Most homeowners tend to neglect their gutters, which serve a vital function. Generally, your gutters help protect your house, specifically your roof, walls, and foundation, from the rain and melting snow.
If you do not have properly functioning gutters, you risk causing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage to your property. On top of the financial risk, you also risk exposure to pests if you have clogged gutters. Even worst, you may also experience mold infestation.
The good news is that cleaning your gutters is one of the simplest DIY projects you can work on. Here are some practical tips if you plan to DIY your gutter cleaning.
Identify the Best Time for Gutter Cleaning
Gutter supply experts recommend that you clean your gutters twice a year, once during spring and another during the fall season. Depending on other natural factors (e.g., above-average precipitation year-round), you must also prepare for more gutter cleaning than necessary.
If you have plenty of trees in your yard, especially pine trees, you may need to clear your gutters four times a year. Doing this helps prevent the leaves from clogging your drains or causing additional damage.
Think of Where You Want to Clean Your Gutter
According to experts at Gutter Supply, you may explore two options if you’re planning to clean your gutters. You may attempt to do any of the following:
- Clean your gutters from the ground
- Clean your gutters using a ladder
Between those two options, you need to consider where you will be more comfortable doing your task. If you feel unsafe doing any DIY projects while elevated on the ground, you should do away with the ladder. Of course, you can always ask a gutter expert to do the gutter cleaning for you.
Gather and Check Your Tools and Equipment
Depending on your gutter cleaning method, you’ll need to gather and check all the tools and equipment. If you’re going to clean your gutters from the ground, which by far is considered the safest method, you must check if you have any of the following:
- Functioning garden hose
- Attachment or extension pole for the water hose
- Curved tube (to aim the water to the gutter)
- Wet/dry vacuum with attachments
The tricky part with gutter cleaning from the ground is that you need to do it systematically since you can’t exactly see how well you’re doing it.
However, if you’ve decided to clear the debris in your gutters while standing on a ladder, then you have several pieces of equipment you can choose from:
- Leaf blower
- Power Washer
- Gutter Scoop or mini sand shovel
- Bucket or pail
On top of all these, don’t forget to wear protective clothing and secure the ladder using a stabilizer for added security. Additionally, if you have a compost pile in your garden, you can add debris and leaves from your gutter.
Double Check Your DownSpouts When Flushing
After cleaning, flushing your gutters once clears them out from any remaining debris you may have missed. Additionally, it’s also the best way to check if your gutter system has any leaks and parts that need replacement.
Don’t forget to double-check the downspouts when flushing your gutters since they could be prone to clogs. Usually, water flushing takes care of it, but if not, you can also use a plumber’s snake to take care of any stubborn clogs.
Install Gutter Guards to Prevent Buildup
Gutter guards are an excellent option to limit and prevent debris buildup. Installing these also helps decrease the chances of replacing or repairing your roof. Yes, there may be some corresponding additional costs and maintenance, but in this case, prevention is better than cure.
If you try to think about it, the cost of installing gutter guards is entirely worth the benefits it provides. Not only can it decrease the number of times you need to clean your gutters, but you could also skip doing it altogether. This could come in handy if you want to save time and money from doing any DIY projects in the future. Depending on the type of gutter guards you want to install, you may need to work with a professional or install them on your own.
Taking the time a few times a year to clear your gutters is an excellent way to ensure your and your family’s safety and comfort. With regular gutter cleaning, you can rest assured that it becomes relatively easier to maintain your gutters and prevent any unforeseen damage from clogging. Remember, don’t hesitate to consult a professional if you’re uncertain about any DIY projects. This way, you cannot only extend the life of your roof, walls, and foundation but also keep yourself safe from accidents.