Is it really that important to clean my gutters?
Gutters carry rainwater away from the foundation of your home, meaning any debris blocking this process can cause water backup or an overflow. With enough backup, the water can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation, roof, or exterior. We’re talking between $1,000-$4,000 for repair and up to $2,300 for mold removal. So, yes, it really is that important. Don’t worry – we’ve gathered some tips that outline how to clean your gutters:
Prepping to Clean Your Gutters
First thing’s first – head over to the closest Home Depot and round up the following tools:
- Goggles/dust mask
- Scoop or trowel
- Garbage bag for debris disposal
- Garden hose
Ladder Safety When Working on Gutters
If you haven’t been on the ladder in a while (and even if you have), make sure you brush up on your ladder safety. Don’t try to tackle this job in bad weather, either – working in slippery conditions is the perfect recipe for an accident. Strap on your sturdiest pair of shoes and head over to your neighbor’s house to tell them you’ll be on the roof. It’s important that someone knows where you’ll be working in case a fall does happen. Even better, ask someone to spot you.
Cleaning Your Gutters
After gearing up in your goggles and dust mask, it’s time to get to it. You can either bring up the trowel to remove debris or scoop it out with your (gloved) hands. Dispose of all debris in a trash bag – you can either bring the bag up with you or let the debris drop, then rake it up later.
Afraid of heights? Another option is to use a leaf blower to remove debris. This may complicate raking up afterwards but your safety and comfort come first.
After all debris has been disposed of, grab your garden hose and flush out the gutters and downspouts. This will clear out any smaller particles that your trowel or hands were unable to dig out.
After Gutters Are Clean, Maintenance Is Key
You should repeat this process twice a year at minimum – once in the fall and once in the spring. It’s not a bad idea to clean more than this if your house sits in a wooded area or if you live in a particularly rainy region. Even when you’re not decluttering your gutters, make sure to check on them periodically for any cracks or breaks. It’s better to spend a few minutes every now and then checking on your gutters than to spend a few thousand dollars down the road on gutter-related damage.
Looking for more tips on fall home maintenance? We’re here to chat.