On Monday much of the northeast was hammered by Hurricane Sandy with parts of New York and New Jersey bearing the brunt of this devastating storm. In addition to widespread flooding and power outages the storm wreaked havoc for the gutters and roofs of many homes and commercial buildings. The heavy wind and rain that marked this storm proved to be too much for many homes in the storm’s path and if you live in an area that was affected by the hurricane now is the time to do a careful inspection of your gutters.
Even if your gutters held up during the storm the channels and downspouts may now be littered with leaves, twigs and debris that can cause clogging in the future. With winter on the way it’s important to clean out your gutters so the system is ready to handle heavy loads of snow and ice. If during the storm you noticed your gutters overflowing or sagging under the weight of backed up water that’s often a sign that a clog exists and needs to be cleared. If you are in the process of clearing debris from your gutters and notice areas that are leaking, warped or damaged you should call a professional gutter company to inspect the gutter system and let you know if it can be repaired or if you need a full replacement.
When you check your gutters do it from below and above. Use a ladder and have someone nearby to assist when doing any exterior home inspection. If the gutters are clear try running water down the channel using a garden hose to check for leaks and clogs in the downspouts. From underneath you will be able to see if and where water is leaking and from above you can see if water is backing up. Give the gutters a gentle tug to see if it remains intact or if sections have been loosened. The time you spend now inspecting your gutters will save you time and money in the winter when snow and ice expose weakened gutters.