It's important to have a gutter system on your home and to maintain it so it works properly. Otherwise, you could run into problems with water near your foundation, rain seeping under the siding and rain backing up under the roof. A wet house leads to problems with mold, wood rot, and insect infestation.

Gutters work properly when they are free from debris and sloped towards the downspout. Then, rain easily flows away from your house so it causes no harm. Here are a few tips for making sure your gutters work like they should to protect your home during all seasons of the year.

Replace or Repair Old, Damaged Troughs

If your gutters are old and saggy or cracked, they won't offer your home the protection it needs. Walk around your home and look for signs of damage. You may see gaps in seams or places where the gutters have pulled away from the house. The troughs may even be bent out of shape from storm or ladder damage.

Other times, gutter damage isn't quite so obvious, but you can still detect problems with a garden hose. Place the hose in the trough and let water run through the system. If you see water leaking out or if water puddles in the middle of a trough, then you know your gutters need to be repaired or replaced.

Your contractor can help you decide which option is best. If your gutters are old and beat up, getting new ones could be the best option since new gutters will also improve the curb appeal of your home.

Keep Leaves Out of the Gutters

Mature trees provide welcome shade, and they add beauty to your property, but they do have one drawback. When trees are near your home, you have to work harder to keep your gutters cleaned out. You'll want to clean the gutters thoroughly at least once a year after the trees are bare.

Dig out all the leaves and perform an annual inspection of your gutters at the same time to make sure they still work properly. You might think gutters are only important during the spring and summer when it rains often. However, gutters are important during the winter as well when snow melts off the roof.

You should still check your gutters for debris even if you don't have trees close to your house. Tiny twigs and pine needles can get blown through the air easily during a storm. It's possible to find all kinds of things in your gutters, especially during dry spells when rain doesn't wash them out.

You could find a squirrel nest or bird nest in the troughs that blocks proper drainage. For that reason, it's always a good idea to look inside the gutters at least once a year.

If your yard is full of trees and your gutters are constantly clogged with leaves, seeds, or needles, then consider having gutter guards installed on the troughs. These are screens or lids with grooves that fit on top of the gutters so leaves can't get inside. Gutter guards cut down on the amount of maintenance you have to do, so they are worth the investment if you hate climbing a ladder and digging out wads of leaves.

Position the Downspout Properly

Keep an eye on the downspout to make sure it always points away from your home. You can have a small splash pad placed under the spout to avoid soil erosion, or you can even have the spout empty into a drain buried underground so rain empties into the street rather than your yard. The last thing you want is a spout that is twisted or broken so water dumps near your foundation because that can lead to a wet basement.

If you need to get your gutters in good shape to protect the investment in your roof and your home, call Select Exteriors for installation of the best high-quality gutters that fit your budget and protect your home from water damage.