The Dos and Don’ts of Getting Clean Gutters
Your home’s gutter system protects your home’s siding, landscaping, and foundation from severe water runoff from your roof. When sticks, leaves, and other debris get in the way, water can overflow onto your roof and cause significant damage.
Cleaning and preventing clogged gutters is a major part of home and yard maintenance. Most experts agree that you perform a thorough gutter cleaning at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall. If you live somewhere with more dense vegetation and trees, you may need to perform gutter cleaning and roofing maintenance more often.
Attempting a DIY gutter cleaning isn’t for everyone, but it might be the kind of project you can tackle yourself. Of course, you can always hire a residential roofing company to be your professional gutter cleaner team to save yourself time and risk.
Continue reading to learn more about how to clean gutters like the pros.
Do Think About Safety
Before you attempt to clean gutters, it’s worth taking a moment to ensure that you can do the job safely. Climbing ladders and getting up on the roof isn’t for everyone. Grabbing your basic telescoping ladders and trying to scoop leaves out of your gutter system is the last thing you want to do unless you don’t mind risking a trip to the hospital.
Luckily, you can purchase several pieces of gear that help you clean gutters with both of your feet on the ground. If you need to use a ladder to get to some higher and harder-to-reach areas, use a sturdy extension ladder instead of a step ladder, and always use a helper to keep the base stable and secure.
You can also find extension wands for your garden hose, scooping tools to remove leaves, and other devices that make cleaning gutters a safer experience.
Don’t Make a Bigger Mess
Cleaning your gutters starts with clearing out the build-up of leaves and debris that gathers over time. You can purchase special tools like gutter scoops that make removing gunk easy. You can also use a shovel from a child’s sandbox or a kitchen spatula for a similar effect.
Instead of flinging gunk down onto your yard and making a bigger mess, you can spread out a tarp to catch debris tossed from the gutters. You can also bring a bucket on the ladder to collect the clutter and keep things tidy below.
Do Flush Out Your Gutters with Water
A simple garden hose can flush out your gutters, and you can also purchase various attachments for your hose or pressure washer. You don’t want to blast your gutters with water, as that could cause damage to the system.
Make sure to flush the downspouts as well. While you’re running water through the gutter system, check for any leaks or holes. Now that the gutters are clean, it is the perfect time to patch or fill cavities.
Keep an eye out for shingle granules in your gutters. You may notice these small pieces of material in the gutter or water runoff. Shingle granules can be washed away over time. Once the granules are gone, those shingles no longer offer adequate protection and may need to be replaced.
Don’t Stop at Clean Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is ensuring they are still hung correctly and in working order. The hardware that secures your gutters to your roof can loosen over time, leading to sagging gutters. When gutters sag, they no longer have the proper angle or pitch to drain water correctly.
In most situations, you can simply tighten the screws to put the hangers back into place. If the hangers are damaged, or screw holes are stripped, you may need to hire a Lafayette roof repair team to mount new hangers. You can also add additional hangers for extra support. Remember that the correct pitch is typically a quarter inch for every 10 feet.
Do Perform a Roof Inspection
While on the ladder, take a few moments to examine the roof and surrounding parts of your house. General roof maintenance helps prevent significant problems down the line. You can combine a close-up look from the ladder with binocular views from the ground or even images from a drone to get a better overall picture of your roof.
Take notice of the following:
● Algae, moss, or mold growing on your roof
● Buckled, curled, or missing shingles
● Rust spots on your flashing
● Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes
● Any other noticeable damage
While in roof maintenance mode, spend some time in your attic looking for holes in the roof, water stains, or any other signs of damage. If you notice anything off about your roof, contact a Lafayette roofing company to provide a quote to repair the damage.
Don’t Go It Alone
While the mechanics of how to clean gutters seems pretty straightforward, it can be a difficult and dangerous task, especially for larger homes with hard-to-reach gutters. If you attempt this task yourself, make sure you have a spotter helping hold the ladder.
The reality is that most homeowners don’t have the property equipment to achieve clean gutters efficiently and safely. Even if you prefer to attempt a DIY gutter cleaning, it’s worth hiring a professional at least once a year. That way, you can get a comprehensive roof inspection and deal with any issues before they become major problems. You can save yourself the time and hassle of dealing with nasty gutters and let someone else handle your dirty work.
Do Call Hibbard Roofing & Construction
Whether you’re ready for clean gutters by the pros or in need of roof repairs/installation or information about a potential roofing project, call Hibbard Roofing & Construction. As Lafayette’s premier shingle, metal, and flat roof installer, we know our way around roofs. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.