When you think about home maintenance, it’s important to know how to keep your home undamaged from the elements. One essential part is a gutter or eavestrough system. You might think gutters are helpful, sure, but are they necessary? They don’t add to the aesthetic appeal of your home, but Gutter Supply experts will tell you gutters are key to preventing landscape and soil erosion, siding damage, rain from getting in your basement, and even preserving roof shingles.
6 Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters
Cleaning your house gutters may seem a chore, but it’s easier when you know how often to clean them, the best time, what tools to use, and the overall process.
When and How Often to Clean Gutters:
The best time to clean gutters is every spring and fall. A helpful way to think about it is this: Spring cleaning gets rid of winter storm debris, and the end of fall cleaning helps to rid gutters of accumulated dead leaves.
Even if you have gutter guards, you need to be regularly cleaning your gutters. Guards don’t keep everything from clogging them. At minimum to meet the standard it is advised you clear out your gutters at least once a year. Things like living near lots of trees that shed more leaves or needles will increase your need for checking your gutters. Four times a year instead of the usual two is necessary for a house near wooded areas.
Tool You Will Need:
When you clean gutters, you need to have the right tools. Some you may have laying around the house, others you may need to borrow or find at a local hardware store.
Tools you will need are a:
- Sturdy Ladder: Investing in a sturdy ladder can be a lifesaver when you avoid accidents from a tipsy perch. A ladder stabilizer can help you be safe during gutter cleaning by adding extra safety. (Gutter cleaning is safest when done with a buddy)
- Bucket: A heavy-duty bucket is a must-have when you are cleaning gutters. You’ll need a place to chuck the debris and gunk you find in your gutters. Tossing debris on the ground will give you the added chore of landscape work, and having this handy makes your chores easier.
- Work Gloves: When you’re cleaning gutters, it’s important to protect your hands against cuts, scrapes and punctures from metal, wood, and nails. Choose puncture-resistant materials such as leather or nitrile/rubber gloves.
- Gutter Scoop: To simplify the job, you can use a gutter scoop. A gutter scoop is flexible and reaches under the supports to make your task simpler.
- Hose attachment: Sometimes gutters are hard-to-reach. This is where a hose attachment for your garden hose helps you to spritz out lodged in dirt and debris where you can’t reach.
- Leaf Blower Attachments: For those who don’t want to climb up a ladder, a leaf blower is ideal, but only for dry debris and dirt. With wet debris, a pressure washer is best. Leaf blowers won’t dislodge wet debris as pressure washers. You’ll need to wait for the debris to dry if you only have a leaf blower.
Gutter Cleaning Preparation
Preparation is about prevention, cleanup, and maintenance. The first consideration you should have for your environment. Trim branches and trees near the roofline of your house. Leaves and pine needles create debris hazards to your gutters and roof, especially during storms. Put six to ten feet of distance between the branches and your gutters. Keeping tree branches from your gutters can diminish the amount of clearing you need to do in the future.
Clean the Roof:
If you are able, clean off the roof before starting on your gutters. Since you’re already up the ladder it’s worth taking the time to inspect the roof. Cleaning the roof can prevent roof debris from falling into gutters. Use a leaf blower or broom to clean the roof. Be careful while you work. Safety should be your most important consideration when you are cleaning roofs or gutters. Wear slip-resistant shoes, use gloves. Use zinc to prevent the accumulation of moss on the roof. Follow safety directions for any chemicals you use as the biocide. A clean roof means roof debris is less likely to wash into gutters during wind or rainstorms.
Install Gutter Covers or Helmets:
Maintaining the work you have done is essential to preventing more work in the future. Use a leaf guard for gutters, helmets, or covers to keep debris from clogging up gutters. Inspect this regularly if you live in a wooded area. Leaf guards for gutters or gutter helmets snap onto the gutter top front and drain through a cutout at the gutter end. The helmet covers are flat and rest on top of gutters to drain water with perforated screens. Bees and wasps like to use helmet covers for their nests, so check helmet covers often to see if covers that are not inhabited. With these tips and regular care, you can keep your house maintained for years to come.
Keeping your gutters clean and free from debris will prevent long-term pain in the future. But if all this work seems too much for you, or too many choices contact your local gutter experts to help you.