Since gutters are at the top of your house and out of sight, they’re easy to neglect. New homeowners must know the importance of keeping your gutters clean. Cleaning gutters means a well-kept and functioning home. It may easily become a task that you tend to ignore or push off, but doing so comes at a cost.
Learn how and why to keep your gutters clean now so that you can maintain the appearance and quality of your new home. Cleaning them regularly will save you lots of money and headaches down the road. Letting debris build up in your gutters could lead to pests, mold, leaks, and structural damage to your new home.
In this article, we’ll cover the reasons to clean gutters regularly and the tips you should follow when cleaning gutters.
Why is Gutter Cleaning Important?
If you’ve always rented, you’ve never had to think about gutter cleaning before. You may be asking yourself, “what do gutters use or do that makes their maintenance so important?” There are many vital reasons you need to keep gutters clean. Here are the main reasons cleaning your gutter system is so important.
To Prevent Clogging
Anytime it snows or rains, your gutters collect all of that precipitation that falls from the sky. Your gutters are there to direct that water away from settling at the foundation of your home. When water collects at the home’s foundation, it finds it’s way into your home.
Gutters use a rerouting design to keep the precipitation from entering at the roof line of your house. When this happens, major structural damage can happen to your roof and anywhere else where the water comes in contact.
When gutters become blocked with debris, water is unable to move along the path of the gutter. When water gets stuck and the temperature drops, the water has the potential to freeze. This causes extra damage to your gutter.
To Prevent Water Damage
If your gutters are clogged with debris, water that’s trapped within can make its way into cracks in your roof. This can cause extensive water damage to your home and roof. To save the integrity of your roof, you need to get your ladder out regularly and keep your gutters clear.
To Prevent Pest Infestations
A clogged gutter can cause water damage as well as an infestation of unwanted pests. This could include rats, bees, bugs, and more. Get your ladder out and check your gutter to make sure unwanted pests aren’t making a home.
To Prevent Mold Buildup
With any moisture buildup from debris in your gutter, mold will find a home. Clean your gutter so that mold can’t ruin the quality of your home. If mold becomes a problem, future occupants have their rights reserved when thinking about buying a home with mold issues. Use your ladder regularly to make sure your gutter isn’t a breeding ground for unwanted toxic mold.
Mold buildup will decrease the value of your home, which is a much larger headache than cleaning your gutter in the first place.
Tools and Equipment for Gutter Cleaning:
If you’re choosing to handle the job without a professional, you’ll need some equipment to clean your gutters the right way. Here are some tips on what to use for cleaning the gutter:
- Gloves: Be sure to wear gloves when cleaning your gutters. You never know what sharp or dangerous objects have fallen onto your roof and into your gutters.
- Safety Goggles: There’s no telling what could have fallen into your gutters. To keep unwanted debris out of your eyes, you’ll want some safety goggles.
- Garden trowel: To scoop out leaves and other debris from the gutter, you’ll need a garden trowel or similarly shaped instrument.
- Tarp or Drop Cloth: This will make cleaning the fallen debris from the gutter much easier.
- Ladder: To reach the gutter, you’ll need some extra help with height. For homes with extra height, you may need an extension ladder. Ladder safety is important, so make sure you have someone to spot you, just incase.
- Garden Hose: A garden hose is a helpful way to clear any blocks in the gutter that you may encounter when cleaning. Make sure your hose has plenty of slack to reach the height you’ll be working with.
Once you know what to use and have your ladder set up, it’s time to get started with cleaning your gutters.
What is the Best Way To Clean Gutters?
Now that you have the proper tools at the ready, it’s time to start cleaning gutters. Follow these easy steps below to get the job done.
Set your ladder at the end of your gutter on the side opposite to the downspout. Climb to the top of the latter and have your spotter give you the garden hose. Run a stream of water through the garden hose to see where debris is collecting in the gutter and if any blockages exist.
Use a shovel, your hands since you’ll wear gloves, or garden trowel to scoop out all the leaves, dirt, and debris from your gutter onto your drop cloth that’s positioned below your ladder. Make sure you don’t get any on whoever is holding your extension ladder.
Once you’re done scooping out debris from your gutter, run some water from the hose to spot where any damages or existing leaks are present. Make not of any trouble areas in your gutters to be fixed later.
Climb down from your ladder and move it to the next section of your gutters. Work in the direction of the downspout. Repeat steps one through three for ever section until your gutters are clear of all debris.
This is a very time-consuming task, but the importance of gutter cleaning can’t be stressed enough. Plus, once you’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning gutters, it will be much less painless to execute.
In some instances, your roof may be too high or gutters too lengthy to make this seem worth doing yourself. Feel free to use a professional service if gutter cleaning is not worth your time and effort.
Should You Tip a Gutter Cleaner?
Not everyone enjoys cleaning their own eavestroughs — and we don’t blame you! Sometimes we don’t have the time or energy too. When this is the case, simply hire a gutter cleaner.
You may be wondering if you need to tip gutter cleaners. It’s completely a preference thing. While some always tip people who perform a service to their home, others rarely do.
Most professionals recommend cleaning the gutters of your home twice a year (in the Spring and Fall). This makes it hiring a gutter cleaner a very affordable service! So, if it fits your budget, a 15-20% tip will be greatly appreciated by your gutter cleaner.
As you can see, cleaning your gutters is vital to protecting the integrity of your home. Keep your gutters clean by pulling out a ladder at least twice a year. If you live in an area close to more trees and other elements, you’ll need to add gutter cleaning to your to do list more often.
If you have a tall roof, and pulling out your ladder for gutter cleaning is too much of a hassle, you can always use a professional service instead. Cleaning the gutter is something you should be doing as a new homeowner throughout the year. By doing so, your gutter and your home’s property value will thank you.