Cleaning your gutters is often a novelty of outdoor chores around the house, but it is more than just a simple chore, it’s an essential chore that requires your due diligence. We’ve been told to do them all the time, but do you know its significance?
Lack of proper maintenance can set you back on time, money, and peace of mind so listen up! Today, we will discuss the reasons why you should clean your gutters!
Why are Gutters so Special?
While this may seem like an obvious question, the answer is much more complex. Gutters serve as a defense mechanism from your roof by helping to remove excess water and debris. This is therefore collected in the gutter and drained via the downspout away from your house.
This is critical because if for example, your gutter is not in functioning order, or in other words, clogged, you could experience a build-up of moisture, cracks/leaks in your roof which could spawn mold/moss, and other bad news. Get them square away and clean out of the gates as quickly as you can!
5 Reasons to Clean your Gutters!
1. Saves you Money Down the Road!
Failing to properly maintain gutters and their respective downspouts could lead to regular repairs, which could cost you hundreds of dollars. The general rule of thumb is to clean it once every three months, but that may vary depending on where you live!
Easy to do, easy not to do. Always err on the side of caution and keep in mind that a new gutter system is not that expensive, but maintaining it is a great route to preventing the need for new gutters.
2. Avoid Pests!
Clogged gutters are often made up of still water and organic matter/debris, which thus makes the perfect home for pests, birds, rodents, and insects as a negative unintended consequence. Not a winning combination. Don’t pile on problems because of your negligence!
3. Avoids Water Damage!
As mentioned before, water that has nowhere to go due to clogged gutters and downspouts will increase the likelihood of water damage via leaks not only to your roof but as well as the interior of your house.
Leaks, as mentioned above, pose a serious threat to your home’s structural integrity by giving moss/mold room to grow which progressively eats at your house’s material. What most people don’t know is that a high percentage of roof damage can occur around areas near the gutters.
4. Keeps your Home’s Foundation Healthy
Gutters are equipped with a downspout that allows it to discharge excess water and debris away from your house. When they are clogged, all that excess water has the propensity to pool and surround the foundation of your house.
This poses an increased risk of having cracks in your foundation, especially in the winter because when water freezes, it therefore expands. Consequences are not just concentrated, they are spread out!
5. Improve your Home’s Value!
Doing what is required to clean your gutters not only ensures it is in working order but also gives it a more aesthetic, curbside appeal especially if you are in the process of selling your home. Makes your roof stand out from the rest!
Failing to clean the gutters, will do the opposite and in fact lower your home’s overall valuation. Not the move!
BONUS: How do I clean my gutters myself?
First, check the forecast. Water-soaked gutter debris is heavy and difficult to remove. If you wait for a few days of dry weather, the debris won’t be as soaked, making cleaning much easier.
- Assemble the right tools. You will need the following tools to clean gutters: a trowel, ladder, two buckets with wire hooks, a garden hose with a nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment, work gloves, latex gloves, and safety glasses.
- Use the right ladder. Cleaning your gutters means working on a ladder, so if you are not comfortable doing this, contact a professional for help. Use a sturdy step ladder placed on the solid, level ground whenever possible; an extension ladder may be needed for a two-story home.
- Use the two-bucket method. To make the job easier, use one bucket for gathering debris and a second to carry tools. Putting tools in your pocket could cause you to lose your balance and result in injury. Carry the buckets up one at a time and hook them to the ladder.
- Clean out debris. To clean gutters, start near the downspout and remove leaves, twigs, and large debris, placing it in the bucket. Use a trowel to remove packed material and smaller debris. Wet debris can soak through gloves and leave a bad odor on your hands, so wear latex gloves under your work gloves for protection.
- Flush the gutters and downspouts. Once large debris has been removed, use the garden hose to wash out the remaining dirt and grime. If the water doesn’t drain, there is probably a clog in the downspout. Use the hose and heavy water pressure to flush out the spout, then flush out the entire gutter system.
Keep in mind that cleaning your own gutters is risky in that you are using a ladder and you’re high off the ground. It is OK to hire someone to clean your gutters or consider using self-cleaning gutter guards.
Regardless of what you do, make sure you always have a partner there to help you clean your gutters to preserve the health of your home and roof!
What’s the Verdict?
Gutters play an integral part in your house’s ability to cope with the elements and serve as a vacuum for excess water and debris from your roof. It is your responsibility to make sure it is clear and in functioning condition, remember the rule of thumb is once every three months or at the very least every fall (and then check in the spring again).
While a DIY job is possible, It can be a hassle and potentially dangerous. Don’t take risks that you are not in the position to take! Contact a professional, let them handle it, and recommend what is best for you.
Keep in mind that cleaning your gutters is prevention! Just like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist every six months or so, you want to make sure you prevent any big problems from arising by cleaning your gutters!