Every homeowner should inspect and maintain their home’s gutter system. If a home does not have gutters and downspouts, they should be added. A gutter system catches the runoff from the home’s roof and directs it away from the house to a safe location. If there are no gutters, the rainwater runs off the roof, down the siding, and into the ground by the home’s foundation where it can cause serious problems.
What is a Home Gutter System?
Every house should have a gutter system to direct water off the roof and to a drainage system that directs water away from the house or collects it in barrels to use for watering gardens. A gutter system consists of horizontal gutters that run along the base of the home’s roof to collect rainwater. At the corner of the home and the end of the gutter, there will be a downspout taking the water safely to the ground and away from the home’s foundation.
The gutters are attached to the house at intervals using brackets. Gutters can be open or have screens to prevent leaves and other debris from accumulating and blocking them. But, even gutter systems with screens need periodic cleaning and maintenance. Regular gutter cleaning by professionals keeps gutters operating properly and helps them last longer.
What Services Do gutter Cleaning Companies Offer?
Gutter cleaning services often offer several services related to gutter cleaning include the following.
- Gutter cleaning for one, two, or three-story houses. Companies such as Guru Gutter Cleaning use a special vacuum system to suck the sludge out of gutters without damaging the home.
- Pressure washing with a soft wash system for home siding and other hard surfaces
- Cleaning the outside surfaces of gutters with special brushes and cleaning chemicals
- Downspout cleaning to get rid of difficult clogs. This may involve taking apart the downspouts and then reassembling them.
- Installing downspout filters
- Repairing damaged gutters. This often involves properly securing the brackets holding the gutters in place and replacing damaged or missing parts.
- Gutter seam repair. Long runs of gutters often have seams that need to be resealed because of wear and tear or time.
- Driveway pressure washing
- Installing replacement or new gutter systems
DIY or Hiring Professionals?
Homeowners might consider doing this job themselves to save money. Before attempting this job, consider these five things:
1. Cleaning gutters is a dirty, time-consuming job if a homeowner does not have the proper tools. Professionals have the equipment to get the job done quickly. Repairing gutters also presents some risk of falling or damaging the gutters or the home’s siding if proper precautions are not taken.
2. A tall ladder is required to clean the gutters. There is a certain amount of danger involved in working on a ladder. The ladder must be placed on a level, firm surface for safety. Experts recommend using a ladder stabilizer for safety and to prevent damage to gutters or the siding. Having a helper is a good idea for moving the heavy, awkward ladder and when things get dropped. Falling off ladders can cause serious injuries or death.
3. Cleaning gutters is a dirty job and requires wearing protective clothing and rubber gloves. The gunk in the gutter can be harmful if it gets in open cuts or scrapes on the skin. There can be insects and small animals making nests in the gutters that can sting or bite when disturbed by the gutter cleaning process.
4. Removing gunk, branches, leaves, and other material from the gutter is hard, dirty work that requires a gutter scoop or other tools that will get everything out of the gutter without damaging it. After the gutter is scraped clean, it will need to be rinsed to complete the cleaning process and reveal any leaks in the system that need repairs.
5. Spread tarps on the ground below the gutters to catch the mess cleaned out of the gutters is always important. These tarps will protect the landscaping from damage.
Once the gutters are clean, they may show signs of wear and tear and other damage that need repairs. There may be gutter parts that are missing or need repairs. Repairing gutters will require special parts and tools. Homeowners that are not big do-it-yourselfers may not feel comfortable taking on this messy, risky job. Most homeowners would be better served by hiring professional gutter cleaning services to get the job done quickly and without risk.
Cleaning Gutters From the Ground
Many professional gutter cleaning services have equipment that allows them to clean gutters from the ground. Removing ladders from the gutter cleaning process eliminates the danger of injury and damage to the home’s gutters and siding. Some methods are better than others.
- Using water hoses with special attachments is an option for cleaning gutters that are not too badly clogged. With this method, leaves, twigs, and gunk are washed out of the gutters. Using water pressure and can lead to spills over the sides of the gutters creating quite a mess on the ground and the siding. Then, the siding and windows may need to be cleaned. Professional gutter cleaning services will have the correct equipment to minimize any mess.
- The homeowner can use a wet or dry vacuum with special gutter cleaning attachments to suck up the debris from the gutters without needing a ladder. There are gutter cleaning kits to order online. This equipment may not work well and may need to be followed by flushing the gutters with a garden hose.
Gutter cleaning professionals have professional-strength gutter cleaning equipment and special trucks to collect the gunk and debris from gutters. Their methods and equipment are tested and proven to work safely and efficiently. Cleaning services guarantee their work and are insured to cover any damage that may occur. If the gutter system needs repairs, they have the expertise to complete those repairs at the same time they clean the gutters.
Since cleaning gutters is a dirty, time-consuming, labor-intensive job that involves a certain amount of risk, it may be the one job that even do-it-yourselfers hire professionals to do. The decision to hire the job done or do it without expert help may come down to the best use of your time and money.