How to Prepare Gutters for a Storm

Our blog provides tips to help you maintain the life and effectiveness of your gutters throughout the year. Maintain being the keyword. However, it is also important to consider the one-off scenarios, the ones that can take your well-planned regime of home exterior maintenance and throw it for a major loop. In this instance, we’re referring to storms, major storms that don’t care about the care you’ve put into your gutter system upkeep.

Whether you’re contending with an El Nino year (as were are here in 2015-16) or not, it’s best to know how to take immediate measures when catching wind of a major storm on the horizon. Keep your ear to local weather reports and take note of the following tips.

5 Tips to Preparing Your Gutters for a Major Rain and Wind Storm

1. Check all Screws and Brackets

The second the potential for a major storm is forecast in your region inspect all points of your gutter system that connect to one another and your roof. This may have been a part of your normal maintenance regime but when a wind storm is on the way the usual shake and feel approach may not be enough. Take note of each bracket and see if it budges, even just a little, when you give it a reasonable pull. If it gives way in any way tighten up the screws that hold it in place. The entire run of your gutter system should be an immovable force when you’re done.

2. Inspect (or buy) Gutter Guards

Include a thorough inspection of your gutter guards to ensure that they too do not shift. If you don’t have gutter guards it may be time to consider them. They will help keep out the inevitable airborne debris that WILL make it’s way onto your roof, and into your gutters without anything there to block it.

3. Clean Your Gutters Immediately Before the Anticipated Arrival

It goes without saying that you will need to clean your entire gutter system before the arrival of severe weather. However, far too often homeowners do so too early, a few days before it hits. The winds that build-up in the hours before the “official” storm can be the biggest culprit, flying in leaves, pine needles, and assorted debris from the neighborhood can make it’s way into your gutters. At that point, the table has set for the coming rainwater (and more debris) to collect. Try to time your preparatory gutter cleaning on the day of the anticipated storm, taking note of the winds as the knots gradually increase. The more refuse free the system is just moments before the storm the more likely your gutters will be able to do their job in funneling rainwater away from your home. It should be noted that you must exercise the upmost caution here. Do not climb up there on the roof if the storm has already made landfall. If you’re uneasy in anyway, and/or do not have a strong ladder with a helper down below, don’t do it. It’s much easier to repair gutters than it is your ankle.

4. Don’t Forget the Downspouts

Downspouts are often neglected during storm weather preparations. They are considered by many homeowners to be more out of harms way during heavy winds and rains when compared to the gutters on the roof. However, downspouts, which are in fact very susceptible, also need to be provided extra attention before the bad weather arrives. Since storm water will be expelled from the downspouts it is important to check them carefully for debris. Run your hose at high-pressure from both below (shoot water up the opening) and above (on the roof pointing down the downspout where it connects to your gutters) to loosen up any rubbish. If any remains you may need to use a plumber snake to remove the excess. Once clean, check not only the screw and brackets along the extra wall, check the extension (which jettisons rainwater away from your home) at the end of the downspout to make sure it’s sturdy.

5. Call in a Gutter Repair Specialist for an Inspection

If a severe storm is truly anticipated then there is no need to take chances. Bring in a gutter repair specialist to inspect your gutter system from side to side and from top to bottom, addressing any issues that need attending to. The peace of mind held after a professional has come in and repaired any parts of your gutters is priceless, and will allow you to ride out the storm from within the comforts of your home without concern.