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Fall Home Care: Brothers Custom Seamless Gutters offers advice on winterizing

Fall Home Care: Brothers Custom Seamless Gutters offers advice on winterizingBy James Grob,

People don’t usually even notice the gutters on their houses — that is, until they’re not working right.

At that point, there’s usually at least a mess that needs to be cleaned up, and at worst, there’s major damage to your house.

Ken Brody, proprietor of Brothers Custom Seamless Gutters in Nashua, has more than 40 years of experience in the gutter business. Brothers covers a wide area of northeast and north central Iowa, and has been centered at its Nashua location for 23 years.

The business specializes in seamless gutter systems and gutter covers that go over the systems. The company designs and installs the systems on homes and businesses.

Brody shared some insider advice on getting optimal performance out of a gutter system as the winter’s snow, ice and wind approach.

“If you don’t have a cover on them, you need to make sure they’re thoroughly cleaned before winter,” said Brody, who added that a homeowner should make sure to wait until after leaves are off the trees before cleaning the gutters out.

“There’s no sense going in there at the beginning of October and cleaning them out, and then a week later, they’ll be full of leaves again,” he said.

Brody recommended having all gutters and downspouts cleaned by the end of October.

“Get a snow rake or roof rake, reach up there about 6-8 feet, and make sure your valley areas are always clean,” he added.

Brody said that winter ice has a tendency to collect in the corners, especially the inside corners, and stressed getting debris out of the inside corners.

“You can tell if your gutters aren’t installed properly,” Brody said. “If they use the barn nails or the spikes that go through the face of the gutter, and you find that you’re always pushing the spike back in, that’s doing nothing but wrecking your home. It’s drawing more moisture into the house itself.”

Brody also recommended removing gutter extensions from the yard before there is any heavy snow.

“It’s a good idea to take the long extension runoffs that go into the yard off by the first part of December,” he said.

Brody said to store the extensions away from the weather.

“Put them in your garage or shed, or up against the house,” he said. “That way people won’t be walking over them, slipping on them and wrecking them.”

He said they get buried in the snow, it will melt and refreeze, and ice will form in them and back up the system.

“Just take those off and put them back on in the spring,” Brody said. “Once it freezes, the ground is solid and you don’t have to worry about water getting into your basement or eating away at your foundation or anything else.”

Brody encouraged anyone unsure of how to handle their gutter system to give Brothers a call.

“We’ll come out and take a look, and if we can do it, we’ll thoroughly clean them and get a gutter guard up so you won’t have to deal with them for the rest of your life,” he said. “When we put them up, you never have to replace them.”

Brody said a system from Brothers is a homeowner’s “first and last gutter system.”

“We guarantee our workmanship for 20 years, and a lifetime on our materials,” he said.