Rain has homeowners looking up

The heavy wind and rain this month have homeowners looking up — to their gutters. Nothing will alert you to clogs, leaks and loose fittings like a downpour.

Home improvement experts, including Daniel Onyikeh of Lowes in Catonsville, offer some tips.


•Make sure the gutters are clean, especially after a heavy rain when debris from trees and the roof collect there. This means checking every couple of weeks, not just in the fall. Clogs most often occur where the gutter meets the downspout, so check there.

•Use a scoop or a child's shovel to clean the "goop" out of the gutters and toss it onto a tarp, bag it and dispose of it in the garbage.


•Check the flow by using a garden hose. This can also help you spot leaks.

•Watch for water splashing down the side of the house or garage during a storm. This could mean a leaking gutter or a clog. If the gutters are old, they can sag and leak at the seams. There are products available to repair holes in gutters, so replacement isn't always necessary.

•Make sure the downspouts are secured to the corners of the house — they can pull away. And consider adding hoses or plastic sleeves to the end of the downspout to carry the water away from the foundation.

•Gutter covers can reduce the amount of debris in your gutters, but you should still check for clogs. They can be expensive and they require maintenance.

Susan Reimer