Various maintenance tasks in the home and office go unnoticed and neglected.
It is only when things go wrong that we realise that we should have seen to that chore before it became a problem.
Cleaning gutters is a classic example of this.
We tend to forget that unless we clean our gutters every at regular intervals, they will end up getting blocked with leaves and debris.
It is only then that we realise we should have tended to them more regularly.
So how often should you clean your gutters to avoid this from occurring?
Read on to learn more or jump to a desire chapter by using the menu links below:
- How Do Gutters Get Blocked?
- Why Clean Your Gutters?
- How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?
- How to Reduce Debris Build Up in Gutters
- How to Clean Your Gutters
- Other Helpful Tips
How Do Gutters Get Blocked?
When autumn draws near and leaves start falling, it means that your gutters have a bigger chance of getting clogged.
The same applies to pine needles or anything that could fall from trees.
General debris, dust and other residue that is commonly found outdoors, especially when the weather is not that favourable will also contribute to blocking the gutters.
When the runoff water cannot pass through the gutters, and you notice that it has started to spill over the sides and onto the ground, then the situation calls for an immediate cleaning.
The gutters are there to guide the rainwater off the roof and make it find its way down the drainpipes.
They cannot do this job if they are clogged with debris.
Why Clean Your Gutters?
There are various problems that could result from clogged gutters.
Some of these include:
- Any fascia boards nearby will start to rot
- Siding that is close to them could easily stain
- Basements could end up flooding
- In the long term foundation problems and structural damage could end up being caused
- The house could be more damp as a result and this could lead to health issues too
- Any landscaping could start deteriorating
- Blockages in the downpipes which will need repairs
How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?
The answer is to do it at least twice a year.
As a rule of thumb, you should make sure that you remove any debris, and especially leaves that start to fall during the autumn.
It is helpful to combine cleaning the gutters with some other chore that you have to do, such as whenever you pay an insurance premium, or whenever you reset your clock to the Daylight Saving Time.
This will help you to remember to do it much more easily.
It is a good idea to make a habit of checking the gutters whenever it rains somewhat heavily.
If you cannot see the rainwater running down the side of your house, then most probably your gutters are blocked.
Make sure to check them as soon as it stops raining and to clean them.
There could also be cases when you will feel the need to clean the gutters even more than twice a year.
This could be due to:
- A very heavy storm that ended up causing piles of debris to accumulate.
- In cases where there are many trees and so the amount of leaves and twigs that are dropped is considerably high.
- In cases when the house is in a downhill area, and there are other houses or buildings from which debris could accumulate in the gutters.
How to Reduce Debris Build Up in Gutters
Besides being aware of the importance of regularly cleaning gutters, it will help to bear in mind some tips which could help to reduce the amount of debris build up.
This will make your cleaning task easier, and less frequent.
Here are some things to remember:
- Consider installing a gutter protection system which will stop solid debris from getting into the gutters.
- Flush out the downspouts too as the less the debris that is accumulated in them the better for your gutters.
- Check that the gutters are aligned well and that they are flush with the eaves since any gaps could easily result in more debris accumulating in them.
And last but not least, let us go over some tips to help you clean your gutters properly but as effortlessly as possible.
How to Clean Your Gutters
You can opt to use a pressure washer or a garden hose with spray nossle to flush the gutters clean.
This is probably the easiest and quickest solution.
Others prefer to use a shop vac so as to suck up dry debris such as pine needles and leaves.
Others prefer to do away with these tools and simply opt for a spade to scoop up the debris from the gutters.
In cases where there is a big blockage, you should use a wire so as to break it up more easily before starting to clear the debris.
Then, use the hose to wash it all away.
Other Helpful Tips
It is a good idea to inspect your gutters every now and then as there could be common problems to fix, such as:
- Leaking gutter joints which result when debris gets caught in the joints, or as a result of general wear and tear.
- Sagging gutters that result when the debris and any standing water end sup weighing significantly, and so the gutters are weighed down.
- Any rusty screws, faulty brackets and similar problems which would end up making the gutters less sturdy.
The job itself is not that hard, but it could be quite discouraging for those who hate heights or who do not like having to deal with the dirt that gets accumulated in the gutters.
In situations like these, you may be better off speaking to a professional maintenance company or contractor to deal with the job.
Doing this chore is a must, and ideally you should see to it at least twice a year to avoid recurring problems.
As noted previously, there are various problems and repercussions that could result from clogged gutters, and you naturally want to avoid these.
So, do make it a point to see to this maintenance task to prevent subsequent problems, which could be quite costly too.
At the end of the day, the gutters in your home or office may not seem to be that important, but if you were to think of it they actually play a part in maintaining the structural integrity of your home.