Cleaning the gutters is one of the most important responsibilities of a homeowner that is often overlooked and taken for granted. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until their gutters are filled to the brim before they decide to clean it. This delay exposes their houses to possible damage.
Why Should You Clean The Gutters?
1. Property Damage: First of all, if the gutter is full to the brim, the accumulated leaves, snow, or debris will plug the drain. This defeats the purpose of having the gutter installed in the first place. Storm water will just overflow causing damage to your home foundation and landscape. The weight of the water stored in the gutter will also damage it, causing it to fall off.
2. Mosquito Infestation: Keep in mind that mosquitoes love to breed in stagnant water. If your gutter is plugged, it will collect water from the storm. This will serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This is a serious problem which can lead to health complications as mosquitoes are known carriers of diseases and viruses.
3. Ice Dams: If your gutter is plugged, especially during the winter season, it could result in expensive property damage. The gutter will be filled with ice and then it will start to creep up your roof. Once it passes the ice shield of your roof, the ice will start to melt from the heat in your home. The melted ice will flow through the ceilings and walls. If this problem is not addressed, the water will damage your floor and will result in mold growth within the house.
4. Wood Rot: Lastly, if the gutter remains plugged, the water will sit in it for weeks. If you have wooden gutter, the stagnant water will cause the wood to rot.
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Safety Tips When Cleaning The Gutter
If you are planning to clean the gutter by yourself, you should avoid doing it from on top of the roof, says www.cleansweepbayarea.com. It is best to clean your gutters using a ladder. You should also avoid standing on top of the three rungs and don’t reach beyond the capacity of your belt buckle. You should also have two buckets ready- one for the debris and the other one for carrying the tools. To attach the buckets to the ladder, you can use wire hooks. However, if you believe that cleaning the gutter on your own is too much work, you can always call a professional cleaning service to do the job.
Cleaning The Gutters
It is recommended to use a hose designed for gutters when cleaning this area. If you are cleaning from a ladder, here’s what you need to do:
- Start cleaning near the downspout.
- Remove any large debris using a trowel then put the debris in the bucket.
- Get rid of the finer materials. Flush the gutter using a hose starting at the opposite side of the downspout. If the water doesn’t drain, you should inspect the downspout strainer and clean it if needed.
If after cleaning the water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.
- Check the drain end and remove the downspout.
- If you are using a hose, install a small nozzle. Use high pressure water to clear the downspout. If this doesn’t work, you can use a plumber’s snake tool to get rid of the debris blocking it.
- Reattach the downspout then flush the gutter.
This guest post is written by Kris Lim, a home improvement blogger. She has written various DIY tips and tricks for home maintenance.