Gutters are responsible for removing water from your roof, but they can also easily collect leaves, debris, and other organic materials along the way. Cleaning gutters is an essential home maintenance task that should be done at least twice a year to prevent water damage to your home’s foundation and roof. Here are five steps to follow when cleaning gutters:
Before you start cleaning your gutters, make sure you have the right equipment. This may include items such as a sturdy ladder, gloves, and safety glasses. Always make sure the ladder is stable and placed on a level surface to avoid accidental slips and injuries. It’s also a good idea to have someone hold the ladder steady while you’re on it. While cleaning gutters can be a one-person job, joining forces decreases the individual effort and overall time applied.
Chances are, there will be a lot of debris and gunk in your gutters. Use a small garden trowel or a gutter scoop to remove debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt from your gutters. Start at the downspout and work your way toward the opposite end of the gutter. Place the debris in a bucket or compost bin. If you absolutely need to use a garbage bag, make sure it’s strong enough to avoid ripping, and don’t overfill it.
Flush All Gutters
After removing the larger debris, flush out your gutters with a garden hose to remove smaller debris and check for any clogs. If you have any doubts about the debris, remove it manually. Make sure the water flows freely through the downspout. Occasionally, rodents and other stubborn debris can get lodged or stuck in your gutters, so don’t hesitate to call in the pros if needed.
Check for Damage
As you clean your gutters, check for any signs of damage such as cracks, rust, or loosened brackets. These issues can cause water to leak onto your roof, inside cracks, or overflow altogether, so it’s important to fix them as soon as possible. You can also see if there’s any unexpected roof damage within your eye line while you’re at it.
After you’ve finished cleaning your gutters, be sure to clean up the surrounding area by raking up any debris that may have fallen on the ground. Dispose of the debris properly and make sure your ladder and other equipment are stored away safely. If you’ve had to remove the gutters for any reason, make sure you replace them and secure their brackets properly.
Cleaning up can actually take as much time, if not more, than cleaning the gutter systems. This, of course, depends on the experience levels and the “helpers” involved. If you want to avoid any potential headaches, simply contact us to connect with a professional roofing contractor. Either way, by following these steps, you can ensure that your gutters are clean and functioning properly, helping to prevent water damage and protect your home.