There’s a huge debate on the importance of gutter cleaning. Some people claim that it’s one of the most significant fall cleaning rituals, and some consider it a trivial task that can be put at the last of your priority list.
We are the former kind. We believe cleaning your gutters is a crucial task. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss the importance of cleaning your gutters on time, avoiding risks associated with it and maintaining the gutters in their best condition for the rest of the year.
What happens if you don’t do the annual gutter cleaning?
Let’s say you don’t clean your gutters at all this season. With the shedding of leaves, they will get clogged. If you happen to live in an area that receives rainstorms, you will face the problem of overflowing. One-inch of a rainstorm can produce about 1,000 gallons of water, which will now overflow because your gutters aren’t clean.
The overflowing may lead to rotting of fascia boards, damage to the siding or leaks in the roof. The worse case would be when the overflowing water leaks into the basement and starts destroying your house’s foundation.
It can also result in ice dams which can further lead to a lot of worrisome issues. Dirty gutters also attract small animals and insects that are a nightmare for any homeowner.
If these are enough reasons for you to start thinking about gutter cleaning, then keep reading.
How to avoid dangers while cleaning your gutters?
What’s the best way to wrap up this chore? It’s to look for a gutter cleaning service, negotiate the price and schedule their visit. If by any chance, you want to do it on your own, here are some safety tips.
1. First of all, it’s not a one-man task. You need at least one more person who would act as your spotter and make sure that the base of the ladder is secure. It will be a mistake to climb the ladder and start working all by yourself. Fall from a height like that isn’t pleasant and trust us! We learned that from experience.
2. Pick a good ladder that can bear your weight. Do not try to reach over or move the ladder while you’re on it. It sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget that and regret it later while they’re at this job. Never use a step up ladder to climb higher on your roof. Rather, use an extension ladder as it’s much safer.
3. The right gear is vital for this job. Begin with picking up the right shoes as they must have rubber soles to prevent slipping. Then you require rubber gloves as it’s unsafe to touch the gutter material with bare hands. There could be anything up there – animals, metal pieces or deadly insects. Use protective eyewear to prevent your eyes from the hazards that might lay in your gutters.
Make sure you’re using a plastic scooping tool and not a metal one. A metal one would scratch the gutter surface and can damage it even more. That’s a safety tip for your gutter, but we thought it was essential to mention. Wasn’t it?
Beware that the power lines above you can be dangerous, and you need to stay away from them at all costs. Also, watch out for sharp edges.
Once you are entirely sure that you have all this equipment, and you’re not afraid of heights, go for it. But remember that if you’re even a bit unsure about whether you should do it or not, then call for a gutter cleaning service.
What to do after your gutter is cleaned?
Fill the gutters with water to check them for leakage. It will also help you test the drainage system. If the downspout seems to be clogged (which will be evident if the water starts to back up), use a powerful water hose to remove the clog.
If you use guards for the gutters, make sure you put them back after you finish cleaning.
Some more tips for gutter cleaning
We missed some more tips. For example, we forgot to mention how important it is to clean the roof before you start this task. You need to clear your roof of the debris and leaves; else it will all fall on the freshly cleaned gutters the very next time it rains. Your efforts will nearly be ruined so don’t forget to do it first, unlike us.
You should consider this task as a bi-annual one. In fall, you do it mainly to avoid water damage, but it’s equally important to keep the gutters cleaned to avoid clogs. It’s not a practice that many follow but just consider it for once.
Anyways, we hope you have grabbed enough information to give due importance to this fall cleaning ritual. You must be equipped with knowledge to do it yourself or call a gutter cleaning service.
Don’t forget to check out our last post in the fall maintenance essentials series. We discussed the importance of carpet cleaning and HVAC and shared some precious tips that will come handy for the rest of your life.