Clean out those gutters before winter storms arrive

It doesn't take long for those falling leaves, needles and pine cones to clog your gutters and downspouts. When that happens, you run the risk of water damage.

"Rain water will quickly build up and eventually start overflowing," said Matt Maury, president of the Seattle's HomeOwners Club. "Meanwhile the water left standing inside may freeze during the winter weather, creating additional problems."

Cleaning your gutters is not a one-time chore. You need to check them on a regular basis during the fall and winter months.

If too much debris gets in there, some of it will wash into the downspouts which could cause them to clog. That's a more complicated problem to fix.

When you check your gutters, look to see if they are sagging anywhere. If so, that's something you need to fix.

"When gutters sag, they usually expose areas of your siding and prevent rainwater from draining properly," Maury explained. "That can lead to leaks and rust, as well as the development of mold."

A good set of metal gutters that are properly maintained should last you about 25 years or so.

More Info: Solutions for Homeowners with Rain Gutter Problems