Every home needs to have some type of gutter system. Gutters are important because they direct the water away from the structure of the home. However, it requires periodic maintenance if you want to avoid clogged gutters due to the debris that falls into them. You need debris free gutters so that when it rains, the water flows away from the walls and the foundation, without causing any harm to the structure of the home. Some of the most common issues that can happen with clogged gutters include:
- Water damage: If gutters become clogged, the water that falls onto the roof of your home may be directed to the foundation of your home and/or your basement. When gutters are running smooth, the water that falls on the roof will be directed down through the downspouts and away from the home.
- Gutters that work loose: Debris that piles up, including water and twigs can eventually cause the gutters to pull apart. This will slowly cause the siding and the trimming of your home to rot. Freezing temperatures are common in certain areas and when gutters become clogged with ice, the water can leak into the home. Ice dams can cause the gutters to come loose which can cost money to repair.
- Insects and bugs: Gutters that are allowed to get damp and clogged can be an invitation to mosquitoes, carpenter ants, and rodents too. If these insects and rodents live in your gutters, they are going to look for a way to get into your home.
When to Clean your Gutters
Gutters should be cleaned twice a year, according to the National Center for Healthy Housing. The best times to clean them are once in the spring and once in the fall. It’s a good idea to check the gutters throughout the year as well. You should pay close attention to the climate your home is built in as this will affect how frequent you may need to clean them. Factors that can influence how often you clean your gutters include:
- Living near the woods: If your home is located around trees, you can bet that the leaves off the tree will go onto the roof of your home as the seasons change, resulting in clogged gutters. Check the gutters three to four times per year to keep them clean.
- Ice and Snow: Ice dams and snow can weigh heavy on your gutter. It’s important to be safe and avoid cleaning your gutter when the conditions are slippery and cold as you could fall and injure yourself. Hiring a professional to clean the gutters for you is the answer to this problem.
Tips on DIY Gutter Cleaning
While you may be tempted to get on the ladder and unclog your gutters, it is certainly not recommended. Instead, hire a professional to clean them for you. While cleaning your gutters, professionals are trained to look for any misalignment, leaks, or damage that could have occurred since your last gutter cleaning. If you decide to clean the gutters yourself, it’s important to remember that safety always comes first. Some important equipment you will need includes:
- Gloves to protect your hands from any sharp object
- Dust mask to keep the dust from getting to your nose
- Safety goggles are important to protect your eyes from any debris that may fly back.
- Ladder: In order to reach your gutters, you will need a ladder. It’s important to never get on a ladder unless you have a spotter, or someone to hold the ladder for you while you climb.
- Garden Trowel: Used to remove the debris from the gutter
If debris seems to be stuck, using precaution to remove it is ideal as you could damage the gutter if you try and use any force. Once you remove the debris, flush out the dirt that remains with a garden hose.
Look the gutters over while you are there cleaning them in order to prevent any complications that could occur later. Maintaining your gutters is vital to proper water drainage.