Gutters are one of the most important parts of every home. They help collect rainwater and prevent it from damaging your home's foundation. Additionally, they collect a lot of leaves, branches, and other debris. If you want to know how often to clean your gutters or if you should hire professionals for this job, then keep reading!
⚠ The importance of cleaning your gutters and downspouts
Some people underestimate the importance of having clean gutters and downspouts, but not cleaning them may result in future problems like the following:
- Appearance of insects, pests and other bugs.
- Internal damage to the house due to water infiltration.
- Mold growth, which isn't good for health.
- Need for replacement of gutters, and in some cases roof repairs.
- Having clean gutters not only improves the look of your home, but also prevents the potential damages listed above. Cleaning the gutter system routinely will also save you extra money in the long run.
How to clean your gutter system
Cleaning gutters and downspouts means to free them from all kinds of obstructions that can generate water retention, to achieve its correct functioning. The most important thing is to remove any debris such as tree leaves, and check that the downspouts are not clogged.
Cleaning can be done in several ways, depending on your available equipment. Here are the most common ways to clean them:
1-Gutter cleaning with ladder and hose
Necessary materials: ladder, gloves, large garbage bag or bucket, hose.
It is important to use a ladder that is safe and is at least 1.5 feet higher than your roof, so that it is securely attached to it.
Once you’re up the ladder, remove all debris and leaves from the trees with gloves and place them in the bucket.
When you have removed debris from the entire system of gutters, finish doing the cleaning with a hose. Cleaning with a hose will also help to verify that there is no stagnant water in any part of the system.
2- Gutter cleaning from the ground
Necessary materials: Gutter cleaning wand, hose.
The gutter cleaning wand has one end folded down (u-shaped), which will be where the water comes out, and at the other end a hose must be connected. You should walk slowly and systematically under the gutters, so that it injects water under pressure and displaces debris and leaves.
Once you’re done, we recommend that you take a look in your gutters (if you have a ladder), in case they have been obstructed.
This is the safest method, since you can clean the gutters from the ground rather than up on the roof. The disadvantage is that you will probably have to clean the floor under your gutters, as this is where all the debris will fall.
3- Gutter cleaning using an air blower
Materials: air blower, broom, ladder (to access the roof).
This method is as its name indicates, requiring you to inject air into the gutters at a high speed, so that all debris and leaves are removed. For this you will have to walk on the roof, next to the gutters. The disadvantage to this cleaning method is that it is not only potentially more dangerous as one must go up on the roof, but you will also have to clean the fallen debris off the ground with a broom.
When to clean gutters?
At Moriarty’s Roofing we recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year. The best thing to do is to clean them in autumn, after the trees' leaves have fallen, and just before starting the rainy season.
In addition, it is essential that you know the particularities of your home and weather where you live, so that you pay more attention to the gutters during certain circumstances.
Below is a list of special cases where cleaning will need to be done more frequently:
After severe storms or strong winds, as many leaves and debris accumulate in the gutters
If your home is surrounded by trees that shed leaves and twigs often, they will clog faster than normal
If you live in a very cold area, prone to freezes, as water can accumulate, freeze and cause damage to the gutters or your roof
Option that does not require gutter cleaning: Gutter guards
If you prefer not to have to periodically clean your gutter system, there is a solution designed for this: gutter guards. You can choose to put gutter guards, which only allows rain water to enter, blocking leaves and debris from entering. This way your gutters won’t get clogged.
Do I need to clean the gutter guards?
Yes, but not as often as you’d clean the gutter system if you didn’t have these guards. That is, occasionally you will have to brush the top of the guards, as leaves and other debris will accumulate there. If you have a high quality guard that is properly installed, residues will not enter your gutters, so they will never be blocked.
Kind regards from the Moriarty Roofing Family.