You may think that a few leaves and twigs in your gutter couldn’t do any harm to it, but oh, you couldn’t be more wrong. The main thing that these objects are used for is to control water around your home, and also as a defense against its destructive forces. If there’s debris inside it, you could face some quite serious issues that might affect the overall functionality of your household. Therefore, in order to avoid those major problems, you need to make sure you keep it tidy regularly.
If you forget to maintain the unit properly or maybe you don’t see it as something important, the debris might accumulate so much that it could escalate to expensive and burdensome repairs. The damage caused by such inconvenience might sometimes cost homeowners several thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the consequences.
When there’s a clogging problem, you might have some trouble with water as well. Right after it starts leaking, the basement leaks are next. Your garage and all the goods you keep in there might get soaked. Also, another problem that could occur are foundation cracks that might appear during colder months when built-up water at the foundation freezes.
Another leaking issue that can happen are leaking roofs. This usually happens in winter when ice dams appear on top of the units. If that happens, the water running off the roof can’t pass through, which can lead to major ceiling and wall damage.
Too much hassle, right? Who would think that such a seemingly negligible object in our household might cause so much fuss? To stay away from such problems and keep it fresh, let’s mention some of the most important cleaning tips that can help you avoid major repairs.
1. Stay safe
If you decide to head on DIY activity, do your best to stay safe and watch out for hidden hazards. If you are a faint-hearted person or you are afraid of heights and not comfortable using ladders, this job isn’t for you and you should consider hiring a professional to take care of it and better give up on your DIY cleaning performance.
People who aren’t enough of a handyman and can’t rely on their own skills usually search for companies with experienced staff and good general conditions. A great example of such a group of experts is gutterspecialists.co.uk. Not only do they offer a wide range of solutions for anything that could go wrong with gutters, but they also support their clients with same-day service and free quotes. Also, they and all the professionals similar to them are rather used to the height and it won’t be a problem for them!
2. Clean while standing on the ladder
First of all, you should make sure you gathered all the necessary tools for your DIY cleaning. You will need a ladder, hose, and work gloves. Don’t forget to avoid working from the roof – always access the gutter from the ladder. Working from the roof might lead to serious accidents in case you aren’t really the most cautious person in the world.
During your cleaning, you might also do some repairs, such as tightening up some loose sections as soon as you come across them. What could be useful is to have a supply of long lag bolts while replacing missing or loose spikes. Lag bolts will last longer, so you won’t need to do this more than once after you replace spikes with them.
3. Spray downspouts
Downspouts are the parts where most debris accumulates over time. If the downspout is clogged, the water will back up and cause problems with house walls.
Spray the hose down the downspout to make sure all debris has been cleared out. If this way of cleaning doesn’t work out, you might be forced to separate the unit parts and clear it. Once this chore is done, make sure that the discharge end is long enough – it should be far enough from the house to avoid any potential issues. Also, you should keep in mind that misdirected and clogged downspouts can cause driveways to crack – so have this in mind, as well.
4. Install gutter guards
Once you’re done with cleaning and adjusting and when everything is set up, you should think about installing the guards to avoid redoing the process. There are a variety of units out there on the market – screens can be effective but not in the long run, since the debris will get through them somehow. Clogs can easily come up again, but it’ll be more difficult to clear them this time because screens need to be removed before cleaning.
There are also leaf blocking guards, which are more costly and look like a metal louver. Even though they are a more pricey option, they’re a much more effective choice because they allow water to flow while louvers are washing leaves over the side.
5. Replace rusty gutters
While you’re inspecting your gutter, you might notice that some of its parts are rusty and old. The best way of keeping your surroundings safe would be to get the new one, but if you don’t have an option to get it at the moment, there’s always a way to cover things up.
If you’re going to maintain the old ones, you can always paint them and cover the imperfections, as with good quality rust-inhibiting paint they’ll look like they’re brand new! But before doing this, get all the rust off and sand them down first. After they’re shiny and polished, no one will be able to notice that those were worn out or scruffy before.
No matter what technique or product you choose, it’s necessary to check gutters from time to time to be on the safe side and monitor the potential signs of clogging. The first red flag should be over-flowing in a rainstorm, but any kind of excess water you can see around the house or on your walls can be a sign of a problem. If you don’t want to spend a bunch of cash on costly repairs and if you would like to avoid unplanned expenses, make sure you maintain your home surroundings impeccably and efficiently!