How to Maintain your Gutters and Downspouts

SideOne ExteriorsHow to Maintain your Gutters and Downspouts

Check gutters periodically and remove leaves or other debris (twice a year and after each heavy rain or wind storm). Materials that accumulate in gutters can slow down the draining of water from the roof, cause overflows or clog the downspouts.

Extensions and Splash blocks

Extensions should discharge outside of the rock or bark beds so that water is not dammed behind the edging materials that might be used.


Use caution when leaning ladders against gutters as this may cause dents.


If a joint between sections of gutters drips, caulk the inside joint using a commercial gutter caulking compound, which is available at hardware stores.

Free from Debris

As part of normal maintenance, the homeowner should keep gutters clear of debris which might clog them and cause the water to run over the downspout or the gutter’s edge. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to check gutters periodically to insure proper functioning.


Gutters are installed with a slight slope so that roof water will flow to the downspouts. Gutters may overflow during periods of excessive heavy rain. Small amounts of water (up to 1 inch) will stand for short periods of time in gutters immediately after rain. No correction is required for these conditions.


Downspouts are placed to carry water to the ground and in extensions, which then direct the flow away from the foundation of the home. These extensions are for protection of the foundation and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain them. They should discharge water away from the foundation without eroding any of the ground around them.