Unfortunately, most homebuyers aren’t handed a comprehensive home cleaning and maintenance guide when they sign the finalizing paperwork. Consequently, many homeowners fail to comprehend the full scope of their household duties.
Gutter cleaning tasks are hardly ever at the top of anyone’s to-do list. But these pipe-like roof edgings help protect a home’s foundation by directing rainwater to safe areas. When they’re clogged with debris, the entire house can begin to suffer.
What Causes Clogged Gutters?
If your gutters aren’t protected, then they’re likely attracting all sorts of debris, pests, or wayward objects. Some of the most common causes of clogged gutters include:
- Dead Leaves
- Foreign Objects
Without proper protection or regular maintenance, your home could become a haven for unwanted guests, including mold and rodents. But cleaning your gutters and keeping them in tip-top condition may be easier thank you think
Gutter Cleaning Guide
Now that you’re familiar with the types of things you might find in your gutters, you can prepare yourself for the challenges ahead. Safety is a significant challenge, as you’ll likely need a ladder to access your home’s gutters.
You’ll want to be prepared for any problem you may face, so safety glasses and protective gloves are also a must. It’s also helpful to have a large wastebin or trash receptacle handy to catch debris.
In general, you can enjoy clean, efficient gutters by following five simple steps. They are:
- Gather Your Supplies
- Clear the Debris
- Spray Away
- Check for Damages
- Install Gutter Covers
We’ve detailed each of these steps to help you experience the best possible cleaning. Still, no matter how well you prepare yourself and your work area, things are bound to get messy during a gutter cleaning.
There’s no shame in tapping out and allowing a group of experts to take over. This is especially true of homeowners that don’t already own safety gear, an extendable ladder, or basic tools.
However, if you’re already familiar with basic home maintenance, you may be able to tackle this task with ease.
Gather Your Supplies
One of the worst things you could do before cleaning your gutters is to forget a necessary tool or piece of equipment. However, if you haven’t created and referenced a list of necessary supplies, you may end up missing something come cleaning day.
We’ve created a general list of things you may need to have ready. You’ll want to ensure that you have:
- Safety Glasses
- Protective Work Gloves
- Step Ladder
- Extension Ladder
- Garden Hose
- Mold Remover
- Gutter Scoop
If you’re ready to invest a little extra time and money into the task, you could also purchase paint, paint brushes, or a pressure washer. These objects can help remove or cover set-in stains and blemishes that result from long-term debris and decay.
After acquiring and gathering your necessary supplies, you’ll want to go ahead and don your safety glasses and gloves. You’ll then want to erect your step ladder or extension ladder safely beneath your home’s gutters.
Double-check your supplies to ensure that you’ll have everything you need when you reach the top of the ladder. For now, that should be your safety gear and your gutter scoop. Position your wastebin near your ladder and ascend.
Clear the Debris
Now that you’re slightly above your gutter, you can see what type of debris you’re working with. If it’s primarily dirt, decaying leaves, and small plants, then you can proceed with minimal caution.
However, if you spot signs of harmful insects, pests, or strange creatures, you may want to contact a professional cleaning service and pest control service to help you safely handle the issue.
Once you’ve managed to clear away the debris, you can move on to what is often considered the most fun gutter cleaning step.
After you’ve cleared away all (or at least most) of the debris, you get your garden hose or pressure water ready. If you’ve never cleaned your gutters before, you may want to opt for the garden hose.
High-pressure water can worsen pre-existing damage, causing cracks to widen or gutters to fall from their posts. Gentle, steady hose water is far safer when removing residue or the last remaining specks of debris.
Check for Damages
After spraying away stubborn dirt and grit, you’ll need to examine your gutters for damage. It may be helpful to have a flashlight on hand, even if you’re working on a bright and sunny day. Shady tree cover can hide cracks and holes.
If you do spot small cracks, you may be able to repair them with caulk or sealant. However, gutters that sport several cracks or holes may need to be replaced rather than repaired.
Install Gutter Covers
If you haven’t already invested in a quality gutter guard installation, now is the time to act. You can protect your gutters (and your home) while also reducing your necessary maintenance frequency.
In short, by spending a little extra money now, you could save yourself thousands of dollars in future repairs and replacements. And you’ll be able to spend more of your free time having fun rather than cleaning out the gutters. That’s a win-win.
Do Away With Blocked Gutters
If your gutters aren’t protected, they’re likely prone to filling-up with all types of debris. While this might not seem like an immediate problem, dirty gutters can lead to pest problems, mold, roof damage, and erosion.
Cleaning your gutters is the first step toward protecting your home from these threats. Hopefully, this gutter cleaning guide has helped to inspire you to take action and scrub away your home’s gutter dirt.
If you’re interested in protecting your gutters with the highest-quality gutter guards, contact us today for a free estimate!