Well-maintained gutters protect
your siding and plantings, and
help keep water out of your
When you consider that your roof's drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house's exterior and foundation walls, you can see why it merits a semiannual inspection.
All gutters must slope slightly toward their outlets. From there, an elbow connects with a leader, then another elbow, the downspout, and a third elbow that directs the spout outlet away from the wall.
Check gutters and downspouts every spring before heavy rains begin and late in fall after leaves have fallen. Remove all debris that is clogging the system, look for rust or corrosion, and be vigilant for low spots where water may be standing.
Because standing water causes most gutter problems, make sure the gutters slope toward their outlets. To check this, pour some water into the gutter and watch what happens.
Eliminate sags by lifting the gutter section slightly. Look for and repair loose hangers, or bend up the hanger with a pair of pliers. If this doesn't do the trick, install an additional hanger.