Gutters are an essential part of your drainage system. When they’re clean and in good condition, rain water and snow melt flows freely through them and is directed away from your property. However, when they’re clogged and damaged, the water from storms and snow can sink into the siding, crawl down the walls, cause leakages, and flood the basement. All of these things can cause extensive damage to your property.
It’s easier to clean and repair the gutters than to clean and repair an entire water-logged basement. Most homeowners don’t inspect their gutters as often as they should and are surprised by unexpected leakages and water damage. Regular inspection or professional assessment of your gutters will help you avoid a number of problems in the future.
- Determine How Often To Clean the Gutters
The gutter cleaning schedule depends largely on the season, location, and the plant life near the roof. Most home maintenance experts believe that you should clean gutters at least twice a year, if not more. Here are some factors you should take into consideration to determine how often you need to clean:
- The kind of trees you have near and over the roof. If you have trees like oak, you don’t need to clean more than twice a year. These trees don’t shed often so the gutters won’t collect enough debris to create a clog in a short period of time. However, if you have pine near your roof, you might have to clean every three months. Pine sheds more often than most trees.
- Number of trees also matters. If you have just a single tree that’s quite a distance away from your home, you can get away with cleaning the gutters once a year. However, if you have two or more trees close to your home, you will have to clean twice or even three times a year.
- Cleaning the Downspouts
Most people don’t realize that downspouts require regular cleaning as well. The debris and dust can gather within the tube and cause massive clogs. If the downspouts are clogged, you won’t be able to clean the gutters on the roof easily as that would take too much time. If you want to clean your gutters faster and ensure they work well at all times, make sure your downspouts are flushed often. You can use a pressure washer to direct water towards the spouts. The force and pressure will push lose debris and clear the entire pipe.
However, if the clog is too tightly packed, you will have to use a stick or a powerful vacuum to remove the debris entirely. Downspouts are usually easy to clear because they are strength and head directly towards the ground. If the spouts have corners and turns, you can expect them to clog easily as debris will get trapped into the corners.
- Frequency Helps
If you clean the gutters often, you will have to spend less time on the chore. For example, if you clean the gutters once every two months, you can be certain that it would be free of debris and dust regardless of the season and the number of trees near your home. You won’t have to spend much time on the cleaning process either because there will be less debris to remove.
Most homeowners can easily clear the leaves and dust with the help of household tools like a rake or even a broom. You can pour water down the downspout to ensure there are no clogs in it. If you plan your cleaning process properly, you won’t have to call professionals to remove the debris every six months. You can just call them once a year to ensure the system functions well.
- Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are sheets of metal or plastic with holes in them. These guards allow the water to drain into the channel but keep leaves and debris away from the main gutter. You can simply use a rake or similar tool to remove the leaves gathered over the guards. You won’t have to climb a ladder and manually scoop the debris out of the gutter.
However, your gutter will still require professional cleaning once in a year or two to ensure smaller particles of dust and debris don’t clog the drains. While the gutter guards are a great investment and will help you save time, money, and effort, they won’t stop all of the dust so professional cleaning is essential.
- Gutter Quality
Gutters seem like simple enough structures. They are open channels that carry water away from the roof and down the spout. Homeowners often cut corners while installing gutters and choose low-quality or cheap materials for the project. Unfortunately, poor quality gutters can make cleaning difficult and time-consuming. These low-quality gutters aren’t seamless and can trap debris easily.
They can also become warped under the pressure and force of gravity and cause a number of problems. Good quality gutters are seamless and are installed with internal hangers rather than spikes. This ensures the water and debris can flow freely through the gutter system without getting trapped.
Poorly maintained gutters with holes and dents can also trap debris and dirt. If you want to clean your gutters quickly and efficiently, you need to make sure they’re in good condition as well. Repair any holes, dents, bends, etc, quickly to avoid massive clogs. If the gutter is too damaged, replace the section with a new pipe.
- Get It Professionally Cleaned
Even if you intend to clean the gutters yourself, hire a professional to do a meticulous job at least once a year. At Green Acres Landscaping we offer one-time gutter cleaning during which we will clean the gutters thoroughly and repair any damage. We seek to ensure the system carries water away from your property efficiently. This will minimize your workload throughout the rest of the year and help you clean the system quickly.
As you can see, keeping your gutters clean and functional isn’t as difficult as it appears. With proper planning and the right tools, you can avoid most problems associated with the cleaning and maintenance process.