The weather’s getting cooler, and every Rumson-Fair Haven homeowner has a number of things to do before the cold weather sets in. One of the first things to think about is cleaning your gutters. It’s a lot easier to clean them when the leaves are dry. In a few weeks they’ll probably be wet and cold, and it will be a lot harder to do. Some people use leaf blowers, others use hoses to flush the gutters, but using a work glove and cleaning them out by hand works best for me.
In addition to fresh leaves you may find some of the granular material from the asphalt shingles. If the gutter hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you may also find decomposed leaves under the fresh ones, or even a little plant growing in the decomposed leaf base.
Lots of bad things can happen if you don’t clean your gutters regularly. If they become clogged and overflow, any wood fascia can begin to rot. If a clogged gutter freezes and blocks the flow of melting snow or ice from the roof, the unfrozen water can damage the shingles and even cause leaks inside your attic or home.
While you (or someone you hired) are cleaning the gutters, make sure to clean the downspouts, and check to make sure that none of the gutters or downspouts are pulling away from the house. Also look at the bottom of each downspout. If water flowing down has eroded some of the soil at the base of the downspout, fill it in and attach a downspout extension or downspout splash pad to discharge the water well away from your foundation.