Your gutters are an important and valuable investment to protect your home from the roof to the foundation. The importance of gutters can hardly be overstated, and yet they’re often one of the most neglected outdoor parts of our homes. We hardly ever stop to ask how often should gutters be cleaned or whether it’s worth it to have leaf guard installation. So how often should gutters be cleaned, and what else can we do to protect our most valuable investment: our homes?
What You Are Protecting
Before answer the question of how to take care of our gutters, we should think about what our gutters are doing to take care of us. In the summer, just one inch of rain dumps approximately 1500 gallons of water onto the average roof. Since one gallon of rainwater weighs a whole eight pounds, a completely and perfectly flat roof would soon collapse under the weight of all that water. So naturally, we peak our roofs.
But then, all that water has to go somewhere, and we really don’t want it raining down from every eve in an uncontrolled fashion. Our gutters efficiently take away that water and shuttle it to downspouts that channel it away from the foundations of our home. This protects the foundation and keeps mildew and mold from growing all along the sides of our house. In fact, gutters are so important to our foundations that the number one cause of water problems in the basement is clogged gutters.
How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?
You need to be cleaning your gutters a minimum of twice a year, and particularly after the spring flowering season and after the leaves fall during autumn. All those seeds, flowers, and leaves clog up the gutters and shorten their lives. Pooled water that can’t make it around the debris keeps the gutters perpetually wet and promotes rust. The added weight of all that debris also causes the gutters to sag. They will eventually come apart and may come off their attaching hanger completely.
How Do I Clean My Gutters?
To clean your gutters effectively you will need a ladder, some work gloves, a garden hose, and a trowel or small shovel. First sweep out the area around your downspout outlet so there’s plenty of room for things to come down. Then get up the ladder and use the trowel to scoop up as much of the gunk in your gutters as you can get. Keep moving your ladder along the gutters as you go, and when you’ve gone through the whole length of gutter, run the garden hose through it to wash away the last bit. As you run water through the gutters, look for leaks.
What If the Downspout is Clogged?
The fastest way to clear out your downspout is to try to hit it with a blast from the garden hose. If that doesn’t work, you may have to take it apart and clean it. Fortunately, the downspout comes apart far more easily than the gutters themselves.
What’s the Best Way to Keep My Gutters Clean?
The best way to protect your gutters is to keep them regularly cleaned and put gutter guards up to keep out leaves and other debris. And although you may do a lot of your gutter cleaning yourself, it’s a good idea to schedule a regular roof cleaning to maximize the life of your roof. Hire gutter cleaning technicians on a regular basis to keep your gutters properly maintained and perfectly cleaned. Hiring a professional gutter cleaning company is the best way to maximize the life of your gutters and, at the same time, the life of your entire property.
How often should gutters be cleaned? If you’re reading this, chances are you haven’t done it in a while, and the answer is that you should get out there and take care of it. Keep your gutters cleaned and make sure you bring in professional gutter cleaners on occasion to make sure this valuable investment stay safe and secure for years to come.
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