There’s no doubt about it – we had some crazy weather last year. We as a nation experienced 1,897 tornadoes, intense thunderstorms, and a horrible drought that wreaked havoc across the nation in the summer. Perhaps the most memorable event that took place last year, though, was the record-breaking spring floods that affected the area.
In April and May last year, we experienced one of the largest and most damaging floods of the Mississippi River in the past century, comparable even to the notorious flood of 1993. In fact, the flooding was so intense that a two-mile hole was blasted in the levee protecting the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway, flooding 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri so that the town of Cairo, Illinois, an historic town located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, could be saved.
Springtime will arrive in the northern hemisphere on Tuesday, March 20, and with it, rainstorms will surely arrive. Perhaps we won’t see record flooding, but it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. Now is the time to inspect and fix your gutters and downspouts before the spring rain comes!
In the fight against rainwater and flooding, your gutters are the first line of defense. They, along with the downspout, aid in protecting the house from the rain and the melting snow, that is, if they are functioning properly.
But how do you know if your gutters are in good shape in the first place?
First of all, you need to clean out all the debris from your gutters and your downspouts thoroughly. Then inspect your gutters. Your gutters should be installed in such a way that there is a drop of approximately 1/16” for each foot of length the gutter runs. While you can use a chalk line and a level to mark the slope of your gutters, the easiest way to see if your gutters are working properly is to simply pour a bucket of water into the gutter. Watch how it flows. If it runs off without leaving pools of water in the gutter, then you’re in great shape! If you see low spots, the water will sit in the gutter, showing you where the low spots are.
If you find that your gutters are clogged, you should probably remove the elbow in your downspout to check for clogs as they almost always tend to occur in the elbow. If the clog isn’t there, you’ll need to look further within the downspout to locate it.
Found a leak? No problem! Scrape off all the rust with a steel brush (and we mean ALL of it – if you leave any, you’ll have to do it all over again in the future!). Next, cover the area to be repaired with a thin layer of asphaltum paint and let it dry thoroughly. Next, cover it with a heavy layer of the plastic cement that is specially made for roofs and gutters. After that, simply cover the whole area with strips of heavy aluminum foil while the cement is still wet. Press the foil down tightly into the gutter using a dry cloth. Oh, and you might want to have gloves on when you do this.
Taking care of your gutter system will take care of you in the long run. You’ll save your tree roots and plants from dying, your basement from flooding, your floorboards from leaking, and your house from becoming full of mold and mildew.
As an extra incentive, caring for your gutters and downspouts and inspecting them twice a year can double or even triple the longevity of the life of your drainage system, which, in the long run, can save quite a lot of money.
If you have any questions or would rather have a professional tackle the job, feel free to call us here at Get It Done, Inc.! Our number is (314) 966-3251. You can also check out our website at www.getitdoneinc.com to see what we can do for you!