Hearth and Home: Gutter Cleaning Made Simple


Cleaning your gutter is an essential maintenance task that you shouldn’t overlook. Gutters collect water running off your roof and divert it to the downspouts. Unfortunately, gutters collect twigs, dirt, and leaves as well, and when there’s too much debris, there will be nowhere for the water to go. Cleaning the gutters may not be a pleasant chore, but it’s something you must do if you want to protect your beautiful home from disaster.

Why Is Gutter Cleaning So Important?

By diverting the water that runs off your roof, gutters prevent soil erosion around your home’s foundation. The downspouts take the water to an appropriate run-off, so the soil close to your home doesn’t become saturated. Saturated soil increases the risk of your foundation getting wet, and this can lead to a host of problems.

When water gets into the foundation, it can settle into cracks, erode the foundation, and eventually leak into the basement and cause mold, mildew, and other bacteria.

Clogged gutters can also become too heavy for the fasteners that hold the gutter to the house. The weight of dirt, leaves, and other debris can cause the gutters to pull away from the house – so they won’t be in a position to catch water running off the roof. Apart from being an eyesore, detached gutters can obstruct security lights and create sinkholes under your home. Remember that neglecting maintenance can invalidate your home insurance policy. Chat with a specialist such as at BrokerLink to go through some tailored solutions.

Cleaning Your Gutters

There are many ways to clean your gutters. Tongs, shop vacuums, remote-controlled robots, extension poles, and gutter nozzles all help to make the job easier.

Since most methods involve getting on a ladder, it’s best to hire a pro if you aren’t comfortable getting on a ladder.

DIY Gutter Cleaning

Assemble safety gear, such as a dust mask, safety goggles, and gloves before you begin cleaning. Position the ladder properly and use a ladder stabilizer if your home is more than one floor high. Use a child’s sand scoop or garden trowel to pick up all the debris, then use a high-pressure nozzle to hose down the gutters and scrub it clean. Be careful not to get dirt on the siding.

Once the gutters are clean, your next step should be to clear the downspouts using an auger or hose. Install leaf strainers at the drain tops to reduce clogs.

Maintaining Your Gutters

Clean your gutters at least twice a year: once in the fall and again in the spring. Regular maintenance will eliminate the possibility of water damage to your home and reduce the chances of rust corrosion. Even with limited rain in the summer, debris in steel gutters can accelerate the rusting process.

Don’t Ignore Your Gutters

Don’t wait until your gutter is overflowing with debris to clean it. A small amount of debris may not seem like a threat, but it could encourage mosquitos and carpenter ants.

A quality gutter guard can remove the need for cleaning out the gutters. Choose a system that delivers on its promise to keep out pine needle, leaves, and other debris.

George Nesler has maintained his old home for many years now. He likes to unwind by blogging about what he has learned with others online.

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