It might not be the most glamorous way to spend the day, but cleaning the gutters is an important part of home maintenance. Gutters protect houses from water damage, directing runoff away from the house to prevent flooding. Clogged or damaged gutters can lead to flooding, water damage, and other costly damage.
Cleaning services are available to care for your roof and gutters. If you are able and comfortable working on ladders and rooftops, you can save a lot of money by cleaning gutters yourself. Keep in mind, the most important part of home maintenance is the homeowner’s safety!
Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, more if there are several trees close to the house. The best times to check and clean your gutters are spring and late fall. If there have been any severe storms and fallen trees in your area, your gutters might need to be checked for debris and storm damage.
To clean the gutters, one can sit or stand on the roof or stand on a ladder. Be sure to use a sturdy ladder, and do not lean your ladder against a downspout or the gutter. This will ultimately damage the gutter and require replacement or reattachment to the house, both of which can be costly!
When cleaning out gutters, be sure to wear work gloves to protect your hands from any sharp debris. First, scoop out leaves and debris from the gutters. To save time on cleanup, debris can be dumped directly into a garbage bag or bucket.
Although many people recommend using a leaf blower to clean out gutters, this can be dangerous. Leaf blowers are often heavy and difficult to carry up a ladder or use on a slanted roof. If you decide to use a leaf blower, be sure to read all the safety labels and wear eye and ear protection!
Once the gutters are clean of large debris, wash out the gutters using a garden hose with a pressure nozzle. This is a great time to check the drainpipes for blocks and the gutter system for water leaks.
Leaks can easily be repaired using caulk or gutter seal, which should be available in any home improvement store. Dry the area around the leak with a rag or towel and follow the product instructions.
Some people recommend using anti-fungicide on and around your gutters after cleaning. Using a scrub brush, anti-fungicide will removes algae and any other growth that could ultimately damage your gutters. Follow the instructions on the bottle for correct use.
Another optional step is adding gutter guards, screens, or filters to your gutters. These are usually easy to install and can keep large pieces of debris out of your gutters, preventing more work the next time the gutters need cleaning. This will ultimately save you time and effort.