So how has your summer gone so far?
Is your football team looking good?
How has your yard and all your shrubs and trees held up to the heat and the rain?
Take a second and if you think your yard looks bad know this: it is probably much worse in your gutters.
You remember your gutters. Those things that catch the rainwater pouring down your roof carrying it down the downspout and 10 feet away from your foundation.
Ahhh yes. Those things.
Remember when they were nice and white and clean? Yes - those were the days.
We talk a lot on the show about how important your gutters are. How without them the rain would simply fall right to the base of your house and eventually into your foundation.
We also talk about the damage twigs and leaves and pine needles and nature can do in your gutters, clogging them up, allowing water to flow over the front or the gutter and – horrors – over the back.
(At least when they over-flow on the front you only end up with water next to your foundation. When they over-flow to the back they rot your fascia board – the board holding up your gutters - before falling to your foundation.)
This may finally be the year for new gutters, and more importantly, new gutter covers.
First, new gutters. For some time now gutters have been available in one piece. That’s right, a truck pulls up to your house, workers come out of it and tear off the old gutters and an extruding machine in the truck makes your new gutters right then and there (get the 6” wide ones), which the workers re-hang.
Well, done with the gutters.
Now you need to cover those gutters.
Covered gutters will help keep twigs and leaves and pine straw out of your gutters. Remember, clean gutters are happy gutters.
Any good gutter company also carries and installs gutter covers.
I hear you, you just said you will send your husband down to the hardware store to get some wire mesh gutter covers. He can lay them in your gutters this afternoon, you will save a buck, and the whole job will be done in a day.
Except those flat wire mesh screens don’t keep pine straw out, or leaves, nor do they get rid of leaves that lay flat on top of them. In fact, the flat laying leaf actually speeds up the over-flow situation allowing water to go straight from roof to foundation.
And that is every flat laying cover. I have seen some that were “developed by NASA scientists to keep leaves off” but guess what?
You need a cover that covers the gutter, with a curved edge that allows the water to run over the edge and into the gutter but not the leaves.
There are several out on the market. Do your homework. Save your gutters.
One more thing – there are a couple of ok brands that you can install yourself to which I say, “Knock yourself out.”
That is something I would do if I lived in a one story ranch house on a mostly level lot.
There will be a lot of going up the ladder with the cover, installing, going down the ladder, moving the ladder 5 ft, going back up the ladder, installing, going down the ladder, moving the ladder 5 ft, going back up the ladder, installing…
I personally am not a fan of climbing ladders, especially up over 4-5 ft while I carry something in my hands and I hold onto the ladder with my hip bone. It could just be me and maybe you are perfectly comfortable, but not for me. Hire a professional.
One more one more thing. If you have nice gutters and all but have no covers, good gutter covers are easily retro-fitted. Call the company that installed them, or a quality roofer (check out under the Expert tag on my home page). Make sure you approve of what they will be using though.
One more one more one more thing. If you get new gutters, or a new roof and new gutters, you can save money on gutter covers. A new roof and new gutters warrants free something. I know a company who will probably negotiate a new roof and new gutter covers and free gutters.
It’s worth asking.
Oops. One more one more one more one more thing. Last time I promise.
Just because you have gutter covers over your gutters doesn’t mean your gutters will be squeaky clean for the rest of all eternity. Gunk (that’s the official word for stuff in your gutter) can and will accumulate over time. Keep an eye on them. In a heavy rain if you don't see water coming up over the edge, you are in good shape.
Wind can still blow nature in. Rain can still carry nature in. A squirrel, or a rat can still get in and build a nest. Those gutters still need to be checked and maybe even cleaned every now and again.
But you can sleep better knowing that when it rains they are busy keeping water away from your foundation.