Cleaning gutters is one of those chores every house owner tries to avoid. Moreover, many people end up using wrong methods which not only defeats the purpose but also sometimes causes accidents.
While hiring a professional may save a lot of time, it can cost from $120 to up to $250, depending on the size. However, you can clean it easily at home and save some money. Moreover, cleaning gutters are not a difficult task at all if you have the right tools for it.
Why Cleaning Gutters is Important
Gutters play an important role in draining the water and keeping your house safe. Normally they are filled with leaves; branches etc. and it can eventually result in clogged downspouts. As a result, many problems such as weak foundation and water damage can occur.
So, a cleaned gutter is a must for keeping your whole house protected. So read our step-by-step cleaning method and start cleaning it now!
Also, gutters play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your home. As we mentioned before, it can cause several damages such as Foundation damage, roof leak etc.
A clogged gutter can end up carrying excess water which can eventually weaken the foundation. This water ends up making the foundation soggy and this wet foundation can end up in cracks after drying. So, to maintain a healthy base, gutters should be cleaned regularly.
Similarly, the water can run through the roofs resulting in some serious cracks and leaks. Especially during snowing when the gutters are clogged, the situation can be far more serious.
Finally, a dirty gutter can be responsible for luring various pests and insects. As we all know, pests are attracted to this type of dirty habitat which can eventually result in an infestation. In addition to infestation, the woods used in the frame can also get attacked by the water leaks and overall make your home more vulnerable than you can ever imagine!
When Should I Clean My Gutters
The cleaning of gutters depends on your surroundings and seasons. While twice-a-year cleaning is heavily recommended, people who have pine trees around their gutters should clean more frequently. Any trees that have a longer shedding period can clog your gutter quickly, so be cautious about that.
The weather should also be checked before the cleaning process. Dry seasons are practical as during this time the water gets evaporated which results in easy cleaning. Most people clean their gutters around spring and fall. So, think about everything carefully before trying to unclog your gutters.
Signs for Gutter Cleaning
Sometimes, you need to clean your gutter as soon as it starts showing some worrying signs. The signs you should look out for are:
Water in basement or water somewhere it shouldn’t be
Damp roof or leakage of water
Presence of molds or birds nesting
Unusual stain in the walls or roofs
Gutters can be cleaned easily with some household items. The items that you must need for cleaning your gutters are:
Ladders have to be the most important item for cleaning gutters. To see the gutter properly, use a sturdy ladder. Do not choose ladders that are extra light or ladders that shake. This can result in a terrible accident.
Rather choose ladders with four legs that can support you properly and also reach the gutters. Try to avoid wood ladders and if you want something lightweight, go for an aluminum ladder.
Another thing to remember is to inspect the ladder before climbing and if possible try to have someone in case of emergencies.
As the name suggests, this particular item is needed for scrapping all those clogged debris from your gutters. Gutter scoops make the whole removal process much easier and reach every nook and cranny.
However, if you’re unable to find a gutter scoop, using any spatula or scoops work just as fine. But, the plastics ones should be chosen as they are unable to cause scratches and cracks.
You should place a bucket on your ladder for carrying all these leaves and debris. Many people make the mistake of clearing the gutters and throwing the dirt everywhere. Not only this creates a messy situation, but it also acts as bait for insects which can cause infestation.
You should use rubber gloves while handling the debris. If the metal gutters have some rusting or cracking, they can cause serious injury. In order to prevent this type of unfortunate incident, use rubber gloves. Moreover, the debris is filthy and we’re sure you don’t want to touch it bare-handed.
Leaf blowers are common in every household for clearing leaves. While a leaf blower can get rid of the leaves and twigs sitting in your gutter, getting rid of the organic compost can be a little bit tricky.
Garden hose is another household item that can be used for cleaning purposes. It not only eliminates the need of using a ladder but also keeps your hands clean. However, this method only works when you have fairly clean gutters. Other than that, the hose won’t be able to remove all the dirt from your filthy gutters.
Steps to Clean the Gutter
First of all, place the ladder on a solid straight surface. Climb it and also place your bucket in the nearest step for collecting the trash
By using your plastic gutter scoops, scrap all leaves, debris and dirt. Try to reach the bottom surface and every corner properly. If you do not have any scoop, use your hands for this purpose
After collecting all the filth, flush the channel and collect the residue from downspouts
For extra care, clean the downspouts by using a power washer. Moreover, you can use set leaf guards for the outlets to prevent future clogging.
So, as you can see it is a fairly simple process. All you need is some household items that can save your time and lessen your efforts. However, if you’re not comfortable handling a ladder or standing in one for hours, it’s wise to take the help of a professional. But if you’ve no problem with a ladder and taking all these precautions, you’re good to go.
Furthermore, once you get used to it, you can save both time and hassle of booking a professional. So don’t wait and start cleaning your gutters yearly!