7 Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance Tips For Homeowners
Your gutters are critical to the structural stability of your roof and home. They don’t hold anything up, but they do keep one of the most hazardous and damaging elements out of your house: water. If your gutters are blocked, they won’t be able to evacuate water as effectively as they should, which is critical to prevent roof damage and leaks.
Similarly, keeping your gutters clean is required to preserve the guarantee on your roof.
In this article, we share 7 helpful gutter cleaning and maintenance tips to keep your gutters in good shape.
1. Focus on Safety
Cleaning your gutters requires climbing up to your roof. And like with any DIY project, it is important to take safety precautions. Make sure you have all of the appropriate safety equipment like work gloves, safety goggles, and non-slip shoes before you start cleaning your gutters.
In addition, you’ll need a ladder that’s tall enough. To avoid rocking, make sure you position it on a level surface. If at all possible, have someone underneath you to keep the ladder in place.
Always keep your hips between the rails when on the ladder, and avoid leaning on the sides or working on the top two steps.
If your roof is higher, consider hiring a roofing expert to do the job instead.
2. Get Rid of Debris from Your Roof
Roofing experts recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year: once during spring and then during fall. This keeps leaves, sticks, and other debris from accumulating.
Typically, the debris on your roof clogs your gutters. The trash is washed down into your gutters by the rain or just slips into your gutters due to the wind and gravity.
If you don’t get rid of the debris on a regular basis, it will build up into a huge pile in your gutters, causing a major blockage.
Remove dirt from gutters by hand while wearing gloves. To get rid of hard-to-reach accumulations, use a wire brush. Then, rinse the gutters with a hose to get rid of any leaves or debris that might be left behind.
3. Examine for Corrosion, Leaks, and Holes
After you’ve cleaned your gutters, the next step is to inspect them for any signs of leaks, rust, or holes. If you find leaks, then get patching kits for gutters at your local hardware shop to cover them.
You’ll also want to caulk and/or apply a sealant to any seams that are weak or corroded. You might also notice locations where the gutter framework has come loose from the roof or siding, which requires reattachment.
It’s recommended to replace gutters if they’re severely damaged, rusted, or otherwise deteriorated. Consider investing in aluminum, copper, or vinyl gutters and downspouts as they don’t corrode, and endure longer than other materials.
4. Position the downspouts
Your gutter system’s downspouts are the most vital protection for your landscaping and foundation. Your gutters collect the water and debris that falls from your roof, but your downspouts handle the rest. Without them, all of that water would drain towards the base of your house, putting your foundation at risk.
Your downspouts must be positioned correctly to ensure that water flows away from your foundation. Make sure all of your downspouts are pointing away from your foundation and are safely channeled away from your house.
Also, water has nowhere to go when your downspouts are blocked with leaves, dirt, and other debris, so it backs up and spills over the sides during rainstorms. If you can’t see into your downspouts, you can test the flow and clean any blockages with a garden hose fitted with a pressure nozzle.
Next, inspect the downspouts as you inspected the gutters for corrosion, holes, leaks, or corroded joints. Repair any damaged downspouts and replace those that are beyond repair.
5. Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are a new home improvement product that makes seasonal maintenance easier. They keep leaves and debris out of your gutters while allowing water to flow freely.
Gutter guards can also help to keep your gutter system stable by preventing ice buildup and heavy snow accumulation.
6. Create a Checklist for Gutter Maintenance
Creating a checklist is one of the most important ideas when cleaning your gutters. Having a checklist will prevent you from forgetting critical steps or tools. After all, the last thing you want to do is forget a tool on the ground when you’ve ascended the ladder up to the roof.
This will only increase your chances of falling or having an accident. Everything you see here should be on your gutter maintenance checklist to provide a path you can follow.
7. Hire A Gutter Cleaning Professional
Cleaning your gutters is sometimes best left to an expert for safety reasons or if you don’t have the time or tools to carry out a good job. Roof maintenance experts like Perkins Roofing have the expertise and equipment to properly clean and clear your gutters. They’ll also repair or replace anything that’s broken to safeguard your home.