To the rejoice of residents across Alabama, fall is almost here. This means a lot of things, from cooler weather to football season to colorful landscapes and more. And if you’re a homeowner, it also means preparing your gutters for the onslaught of falling leaves and wet weather.

Getting your home ready for a new season starts now, especially when it comes to your gutters. By the time the trees are ready to shed their leaves, you want to ensure your gutters are empty, sturdy, and can withstand another cold season.

Use this checklist to start knocking out your fall gutter maintenance and get ahead of schedule:

1. Give Your Gutters a Deep Cleaning

Fall gutter maintenance starts with a clean slate. You can more easily spot holes and other signs of gutter damage when the gutters are clean and free of debris. Plus, with the impending deluge of fall leaves and rain, emptying your gutters now will prepare you for the first fall storm.

Use soap and warm water to scrub your gutters and get rid of any buildup or mold. Wipe them clean, then spray with a hose to rinse away the suds. 

2. Look for Signs of Damage

With clean gutters, you can spot any wear and tear or major damage that will need repairing. Look for holes where water might leak instead of being directed away from the house. And don’t forget to check the gutter hangers and brackets to make sure they are still securely fastened. You might find that some screws need to be replaced before fall weather puts your gutters to the test.

Also, check for uneven sections and loose downspouts. Sagging gutters might be just a few rainstorms away from falling off altogether and should be replaced. Check to see that your downspouts are secure and pointed away from the house to avoid pooling in the wrong places.

3. Make the Necessary Repairs

Ideally, you will make any required gutter repairs before you really need to. Don’t wait for problems to arise with your gutters before doing something about them. The sooner you can patch, mend, replace, and fix, the better protection your gutters will provide.

4. Trim Tree Branches

Part of gutter maintenance has more to do with prevention than working on the actual gutters. The trees surrounding your home are one of the reasons why you need gutters in the first place. Your gutters become a catch-all for tree debris in the fall, including leaves, pine needles and pinecones, and branches.

You can reduce the amount of debris your trees contribute to your gutters by trimming back branches and other growth. This prevents more debris from ending up in your gutters, which could mean having to clean out your gutters less often.

5. Install Gutter Guards

If tree debris is a recurring issue, now might be a good time to install gutter guards. These guards allow water to flow through the gutters but block bigger pieces of debris, such as branches and pine straw. Your gutters will be clogged less often and maintenance is usually easier.

What to Do If You Discover Roof Damage

Gutter maintenance is a great time to also look for evidence of roof damage. You’re up on the ladder anyway, so take a few extra minutes to check for missing or broken shingles, damaged soffits, pulled-up boots, or anything else that might indicate a problem. Any repairs you made to your gutters won’t help much if your roof also needs attention.

If your gutters need replacing, call us for a free inspection and plan of action. We work on homes across the state of Alabama — no job is too big or small for us!