Now that spring is here– and all the rain that goes along with it– there is a whole host of indoor and outdoor chores you need to get done. Gutter cleaning is one of them.
Sadly, gutter cleaning is one of the most overlooked. but important tasks of Spring. Checking gutters for winter debris and damage can save you a lot of money later.
A properly functioning gutter system can and will always provide much-needed protection for your home from water damage. When the gutters and downspouts are leaking or clogged, it cannot effectively drain water from the roof and funnel it away from the house. As water is held back up, it will eventually damage the roof, fascia, soffits, and siding of your house.
According to experts, regular examination and maintenance of gutters is a must to lessen the need for gutter repairs and replacement, which usually costs money. But because gutters are usually hidden from view, built-up debris and other problems won’t be noticed until the damage has already been occurring.
Clogged and Leaky Gutters
Leaves and debris clogging the gutters is the most common problem because it makes the water back up over the top. This in turn will damage the fascia board, deck, rafters or worse the foundation of the house itself. There are tell-tale signs of fascia board damage such as: if your gutters are pulling away from the house; and, if the spikes always have to be pushed back into the gutters.
If this is already happening, assessment for either repair or replacement must be done immediately because the gutter will just continue to sag, causing more water to run over and more damage to occur. If you are sure that this is not yet happening to your gutter, the best course of action is to always clean it on a regular basis.
Other problems to look for include holes, loose, bent, or missing fasteners as well as corrosion and sagging sections. You can plug or caulk the holes while loose or missing spikes can either be tightened or replaced. Holes should be plugged or caulked immediately. Sagging is often the result of loose or missing spikes, which should be tightened or replaced.
Basic Tips for Cleaning:
1. Use a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle.
This would make it easier to hang over the front edge of the gutter as you move around or when you have to use both hands for scooping the debris. Remove the larger debris first before spraying the smaller, murkier debris toward the downspout.
2. Use a safe and sturdy ladder.
Choose a ladder with a small shelf strong enough to hold a bucket for debris collection. Secure the bucket with a lanyard to avoid the hassle of going down again just to pick it up – if it still not broken already from the fall.
Avoid wooden ladders if possible because they are usually difficult to balance. Aluminum ladders can provide more support. Fiberglass ladders are the sturdiest but are also the heaviest. Muscle fatigue can easily set in when you have to move around numerous times and if you have to stay for several hours so choose which would work best for you.
3. Careful for power lines
If a power line cable touches your roof, conduct a visual inspection first to ensure that you won’t accidentally get electrocuted .
Make sure that the protective wire insulation hasn’t rubbed off. If this is the case, call a licensed professional electrical contractor to fix it first before you attempt cleaning your gutters.
4. Use rubber-soled shoes while performing gutter cleaning.
Rubber soles are best for preventing slips and falls. Opt to start your gutter cleaning when the sun has already dried up all the moisture on the roof, which is either late in the morning or in early afternoon.
5. Make sure the downspouts are clear.
This is to prevent the clog to move to the underground drain. Wear protective eyewear before running the water hose down the downspout at full force. If the water is not backing up out of the top, there is no more clog present.
Ever-Clean Gutters is one of hundreds of companies that offers gutters that they claim will never clog up.