Make sure your gutters are clear before storms approach, experts say

Encumbered gutters can damage your home and injure people when they fall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As The Weather Authority meteorologists track the path of Hurricane Florence, they're also monitoring the progress of two other storms -- Hurricanes Helene and Isaac -- brewing in the Atlantic.

Though Florida and Georgia will likely escape the brunt of Florence's devastation, people across our area are now taking steps to prepare their homes and businesses for the worst case scenario.

While some preparations may seem like no-brainers, like putting lawn furniture away, others are easily overlooked. Like making sure your gutters are cleaned out before the storms make landfall.

Those preparations made for a busy Monday for Dennis Gullette, a service manager for Gutter Helmet, a Jacksonville-based gutter maintenance company. He said it's important to stay prepared.

"Make sure your gutters are cleaned out," he said. "Because there is going to be a lot of debris that is going to go in them... so the weight of it is going to make the gutters fall off."

Once clogged, Gullette said, gutters can get very heavy. At that point, he said, they can cause damage to your home or, worse yet, injure someone.

That's why it's crucial to keep gutters free of debris, like branches and moss. "Everything that collects in the gutters goes out the down spout and that's how the water gets out of the gutters," he said.

Aside from maintenance, Gullette said it's key to make sure you have the right type of gutter. He recommended aluminum over plastic because it tends to be stronger and more durable.

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