How to Clean Gutters
When it’s time to maintain the home exterior, many homeowners forget the gutters and even fail to think about how to clean gutters. But cleaning gutters now in fall can help you prepare your roof and exterior well for the winter. All too often homeowners who put off cleaning their gutters can incur pricey repair bills once the snow and ice hit.
So do you know how to clean gutters? When to do it? And why? Fire up that slow cooker, DVR the game and let’s do this!
What is the purpose of a gutter?
Gutters line the eaves of roofs and are one of the most important parts of the roofing system. Gutters ensure water flow off the roof and away from the foundation of the home. They protect against rot and damage to the roof fascia boards (the board that runs behind the gutter) and the siding. Keeping the gutters clean will also help keep your basement or crawlspace dry by directing water away from the house.
What happens if the gutters become clogged?
A lot! Unfortunately gutters and downspouts become easily clogged with leaves and debris, especially around fall with leaves from the trees and from shedding tree pods and seeds in the spring. Many problems arise when the gutters get clogged:
- A roof can begin to rot as water floods over the clogged gutters.
- Mosquitos, carpenter ants, birds, etc. are drawn to decaying debris and nesting.
- Gardens or flowerbeds flood from water flowing over the side of the roof.
- Cracks in your homes foundation can form if water pools around it since clogged gutters are not able to direct water away from your home.
- Damage to the brackets and the fascia is possible due to the weight of the debris and the overflow of water.
How do you clean a gutter?
Gather your tools: a bucket, ladder, hose, rubber gloves, and a gutter scoop. Since the job can get messy, we suggest wearing a long sleeve shirt and goggles, or dust mask.
- Clean and remove gutter covers, if there are any.
- Scoop out the debris with a gutter scoop or your hands.
- Spray the gutter with water and check water flow.
- Put the hose on full force and spray into the down spout. If the water comes out with less power, there may be a clog.
- To remove the clog from the down spout, work the hose up the down spout.
- Make sure the gutters are secure.
Now that I know how to clean gutters, how do I avoid cleaning them as often?
Although cleaning the gutter is a pretty easy job, it can be a nuisance. Fortunately, there is a solution– Gutter Guards. A Gutter Guard prevents leaves, seeds, twigs, etc. from building up in your gutters. Gutter Guards help direct water and debris to run off the edge of the gutter rather than build up and clog the gutter. The guards also allow water to drain away from the home. Not only will Gutter Guards save you maintenance, it will add value to your property. At pro-Homes, there are two types of Gutter Guards we install:
- Raindrop Gutter Guard System– Backed by a 20-year warranty, these polyurethane guards keep out large debris and prevent clogs with grates on top of the gutter.
- Leaf Relief Gutter Guard System– Backed by a 25-year “no clog, no overflow” warranty, leaf relief is the leading protection system for gutters. They are simple to install and fit most gutters. The Leaf Relief System has flat tops to allow rain but keep leaves and other particles out.
It’s important to know how to clean gutters properly, and also to know you have options to reduce the necessity. Let the team at Pro-Home Services make it easier with installing the right Gutter Guard for your home. Give us a call today at 630-790-0800.