When it comes to protecting your home, think of your gutters as an extension of your roof and remember that they are just as important as the roof itself. Making sure your gutters are working properly should be pretty top priority for any home owner. So aside from clearing out fallen leaves and debris, here are some other things to look out for when inspecting your gutters this spring.

1. Examine gutter installation. Depending on when your gutters were installed, there are various techniques that could have been employed. One traditional way to install gutters is through the use of spikes. Because the spikes are driven right into the fascia of the home, the spike can begin to loosen over time as the hole expands and contracts with the seasons. The spike can also be compromised with the weight of ice damns which can cause gutters to slowly pull away from the house. The gap left between your home and the gutter can cause noticeable water damage to the eaves and soffits. This is especially apparent in areas surrounding the spikes.

2. Check for sagging. Gutters that span long eaves can start to sag over time, especially if they start to come loose from the fascia or have been soldered together. If water is collecting where the gutter sags, then it’s not pitching out toward your downspouts and ultimately away from your home. Damaged fascia could result.

3. Make sure gutters are sufficient for roof size. The square footage of your roof should determine the type of gutters that will support it’s water runoff. Additional downspouts or “Y” downspouts might be needed.

4. Check shingle extension from roof’s edge. A standard shingle installation leaves 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch overhang at the eave. This allow water to drain into the gutters below. Shingles extending further than 3/8″ could have water shooting off the roof and missing the gutters all together.

5. Consider a gutter apron or drip guard. These products attach to your roof deck by wrapping under your shingles and connect to the interior edge of the gutter to create a smooth path for water drainage. They are excellent for preserving your soffits and keeping gutters flush against your home.