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How to Clean and Maintain Your Gutters

Good gutter maintenance can prolong the lifespan of your roof, preserve your rooftop drainage from excess wear, prevent property damages, and stave off pest infestations. In short, it’s a critical part of your ongoing home maintenance. Without these efforts, your gutters can get clogged with heavy, damp debris that attracts insects and rodents, prevents moisture from draining, and causes staining and discoloration. Fall and spring are generally the best times for these efforts given that these seasons are when tree-fall is at its heaviest. However, any time that you see a significant build-up of leaves, twigs, and other materials building up in your gutters, you’ll want to take the time to clear them out. If left untended, accumulations like these can lead to the increased weight that causes the gutter fasteners to pull away from your home.

The list of benefits that you’ll gain by being diligent in gutter maintenance is incredibly long. When moisture cannot drain properly from the rooftop you can end up with:

  • Pooling water at the building’s foundation
  • Foundation cracks
  • Basement leaks
  • Ceiling damage due to persistent roof leaks
  • Mold
  • Siding damage

Surprisingly, gutter maintenance can even protect your patios, walkways, driveway, and other paved surfaces. Having water efficiently routed away from these areas will protect their integrity and prolong their lifespan. Ultimately, by keeping your gutters clear of debris and functioning efficiently, you can protect the value of your home and avoid costly repairs. However, before you pull out your ladder and set to work, there are several important things to keep in mind. Using the wrong tools and failing to wear the necessary protective gear could leave you with physical injuries and a damaged roof.

Always Make Safety Your First Priority When Cleaning Out Your Gutters

Safety should always be your first priority when cleaning your gutters. If you have a two-story home, have professional roofers do this job for you rather than attempting to do it on your own. They’ll have cutting-edge fall prevention and fall-arrest equipment for mounting and dismounting the roof safely. Moreover, they’ll use the proper equipment and tools for extracting debris from hard-to-reach areas without compromising their balance or safety.

If you have a simple one-story home and feel comfortable using a ladder to clean your gutters yourself, be sure to wear:

  • Protective gloves
  • Safety goggles or other reliable eye protection
  • Slip-proof boots or shoes

As you lift out sharp twigs, pine needles, and other debris, you’ll want your eyes to be covered. Slip-proof footwear will ensure that you get ample traction on the ladder rungs as you use your tools to agitate and flush out various materials. Another important piece of gear to have on hand is a lightweight mask. This is especially vital to remember if you have seasonal allergies. Many of the materials that you’ll be agitating during this process will be coated in pollen and other allergens.

If the materials in your gutter aren’t severely impacted, you should be able to flush them out with your garden hose. Make sure that the hose is sufficiently long, unkinked, and easy to carry up to the height at which you’ll be working. If you’ve purchased your own pressure washing system, make sure that this is approved for use on roofs and rooftop drainage systems. High-pressure power washing systems can lift paint off your home, detach gutters, remove roof shingles, and cause other damages. Professional roofers have power washing tools that come with precise, soft-wash settings that apply the perfect amount of force for eliminating gutter debris without causing structural harm.

To minimize build-ups in your gutters, try to set a climate and environment-specific maintenance schedule. Waiting too long to complete this work can leave you with gutters that are severely impacted and that require professional treatment. You also have the option of installing protective gutter systems or guards that prevent non-liquid materials from ever fully entering these structures. If you need assistance with your ongoing gutter maintenance or want to know more about some of the latest and most innovative gutter accessories, we’re here to help. Call us today at 913-850-6556.