How many homeowners clean their gutters every year? Too many homeowners ignore their home’s rain gutters until something goes wrong. Maybe the gutters become full of leaves and other debris and quit draining rainwater from the roof. Maybe the gutters get holes in them or rust through. Maybe plants start visibly growing out of the gutters. Gutters may become weighed down with refuse and pull away from the house. In all of these instances, there is an expensive gutter cleaning and repair job needed. But, an annual cleaning could have saved everyone a lot of expense and trouble.
Why Are Rain Gutters Important?
Gutters protect the home from rain runoff and prevent damage to the landscaping. If there are no gutters and the rain just runs off the roof, it can stain and damage the siding and window trim. It can also pool by the home’s foundation, causing big problems such as basement leaks and undermining the foundation.
Keeping gutters clean is also very important because, if a gutter is filled with leaves and other debris, it can not do its job correctly. The rainwater can be forced to creep under the edge of the roof instead of draining safely away. This can cause roof damage. In the winter, ice dams and more damage to the roof can happen. Rain gutters should be cleaned at least once every year, more if there are overhanging trees filling them with leaves. The homeowner can hire a service for gutter cleaning or they can attempt to clean the gutters themselves.
5 Ways To Clean Gutters
If a homeowner wants to clean their own gutters, there are five ways to do the job successfully. They are not easy, and they are messy, but they work. The homeowner should only attempt to clean gutters themselves if they have an easy setup with a single-story home. Multi-story homes require climbing on ladders and a lot of risk of injury. These homes are best left to professional roof cleaning services. Here are five ways to clean gutters:
· Cleaning gutters from the ground involve less risk for the homeowner. With this method, the person cleaning the gutters uses a hose along with special attachments for gutter cleaning. The attachments are like long water-fed tubes with curved ends to get into the gutter. The homeowner should start at the downspout end and spray water along the gutter to the other end of the run. Then, work back toward the spout spraying out the now-loosened debris. It will spay over the sides of the gutter.
· The next method is to use a wet or dry vacuum with special attachments that allow you to reach the gutter from the ground. Use the equipment to blow out most of the debris and then end with a garden hose to flush the remaining debris from the gutter.
· Cleaning gutters on a ladder increases the risk of injury, so choose a safe extension ladder with stabilizer arms. Brace the ladder against the siding for safety, and have a work buddy holding the bottom of the ladder and handing up equipment. The first method on a ladder is using a leaf blower with a special attachment and a strong air stream to blast leaves and twigs out of the gutters. Start at one end and work towards the other end. For this part, block the downspout. Then end by opening up the spout and flushing any remaining debris out with a garden hose.
· The second on-ladder gutter cleaning method is using a power washer that blasts dirt and debris out with a strong stream of water. This is messy, and you will need to clean the siding next. Don’t forget to blast the downspout clear.
· The last on-ladder method of gutter cleaning is to do it by hand using a gutter scoop, bucket, and sturdy gloves. Handfuls of debris are deposited in the bucket. This method must be followed with a garden hose to flush the remaining debris.
The five methods all work, but they are messy and time-consuming. The homeowner saves money and has the satisfaction of doing the job themselves. But, many homeowners are not physically able to do this job, or can’t stand being up on a ladder. Others have better things to do with their time such as demanding careers. They can choose to hire a good gutter cleaning service to come once a year with the right equipment and get the job done quickly for a price.
Steps to Increase Safety and Limit Home Damage
There are steps to take no matter which method is chosen to clean the gutters.
· Make sure all equipment is in good shape, meant to clean gutters, and safe. This is especially true of ladders. Use an extension ladder with a stabilizer and have a helper hold the ladder in place.
· Dress carefully for this messy job. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, work pants, strong gloves, sturdy shoes, safety glasses or goggles, and a hat.
· Follow directions carefully for each method of cleaning and using the equipment involved.
· Spread tarps beneath the gutters to protect landscaping.
· Once the gutters are clean, flush them out with the garden hose to find any leaks or damage.
· Repair any damage or defects to the gutters while the ladder is out and the gutters are clear.
· Don’t let the germ-infested debris touch bare skin or cuts and infections can occur.
· Beware of any insects or rodents living in the gutters. They can sting or bite.
Hiring Professional Gutter Cleaning Services
Many homeowners choose to hire professionals. Cleaning companies such as Guru Gutter Cleaning have special gutter cleaning trucks that use gutter vacuum technology to clean gutters in one, two, or three-story homes quickly and safely. They do not make a mess because all the debris is sucked into the special trucks.
Because this is what they do day after day, they can do it right every time and it gets done quickly with little fuss. These companies will also pressure wash siding and repair gutter systems or replace worn-out ones. It is worth calling them for a job estimate.
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