How to Deal With Water Damage from Clogged Gutters
Water damage can be a serious issue for any home, regardless of whether you’re in a warm place like California or in the cooler Midwest. If you want to ensure that your home remains dry and damage-free, you have to pay attention to the gutters of your roof system, especially after heavy rainfall.
Gutters’ main purpose is to catch rain or other forms of moisture and carry it away from the structure of the home and its foundations.
If they spring a leak or are blocked with debris or leaves, moisture can eventually find its way into the home and affect the walls as well as the foundation, which would lead to damage to its structure and other moisture-related problems.
Here’s how to deal with water damage from clogged gutters.
- Cleanup the Debris from Gutters
- Check the Security
- Dealing with Leaks
Cleanup the Debris from Gutters
If they are safely reachable and you plan to clean them on your own, that is a great idea. Use a ladder to remove debris and other materials. When selecting your ladder, check and confirm if it is strong and safe and that you are comfortable working on it.
It is always a good idea to have a second person to brace the ladder to ensure you are safe during this procedure. If you rest the ladder against the aluminum gutter, it may damage it. Another option would be to use a standoff ladder attachment to perform the task.
Firstly, wear protective gloves, remove leaves and other material that would have accumulated in the gutter, and place them in a bucket attached to the ladder. If it is a matter of concern as to how the leaf debris is to be disposed of, then do not worry.
Decomposed leaves are an excellent source of compost for plants and can be used in the garden. Do not forget to check the downspout when cleaning the gutters, as every part of it needs to be clean and free of blockage so that the water or moisture can drain away safely.
Check the Security
Once they are cleaned, ensure that all attachments, including spikes, are holding the gutter securely in place. Snow or ice damage can cause gutters to sag over time. You can replace spikes with gutter screws, as spikes and aluminum ferrules tend to bend easily and work loose over a period of time.
You can go online and learn how to replace brackets, fix spikes, or repair gutters that are attached by straps or hangers.
Dealing with the Leaks
Common issues with gutters are leaks. If they are leaking, the first place to check for damage would be between the joints.
Once the source of the leak is determined, first ensure that the gutters are dry, brush clean the seams, and then apply a water-proof caulking sealant along the seams, both inside and outside.
This will help to seal the leaks. For small holes, water-proof cement can be used, and for larger damage, a sheet metal patch of roofing cement can be embedded over the damaged area and then covered with waterproof cement.
If the leaking water finds its way into your home, you can apply some of the tips for water damage cleanup from our blog:
- Mold Prevention After Water Damage
- Restoration of Damaged Electronics
- Should You Replace Drywall If It Gets Wet
Otherwise, if you can’t DIY, call in a professional.