Keeping your gutters clean and free of debris is not only essential for proper drainage but also ensures your house is less likely to have water damage. If water is not draining properly, it can seep into your roof, siding and possibly under your foundation. Excess water can cause bowing foundation walls, roof damage, mold and ice dams in the winter. Excess water also adds weight, causing gutters to pull away from your home and possibly cause structural damage,
While the fall season has passed, gutters can still be clogged with fallen leaves, twigs, acorns and other debris. Are your gutters failing to drain properly or are they overflowing? If so, it is time to give them a good cleaning. Here is a guide for the best ways to keep your gutters clean.
How to Clean Your Gutters- Setting Up
Your gutters usually need to be cleaned out at least once a year. If you live near a lot of trees or an area prone to thunderstorms, extra cleanings may be necessary. While climbing a ladder and getting your hands dirty probably does not sound fun, it is an essential part of keeping your home in tip-top shape.
Make sure you have a stable ladder and have someone to spot you if you do not feel comfortable with heights. Place your ladder on a flat surface to avoid wobbling or falling. Before cleaning, you might want to place a tarp underneath the ladder to catch all the gunk coming out of the gutters. Things are going to get messy, you make sure you are dressed properly in work gloves and a long-sleeved shirt.
Depending on how often you clean your gutters, you may have a substantial amount of debris in them. Using a garden shovel or an old spatula (or your hands if you don’t mind your gloves getting dirty), scrape out any debris and toss it down on your tarp. If you clean your gutters more regularly, consider investing in a gutter scoop, available at most hardware stores. If there is standing water in your gutters, getting the debris out should allow it to drain.
After you clean out all the debris from your gutters, it is time to see if all your hard work has paid off. Grab your garden hose and run water through your gutters to flush out any remaining debris and insects. Running water through them will also help you see if there are any clogs you may have missed. Now is also a good time to check for leaks and holes so you can patch them.
While cleaning your gutters is essential, also take time to inspect your gutters for any damage such as warped or sagging metal, cracks, holes or crevices. If you notice any damage, repair them as soon as you can to avoid future problems.
It is also a good time to check for any possible animal infestations. Birds and squirrels are notorious for building nests in gutters. Clogged gutters with standing water are also breeding grounds for mosquitos and other pests.
Luckily, most gutter repairs are DIY and can be fixed in no time. For instance, gutter hangers can easily be installed to fix any sagging areas. If the gutter repair is not your strong suit, always contact the professionals to get the job done right.
When Should I Clean My Gutters?
Depending on where you live, the best time to clean your gutters is either in the fall or the spring. The fall season brings falling leaves and colder weather, while the spring brings excess pollen and heavier rainfall in many areas.
A fall cleaning will also help you prepare for the winter months. The last thing you want to do is deal with costly repairs during the cold months, as prices tend to go up and many repairs cannot be made with colder temperatures. Pick a day when it is not too cold and make sure you have all the necessary tools at the ready
Contact the Professionals
We know that the last thing you want to do on your day off is to climb on a ladder and clean the gunk out of your gutters. That is where we come in! Our home service experts at Ray Arnold Masonry are ready to answer any questions you may have about your gutters, roof and more. With over 65 years of experience, we are committed to serving our community with the highest quality customer service. Contact us today to get started.