Cleaning your gutters may be one of the most unpopular chores for any homeowner. Aside from it being a dirty, tedious task, it can also be dangerous, as it usually requires climbing a ladder or rooftop. However annoying this chore may seem, it is essential in order to maintain a safe home for you and your family. Also, maintaining your gutters will help to ensure that your home and its roof will last for years to come.
Gutters and downspouts exist to collect and direct rainwater away from your home. When functioning properly, they safely serve their purpose, but will also catch plenty of debris in the process. Dirt, leaves, sticks, and other foreign objects will pile up, eventually creating dams that block the free flow of water. When the water can no longer move freely through the channels to the downspouts, it will naturally flow over the sides. Unfortunately, water can then seep into the any exposed cracks in your home’s exterior. If water leaks into the foundation, it can flood your home’s basement, thereby weakening the foundation.
Aside from damaging the structure of your home, neglected gutters can pose health and safety challenges. Residual moisture and debris creates a breeding ground for hazardous mold and mildew. If proper attention is not given, this decomposition can quickly spread and compromise the air quality in your home.
Stagnant water and debris inside gutters is also a favorite shelter for pests like insects and rodents. Mosquitoes, in particular, commonly spread many diseases, and ant infestations can cause structural damage if left unnoticed. Also, rodents carry a host of diseases and can cause significant problems by chewing through wires, insulation, and other essential components.
Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to prevent these issues with regular maintenance. You or a professional should inspect and clean your home’s gutters at least twice annually to ensure that they function properly. When this is completed, it should only take a few hours to clean and restore full functionality.
How To Clean Your Gutters
If you have the proper tools and if you feel comfortable undertaking the cleaning process, you can certainly do this yourself. Gutter cleaning is fairly straightforward, as you don’t necessarily need professional equipment, unlike other home improvement tasks. The required tools are most likely already available to most families. You can conduct a test to see if your gutters need cleaning simply by using a garden hose. Spray water on your roof to make sure the water is flowing freely from the downspout. If it is not, then your gutters probably need some attention.
During the cleaning process, the most important thing to remember is to have all tools and materials ready beforehand—a ladder, sprayer, and a prepared solution of water and nontoxic cleaner. Always stay safe by properly grounding the ladder, staying clear of tree branches and power lines, and wearing gloves and safety glasses.
However, if you are inexperienced, one major downside cleaning your own gutters is the inability to spot key signs of potential problems. Leaving leaks and other issues untreated can prove to be quite costly in the long run. Professional cleaners, however, can easily identify these issues and suggest appropriate measures to fix them.
That said, it’s an excellent idea to let the experts handle your gutter cleaning job, especially if your household lacks the necessary tools and agility. Aside from maintenance, experts can also provide a comprehensive assessment of the condition of your roof, gutters, and downspouts.
When it comes to gutter cleaning, it’s important to follow a regular schedule, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. Either way, the time and effort that you spend on this task can go a long way to ensure that your family stays safe and healthy, and your home is maintained over the years.
If you have any questions about gutter cleaning and maintenance, we encourage you to contact us. We look forward to helping you extend the life of your home’s exterior.