Spring Cleaning Tips: How to Clean Your Gutter Right

The Chicago area receives 35.82 inches of rainfall a year. That’s less than Seattle at 37.19 but Seattle’s rain is mostly gentle and over a long period. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago’s rain is so intense that it is more likely to cause floods.

When the rain falls, do you have blockages in your rain gutter? They may need cleaning? Read on for spring cleaning tips for getting your gutters clean.

Why Clean Your Gutters?

Your gutters protect your home from rainfall. Without them, the water damage would undermine your foundations, damage the fabric of the building, and cause untold damage.

When debris builds up in your gutters they stop working and fail to protect your home. The gutters can overflow leading to mold, wet walls, damp basements, and a leaking roof. When you have damage from water in your home it attracts rodents and other pests too.

The result is a damaged building, and unhealthy living environment, a big bill to put things right. It makes so much more sense to maintain and clean your gutters. It’s good for your home, your health, and your bank account.

Gutter Cleaning Frequency

If you see a blockage in your gutters you should clear the blockage immediately. The signs are water escaping from the gutter, wet or mold marks on your wall, and rainwater on the ground under the gutter.

Even if you don’t see a gutter problem it’s important to clean your gutters regularly. This will prevent any debris from building up and so prevent a problem rather than resolve a problem after it has started to cause damage.

Clean your gutters annually. If you have overhanging trees you are likely to have more debris in your gutters so you should clean them more frequently.

Complete one of these more frequent cleans after the fall. This is so that you clear the leaves that have fallen into your gutters before winter. You will need your gutters to be in peak condition to handle the higher rainfall and snowmelt in winter.

Cleaning your gutters in spring is also helpful. It removes the winter debris and gets ready for the spring rains. Wait a few days after rain, so that the debris is dryer and it will be easier to remove.

Expert Gutter Cleaning

Cleaning your gutters can be a challenging spring-cleaning task, even for the keenest of DIYers. There are safety issues and it can be a dirty job. You may prefer to have the gutter cleaning completed by a professional with the experience and tools for the job.

A professional with the right training and tools has several advantages. You may not feel capable of using a ladder safely. You may not have a suitable ladder and the investment and storage of a ladder might be an obstacle too.

A professional can get at difficult locations that may be hard for you to reach. A professional will have specialized tools for doing this.

A professional will have insurance and will cover the liability of an accident or damage that is done during the gutter cleaning. Better still, they know how best to avoid any accidents or damage.

You may choose to do some gutter cleaning yourself. Perhaps you will have a major clean once a year completed by a professional and then do some cleaning periodically, yourself.

When cleaning your gutters, it’s the perfect time to carry out repairs. Have a professional resolve any leaks, repair hangers, and resolve any problems with the slope of the gutters. 

Ladder Danger

Working at height is an inherently dangerous activity. It’s important to learn how to use ladders safely if you are to avoid falling and causing injury.

Every year half a million people are treated after falling from a ladder. With 300 people a year losing their lives, ladder safety has to be taken seriously.

A few tips may be helpful. Only use a step ladder on level ground. Make sure the surface is sound and solid.

Don’t reach beyond the natural extension of your arms. Extending could cause you to overbalance. Always stay below the step before the last one.

Extension ladders are best for a two-story house.  A stabilizer should be used to keep the ladder from moving. If all of this seems uncomfortable or if you are not sure you can work safely at height, ask a professional to clean your gutters.

Gutter Clearing

Gutter cleaning is easier if you are organized. It makes a dirty job less unpleasant and easier too.

Use two buckets. Have your tools in one bucket and use the other one to collect debris. Hang the buckets from your ladder.

Protect your eyes by using safety glasses. Wear gloves and if the gutters have wet debris wear rubber gloves under your work gloves. Place your ladder using ladder safety good practice.

Take debris out of the gutter and place it in your debris bucket. Start near a downspout. Use a trowel to scrape any hard to remove debris from the gutter.

Clear the strainers at the top of the downspouts. Make sure there is no blockage at the top of the downspouts.

Flushing Your Gutters

Using a garden hose, spray water into your gutters. Flush the gutters letting the water flow towards a downspout and down it.

You may need a little more power than your garden hose will give you. A power washer can help dislodge hard to move debris.

If water does not flow away check your downspouts. Feed a hose up the downspout to dislodge a blockage. If this fails, a plumber’s snake may be more successful.

Gutter Spring Cleaning Tips

Use these spring cleaning tips for your gutters and you’ll be protecting your home. Whether you do it yourself or use a professional, it makes sense for your home and health. It’ll also save you money in the long run too.

Talk to us about professional gutter cleaning by making contact here.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Are you wondering how often should you clean your gutters? Well, you’re in the right place, so wonder no longer. 

In premise, the answer to that question is highly variable, and the most obvious approach to cleaning gutters is when they are dirty. However, what constitutes dirty gutters, and what other elements can damage their integrity?

In this article, we will cover all of that and much more.

So get your gear ready and keep reading to learn more.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

As mentioned earlier, like most questions involving frequency, the answer is unstable. It really depends on many factors. 

For instance, many specialists say that cleaning your gutters twice a year is more than enough. Once in the summer and once in the spring. But it’s not that simple.

If you have overbearing trees growing around and about your house, you should consider taking a look at your gutters every 2 months. The reason for this is because trees, especially pine trees shed their needles all year round. 

Also, if your home is located at a higher elevation, ice is a considerable issue. So you need to make sure that your gutters are clean throughout the winter because the consequence of damage to your roof is less than wished for. 

Better to prevent the issue before it occurs. Considering this, let’s take a look at how you can spot damage from dirty gutters.

Spot Damage From Dirty Gutters

The most optimal way to finding damage from dirty gutters is before it’s there. Wait, what? 

Yes, you heard that right. An inspection of your gutters each season, especially before it starts raining is the best way to approach this. If you’re unsure what to look for or feel uncomfortable with heights and ladders, a professional can do the work for you.

Here are some warning signs that you should look out for in your yard, home, and gutters. 

Pools of water near foundation, driveway, or on the law. All of these are resultative of water not draining properly. It might also mean that the downspouts are not linked appropriately. 

Water where it should not be. Is there water in your basement? Drips inside your home? This might mean that your roof is at risk of water damage. 

Gutters not draining or dripping. This might mean that your gutters are clogged or leaking somewhere, this is not a good thing.

Bugs in your home? Mice in the walls and attic? All of these signs are resemblant of nesting in your clogged gutters.

Furthermore, these issues might constitute a replacement, which is a costly result of not cleaning your gutters.

Do I Need to Replace the Gutters?

You might have to. Depending on the type installed, they should be able to hold out at least 20 years of function, but that’s only if they have been installed properly, not to mention maintenance.

Metal gutters last longer. Plastic and vinyl not so much, and must be replaced more often, especially when damaged. 

Seamless gutters are very expensive but are unlikely to leak. Gutter guards can prevent leaves and debris from getting into the gutters in the first place.

In any case, neglecting regular maintenance and not installing gutters correctly will drastically deplete its longevity. The only way to be sure if the gutters are in need of replacement is to get them inspected by an expert roofer. 

However, in general, a quick look should be able to help you determine whether or not an issue is present. 

How to Clean Gutters?

You might think that cleaning gutters is hard, and you are most certainly right. But not in the sense of difficulty, but in the sense of convenience. Gutter cleaning is messy, tedious, and dangerous. 

The true and tried method of gutter cleaning is by hand, but a pressured water hose can help you get rid of clogs as well. Here are some tips to make the job safer, easier, and more efficient, however, it’s always recommended that you hire a specialist for the job:

  • Wear appropriate protective gear, such as eye protection and work gloves
  • Don’t just toss the dirt on the ground, put it in a bag for compost or garbage (leaving it will attract insects)
  • Pay attention to mold, if you find any sign of mold, contact your local roofing/gutter specialist immediately
  • Seal all leaks (one can do this with a high-quality sealant but it’s best left to be done by professionals)
  • Whenever working on a roof or with a ladder, there’s a possibility of injury so be careful, have someone help, and don’t overdo it

And that’s about it. Gutter cleaning can even be fun if you get the hang of it. However, if you feel unsafe about this type of process, contact a local specialist who will be able to perform the cleaning for you at a reasonable price.

And that’s worth the weight of gold.

Gutter Services for You

Now that you know how often should you clean your gutters, you are well on your way to ensure that no further damage occurs to your household. As long as you take a considerate approach to your gutters, you will never see the day when they come to bring unwanted issues.

If you’re interested in getting your gutters clean but don’t want to do it on your own, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.