• Cleaning and maintaining gutters

Cleaning and Maintaining Gutters

Sitting along the edge of your roof, the gutters of your home provide added protection from rain water. When it rains, the water runs down the slope of the roof and collects in the gutter system. The gutters channel this water away from your roof and foundation through the downspout. This helps maintain the structural identity of your property and reduce the risk of damage due to water.

As with any home system, the gutter system requires regular maintenance and cleaning. When clogged, this system just cannot work as efficiently, or depending on the level of collected debris, may not work at all. Here you can find out how you can keep your gutter system free and clear from leaves, twigs, or other debris, and keep this system in optimum condition.

How to Clean Gutters

It’s a good idea to clean the gutter system twice a year. At minimum, an annual clean before winter can get you by. This way you can tackle the fallen leaves, twigs, and debris from autumn. Before you get started, make sure you can access a sturdy ladder that can extend to the roofline. If gunk makes you squeamish, throw on some rubber gloves and wear clothing you don’t mind getting dirty. Some other items you may find helpful include:

  • Small shovel, trowel or gutter scoop
  • Safety glasses to protect eyes from debris
  • Plastic bucket for storing debris
  • Landscape tarp for catching fallen debris
  • Garden hose for flushing gutters and downspouts
  • Extra helper to lend an extra hand

With materials at hand, you can start removing debris from the gutters. When using the ladder, never extend your reach or step above the second to last step. If using a ladder makes you feel uneasy, you can invest in a gutter cleaning wand. This handy tool curves at the end and attaches to your garden hose. You can find these at just about any home and garden store. Next, using your hands, remove the leaves, twigs and debris and place in bucket. For compacted debris, you can use a shovel, trowel, or commercially available gutter scoop.

Now that most of the debris removed, you can flush the gutter with the garden hose. A spray nozzle can help effectively remove the remaining bits and pieces of debris. You can even use a pressure washer for maximum power. While spraying, avoid aiming towards the roof shingles. This can trap water underneath the shingle, and penetrate to the roof layer.

If when flushing the gutters you find the water slow moving, check the downspouts. Leaves and debris can clog the downspout and prevent the gutters from fully draining. You can remove the collected debris with the garden hose on full pressure. Simply start from the ground, feed the hose up the downspout, and turn on the hose. This alone can usually break up and dislodge the clog. If needed, a plumber’s snake can help break the collected debris.

Once the downspout is clear, flush the gutters again and check water flow and drainage. At this time, you can also check for any issues, such as standing water, loose attachment, leaky seams, and improper slope to the downspout. You can adjust the hangers and correct the downslope. If detached from the home, add support hangers as needed. A gutter sealant can correct and seal leaky seams and joints.

As a final tip, you can take this time to touch up with paint or install a gutter guard. This can help stop debris in its tracks and make it easy to keep your gutters and downspouts clean. These can prove a valuable investment for homes surrounded by overhead trees.

DIY or Professional Gutter Cleaning Service

DIY gutter cleaning
Cleaning out your home’s gutters is a necessary part of maintaining your home and can help save you from other roofing issues down the road. DIY can be a money-saving way to maintain your gutter system and a great way to take pride in your home. If this task isn’t for you, you can always take advantage of a professional crew for gutter cleaning services.

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