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There are a lot of things to like about spring: mild weather, beautiful blooms, longer days and outdoor gatherings. On the other side of the coin, however, spring also brings allergy flare-ups, abundant rain and gutter problems. While there’s not much you can do about allergens or rainfall, you can address the gutter issues that go hand-in-hand with spring. Here are five of the most common ones.

Problem #1: Damaged Gutters

Gutter sections that have cracked or separated from the fascia or each other due to the weight of winter ice or snow.

Solution: Separated gutters often require nothing more than a few fresh screws to reattach them to each other or the fascia of your home. Small cracks can be sealed temporarily using a waterproof caulk or sealant, but if your gutters have large cracks or are otherwise too damaged to be reattached, you’re better off replacing the gutter section entirely.

Problem #2: Clogged Gutters

Gutters that are full of pine needles, twigs, leaves and other tree debris that have either fallen from overhanging branches or been washed into the gutters by spring rains.

Solution: It’s not rocket science … just clean out the gutters! If the debris is dry, you can either use a leaf blower or an outdoor vacuum to blow or suck everything out. Packed-in or wet debris may require the old tried-and-true (albeit dirty) method of scooping it out by hand. If this chore is too off-putting or cumbersome for you, call in a professional who can clean your gutters out for you at what is usually a fairly reasonable price. To prevent clogs in the future, consider installing rain gutter guards to keep out debris and eliminate gutter blockage.

Problem #3: Clogged Downspouts

Downspouts that have been clogged by either gutter debris or ice that hasn’t yet thawed.

Solution: Unclogging downspouts is an important part of any gutter cleaning job. Start by feeding a garden hose up into the bottom opening and spraying water upward to free up any low clogs. You might also need to do the same from the downspouts’ upper opening. For stubborn clogs, a plumber’s snake can be fed downward from the top; this will usually break them up enough that they can then be flushed out.

Problem #4: Bent Gutters

Bent, buckled or separated gutters that have been damaged by tree limbs dislodged from overhanging trees by heavy winds or rain (or even a late snowstorm).

Solution: Minor problems can be repaired in the same way as separated or cracked gutters. If a gutter section is severely crushed or bent, however, one or more sections will need to replaced and reattached. To prevent this from happening in the future, cut back overhanging tree limbs to about three feet beyond the roofline – or have a tree-trimmer take care of this for you.

Problem #5: Animal Problems

Pesky critters like squirrels, rodents, possums, birds, bugs and even snakes taking up residence in your gutters.

Solution: For insects, spiders or worms, a good gutter cleaning will usually take care of the problem; just be sure to drain or soak up any standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Gutters are also a favorite place for birds to build their nests, which may need to be gently relocated. As for larger creatures, if the destruction of their habitat doesn’t scare them away, live traps on the roof might be necessary. Avoid placing poisons in your gutters that could get washed into the yard and into the sewer system during storms.

No matter how good your gutters may be, they’re not going to perform to their full potential if they’re clogged or damaged. To take advantage of the best gutter products and services for your home, give Gutter Helmet® a call today at (800) 824-3772. If you plan on installing gutter covers, first check out some online gutter guard reviews to be certain you’re getting the best products and accessories.