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Home maintenance takes a lot of work. Unfortunately, it can be difficult knowing everything that needs to be done during gutter cleaning and how to do it.
For instance, most people take care of their home’s roof but often forget the gutters. This can lead to serious problems and damage in and around the home.
Why Are Gutters So Important?
The gutters are kind of like the little helpers of a home’s roof. The roof provides support and protection for the home by preventing water from collecting and damaging a home.
The gutters are there to collect that diverted water and direct it away from the home in a proper manner. This is whygutter cleaningis necessary to ensure the water flows properly.
Without the gutters, the rainwater would simply pour down the side of the home. This would cause siding and paint to wear faster and may even damage the walls of the home.
As the water collects around the home, it will seep into the ground and eventually work its way into the foundation or basement of the home.
Gutters help protect the home from issues caused by rainwater. However, gutters need proper care to ensure they perform their job properly. These three dos and don’ts can provide assistance in the proper care the gutters need.
Don’t Forget the Gutters
This is a common mistake for many homeowners. They worry about the roof, siding, and various other aspects of the home but forget about the gutters.
Before long, the gutters are broken, clogged up, or leaking. By the time something is done, the damage is often severe.
Do Inspect the Gutters
The gutters should be inspected at leastonce a year. Twice a year is preferable, and frequent inspections are recommended if there is a tree that hangs over the home. These regular inspections help to identify problems with the gutters early and allow repairs and adjustments to be performed.
Don’t Let Debris Build Up
Leaves, dirt, tree seeds, and other debris can make their way into the gutters and form a clog. If the gutters get too clogged, water will pour over the sides or may even pool on the roof.
This pooling can damage the roof and cause a leak. The water that pours over the side may eventually end up in the basement.
Do Clean the Gutters
Although inspecting the gutters once or twice a year is recommended, debris can build up quickly. This is especially true if there is a tree that hangs over the roof.
Leaves, pine needles, and even tree sap can collect in the gutters and prevent the water from flowing. Regular cleaning of the gutters can prevent this issue.
Don’t Forget the Pitch
Often, when a gutter inspection is performed, homeowners check for clogs or holes in the gutters. They often forget that the gutters must be properly pitched to ensure the water flows freely.
One of the best methods for checking this problem is to pour water into the gutter and watch it flow to the downspout. If it flows freely and exits the downspout without issue, the pitch is fine.
Do Check the Downspout
Just because the gutters seem like they are clear and flowing properly, it doesn’t mean there are no issues with the downspout. The downspout is where all the water is directed.
It needs to be clear to allow the water to be diverted away from the home. Always check this part of the gutters during cleanings or inspections.
How to Clean the Gutters
Cleaning the home’s gutters is not a difficult job. The biggest issue a homeowner’s faces when cleaning the gutters is safety. Often, a home’s gutters sit pretty high off the ground.
That means gutter cleaning will require the use of a ladder to reach the gutters. The utmost care should be taken when working from a ladder.
There are only a few tools needed when cleaning gutters. The ladder, if the roof is high, a bucket or tarp to collect the debris, a garden hose, rubber gloves, and possibly a plumber’s snake will cover this task.
A power washer, however, is not recommended for this job. This is because the water from a power washer is under pressure and may damage the gutters during cleaning.
With gloves on, begin at thecorners of the gutters. Pull out any debris from this area that may be stuck in tight places and put it in the bucket or tarp.
Next, begin working down the straight runs of the gutters. Some people choose to use a plastic scoop to remove debris, but the debris can be easily removed by hand.
At the downspout, spray some water from the hose to see if there are any blockages. Often, a good blast of water from the hose is enough to remove a clog. However, if a clog is stubborn, the plumber’s snake will clear it up quickly.
Once the major debris is removed from the gutters, it is a good idea to run water in the gutters from every angle. Watch to ensure there is no water pooling or leaking.
If the water flows easily to and through the downspout, the gutters are fine. However, any hesitation or leaks from the gutters should be addressed immediately.
From time to time, there will be problems with the gutters. Minor problems, such as a loose attachment or a separate piece, can be easily fixed by the homeowner. However, major damage that requires replacement may be better left to the professionals.
A professional contractor can properly repair or replace gutters as needed. Not only can they find the best gutters and install them securely, but they can also ensure the gutters are properly pitched. In some cases, homeowners can have their gutters replaced when having the roof replaced.
To prevent some of the common issues of clogs in the gutters, homeowners can choose to have guards installed on their gutters.
These often mesh covers that allow the water to flow into the gutter but prevent debris from entering. Gutter guards minimize the time spent cleaning the gutters every year.