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 to prevent ice dams.
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 fall-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.
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 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 Fall Cleaning Tips
Use these fall 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.