Gutter Care Information for DIYers
Gutter care is an important part of home maintenance - they are not something that you should defer cleaning. If you're a new homeowner, here's what you'll need to know about taking care of your home's gutters.
Why It's Important to Clean Gutters
Gutters are designed to carry water away from the home. Without a proper drainage system, water can saturate the ground around the home, or may seep into the home's roof and walls. If water saturates the ground surrounding a home's foundation, the earth around the home may heave during freeze/thaw cycles, causing costly foundation damage.
If water leaks into the walls or attic of a home, this could lead to mold, wood rot, pest infestation and other problems. Cleaning the gutters can ensure that water will have a safe place to go during rain storms and snow melts.
How to Clean Gutters
To clean your gutters, you'll need a bucket, spade, gloves, protective goggles and a ladder. Position the ladder near the house so that you can see over the edge of the gutters, and so you can reach into the gutters easily.
Wearing the gloves and goggles, use the spade to dig out the leaves from the gutters. Put the leaves into the bucket. When the bucket gets full, dump the contents into a plastic bag. Never dump the contents of your gutters onto your landscaping or onto the ground; the falling debris could hurt someone down below. When the gutters have been emptied, spray them with water from a hose. The water should drain into the downspout and be swept away. If the gutters fill with water, use a plumber's auger to clear the downspout and try again.
How Often to Clean Gutters
Homeowners should clean their gutters at least once annually, or twice annually if they live in an area with many trees. It's time to clean the gutters when water fills them during rain storms, spilling over the edge. Many homeowners will clean their gutters in late fall, when leaves are falling. If the trees around the house produce a lot of pollen or flowers, it may also be important to clean the gutters in spring.
When to Hire a Professional
Some gutters should not be cleaned by the Queensridge homeowner. In the case of gutters that are very high up, or in the case of gutters that are difficult to reach without walking on the roof, those gutters should be cleaned by a professional. Additionally, any time the homeowner doesn't feel comfortable cleaning their own gutters is when it's time to hire a professional.
Professional gutter cleaners know how to do their job without unnecessarily putting people in danger. They also have safety equipment that can help them get the work done.