrupts the entire system. Take the time to ensure they are clear of leaves and debris while checking how well the joints fit together.
The most important thing you can do when it comes to gutter maintenance for the long-term is to work with a contractor that knows the ins and outs of your gutter system. Not only can they help repair any current damage, but they will also be in position to advise you on when it’s time to upgrade to a new system. A healthy gutter system means a healthy home.
If you’d like to learn more about summer home upgrades that you can do to enhance your home this season, contact us now at Smart Exteriors. We specialize in upgrades that transform Kansas City area homes into smarter, more modern ones—with the best products and installation techniques for replacement windows, siding, roofing, and the industry’s finest steel mesh gutter guard systems. For more information, give us a call to speak with an agent, or fill out our online form for a free, no-obligation pricing estimate.