Have you cleaned your gutters lately? If not, adding it to the top of your fall to-do list is an important way to protect your home and landscape. Here’s what you need to know.
The Importance of Gutter Cleaning
Gutters may not be a prominent feature of your home, but they’re an extremely important one. Gutters direct the flow of rainwater away from the perimeter of your home, protecting your walls and foundation from damage and erosion.
Most people don’t think about their gutters until they’re causing problems. Unfortunately, a clogged gutter system will quickly cause problems for your home and landscape – and likely your wallet. These can include:
- Water damage. When your gutters are clogged, the collected rainwater has nowhere to go. Trapped water will eventually overflow, potentially causing costly water damage to your home’s foundation, crawl space, or basement.
- Roof damage. The heavy weight of packed debris can loosen your gutters and put a strain on your roofing system. Eventually, clogged gutters may collapse entirely and pull pieces of your roof along with them.
- Infestations. Clogged, damp gutters are a perfect place for pests like carpenter ants, bees, mosquitoes, and even rodents.
When to Clean Your Gutters
Most experts agree that gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year – in the spring and in the fall. Depending on the type, amount, and location of trees and foliage on your property, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently – such as every quarter – to keep them working properly.
Tips to Great Gutter Cleaning
Removing debris from your gutters may seem simple enough, but the height of your system and the amount of debris can turn gutter cleaning into a challenge. These tips can help you guarantee a great gutter cleaning each and every time:
- Safety first! Staying safe is the most important aspect of cleaning your gutters. Be sure you have a safe, sturdy ladder that’s placed on a solid surface. Ideally, ask a friend or family member to stand at the bottom and hold the ladder steady.
- Dress for success. Protect yourself from sharp or flying debris with gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask. Avoid wearing new or nice clothing, as cleaning your gutters is a dirty job!
- Use the right tools. You’ll need a small plastic scoop to remove debris from the inside of your gutters. Some people use a child’s shovel or small garden trowel, or you can purchase a gutter scoop from your local hardware store.
- Place a tarp under your workspace. This will protect your lawn from any falling debris and make it easier to clean up once you’re done.
- Don’t forget to flush. After removing all debris, use a garden hose to flush your gutter system with a steady stream of water. This will help to clear your downspouts, rinse your gutters, and help you identify any small leaks.
When to Call a Professional
Cleaning your gutters isn’t always a simple DIY. There are cases where it’s a task better left to the professional – such as when you aren’t comfortable climbing a ladder or if your gutters are noticeably damaged.
If you don’t cherish the thought of cleaning your gutters, or you need help with any other lawn or landscape projects, contact Chad’s Landscape Management! Our landscape specialists can make quick work of your maintenance tasks, freeing up your schedule during every season of the year.