Hurricane season is well underway, and plans have long been in place to ensure that the Lowcountry is prepared for this year’s potential storms.

The start of hurricane season is also a good time for homeowners to take a close look at their homes to make sure they are prepared for the unpredictable weather ahead – taking precautions such as securing and sealing your roof, securing porches and sealing windows, doors and any holes in the exterior of the home to prevent water from getting in.

In addition, before a storm hits, it’s important to pay particular attention to preparing your gutters for a hurricane (or any major storm) to prevent major damage to your home from water and winds. Taking precautions with your gutters sooner rather than later is key when it comes to hurricane season this year.

Following are some of the things you should do to inspect and your gutters – and protect your home – in preparing for a hurricane.

• Inspect, and clean your gutters and downspouts. It is critical that your gutters and downspouts are free of leaves and debris. Make sure that your gutters are cleaned properly and remove any blockages that could cause your gutters to become flooded and damage your house.

• Consider extending your downspouts to make sure you are keeping water as far away from the foundation as possible during the excessive rain of a hurricane – downspout extenders can help keep the ground around the foundation from getting over-saturated, reducing the likelihood of water damage to your home.   

• Make sure gutters are firmly attached to your home. Carefully inspect all gutters on your home and garage to make sure they are properly secured. During a hurricane, gutters that aren’t firmly attached can damage your home’s exterior.

• Have your gutter guards checked. Make sure they are at the right angle (or “pitch”) to prevent clogging of leaves and debris in the gutters. If you are unsure, have a professional check to make sure your gutters and gutter guards are properly positioned – especially during the heavy rains and winds of a major storm.

There is a lot you can do to prepare your home for a hurricane – especially when it comes to ensuring that your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, secured firmly to your home, and able to properly divert water from the foundation of your home. If you have any questions about your gutters, a consultation with a gutter professional can help provide you with peace of mind that you are protecting your home – both during hurricane season and all year long.

Andrew Snodgrass is the founder of Spartina Seamless Gutters, a Lowcountry-based company specializing in seamless gutter installations, gutter repair, gutter replacement and maintenance.