Few homeowners enjoy cleaning their gutters, but knowing how to tend to them can keep your home and property in tip top shape throughout the year. While this task can be easy to put off, it’s not that difficult, and with some extra preparation can be even easier the next time around.
When your gutters and downspouts are filled with debris, water can collect at the base of your home’s foundation. This can lead to expensive and preventable damage. Cleaning your gutters at least biannually (during the fall and spring) is key. If you live next to a lot of trees or have encountered a storm recently that has stirred up debris, you may need to give your gutters extra attention.
Best Cleaning Techniques
You may find your ideal cleaning supplies through trial and error, but you will absolutely need gloves, a sturdy ladder and a hose. Some homeowners choose to use buckets or biodegradable yard bags, gutter scoops or a trowel and a spray nozzle for their garden hose. If you need extra pressure when spraying gutters and downspouts, you can opt to use a pressure washer to make the job easier. When removing debris, start at the downspout and work your way to the closed end of your gutters. Be sure to practice ladder safety while you work and opt for a day a few days after a big rain. Allowing the debris to dry can make the removal easier.
Gutter Maintenance and Prep
Cleaning out your gutters isn’t enough to keep them in top shape. You need to be aware of issues like cracks, rust, mold or sagging when inspecting your gutters. Sealant can be used to repair leaks at the end of your gutters, but replace any sections that are cracked or split. Touch up the weather-resistant paint on rust spots; for areas with rust or mold, look for reasons this area may have been exposed to constant or standing water, such as a clog. If the problem persists or your gutters are sagging, replace them. Finally, consider installing gutter guards. This easy installation will keep most debris out of your gutters making your job even easier next time.