Cleaning your gutters is a quick and painless job. It’s also a job that many people ignore for far too long. It’s not something that needs to be done daily, weekly or even monthly. In fact, all it takes is approximately 15-30 minutes a couple times a year. Yet, for some reason, it’s not uncommon for people to ignore the job altogether.
You don’t want to make that mistake. Sure, watching the football game, taking a nap or doing practically anything else sounds more fun than cleaning out your gutters. However, if you don’t take the time, you’ll pay dearly in the long run. Who wants to do that?
Below are some common questions about gutters and useful tips on why you need to clean your gutters and how to clean them. Check them out!
Why Do I Need to Clean My Gutters?
The simple answer is that it could end up costing you thousands of dollars if you don’t. Gutters carry rainwater from your roof down the side of your home and away from the foundation – the further away, the better chance you have of avoiding flooding and problems with the foundation. When gutters get filled with leaves and other elements, the water has nowhere to escape. If it backlogs, you could end up with water inside your home, which can create mold.
If you live in an area where it freezes during the winter, it’s even more essential your gutters are cleaned biannually. Icicles may be fun to look at, but they can cost you a lot of money if you’re looking at them on your home. Gutters are designed to prevent icicles from forming on the edge of your roofline, which can cause damage to your shingles. If too much water builds up, you’ll have water splashing through your roof and into your home in no time.
How Often Do I Need to Clean My Gutters?
Not very often. If you clean them out twice per year (late spring or early summer and late fall or early winter) you’re set. Just make sure they’re cleared of leaves, samaras (commonly referred to as helicopters) and anything else that has found its way into the gutter. It’s also not uncommon for birds or other animals to build nests in or around gutters.
How Do I Clean My Gutters?
It’s not difficult. You need the following items: ladder, gloves, small hand rake, hose and a garbage bag. Set up the ladder close to the gutter. Once you’re within reach of the gutter and wearing your gloves, begin removing the debris. If you’re uncomfortable with heights, you can throw the debris out of the gutter and collect it up once you’re off the ladder, or you can put the debris in the garbage bag as you go. If you find any objects that are stuck to the gutter, use your hand rake. Be careful not to cause any damage to the gutter, as that could cost you money in the long run, too. Once you get one section complete, get off the ladder and move it to another section that needs to be cleaned. Repeat until the entire gutter is cleaned out.
Once everything is complete, use the hose to spray down the gutter to get anything you may have missed. This step will also show you if you have any leaks that need to be fixed. If so, you’ll want to apply some sort of sealant to fix for the time being. If you decided to throw debris from the gutter to the ground (instead of placing it in the garbage bag), clean up all debris. It’s that easy!
Some of us (including yours truly) aren’t very fond of heights. If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry. There are companies that will come out to your home and do everything for you. Be sure to compare and contrast companies to find the right one for you.
In the next month or so, it’ll be time to clean out your gutters for the winter. Does anyone out there have any other tips or questions on cleaning your gutters? Let us know in the comments below!