Responsible for diverting water from your roof and away from your home, gutters and your roof are the first line of defense for protecting your home’s exterior.
Your roof protects your home and is peppered with rain during storms that then runs down your roof and is collected by your gutters.
Gutters tend not to be at the front of our mind when it comes to caring for your home, but if forgotten about, broken gutters or clogged gutters can cause multiple issues (which we will cover)!
However, because gutters sit high off the ground, we typically forget to clean our gutters. But clean gutters are vital to your home’s exterior condition!
Today, we will cover issues caused by unclean gutters, how to clean your gutters safely, and options besides regular cleaning.
Clean Gutters – Common Gutter Issues:
The biggest issue with clogged gutters that have not been cleaned, is that they are unable to do their job.
Gutters that can not channel water and dispose of it in the proper places (downspouts) are going to lead to issues. Here are a few of those issues before we talk about how to clean your gutters.
1. Foundational Issues:
Because a gutter’s main role is to channel water away from your home, if there’s a blockage in that system, the water has to go somewhere else – over the edges of the gutter.
Overflowing gutters can cause water to pool around the foundation of your home, ultimately creating an environment conducive to mold. Even worse, should the water freeze, it could cause cracks in the foundation, threatening a potential collapse if left unnoticed or untreated.
2. Damage to Your Siding:
Overflowing water, undoubtedly the biggest concern with unkempt gutters, can trickle down your siding before pooling by the foundation, causing wood damage and a great risk of ice dams in the wintertime.
However, your siding is actually designed to just retract water when it rains, but not let waterfall-like water run down it. Small weep holes are in the bottom of your siding and too much running water can penetrate these holes.
This can lead to water leaks in your home if gutters are not cleaned/corrected.
3. Landscaping Sabotage:
If you have any flower beds lining the side of your home, gutter blockages can lead to over-watering and erosion, ultimately diminishing the curb appeal of your home.
4. Unwanted Pests:
If a blockage causes standing water in your gutters, you can expect mosquitos and other insects being attracted to the site.
Even if your gutters do not have a blockage, a nice bed of leaves built up in your gutters looks awfully inviting for small, unwanted pests.
5. Wearing Down Your Gutters
When gutters are blocked, your foundation isn’t the only thing that can suffer from water damage. Water overflow can affect the components that make up the gutter itself. The fascia – the board that runs behind your gutter – can weaken.
Even if they are draining properly, gutters left uncleaned can hold excess debris, increasing the weight of the gutter and causing strain on the brackets.
How to Clean Your Gutters:
While cleaning gutters seems straightforward, many people don’t have the proper equipment, expertise, or time to commit to gutter maintenance.
In most cases, it is best to leave it to the professionals to ensure your gutters get the best maintenance and preventative care especially if your home is over 2+ stories.
Safety is vital when cleaning your gutters and there are also options to avoid cleaning your gutters altogether when you use the Raindrop Gutter Guard system.
Ladder safety is vital for proper cleaning and if you are the DIY type always make sure you use proper ladder safety protocol and have someone helping you!
Steps to Clean Gutters:
- Get your equipment – gloves, ladder, bucket, and hose
- Arrange your ladder and use safety first ladder tips
- Use your gloved hand and grab debris in gutter and place in bucket
- Do not lean too far, move your ladder every few feet
- Check downspouts with flashlight
- When all gutters are clean use a hose to clean out gutters and test downspouts
How often should you clean your gutters?
At least 1x per year if you do not have self-cleaning gutter guards! In fact, if you live by a pine tree or heavily wooded areas, you will have to clean your gutters at least 2x!
Of course you can always install gutter guards!
Benefits of Gutter Guards (Clean Gutters Forever)
If cleaning out your gutters regularly sounds overwhelming, you can easily reduce the amount of maintenance by installing gutter guards as a preventative measure against debris buildup and blockage.
Keep in mind not all gutter guards are created equal!
Gutter guards protect your gutters and your home by keeping your gutters free of leaves and sticks, however, some are and some are not low-maintenance!
Not all gutter guards are created equal. Look for guards that can withstand heavy storms, but that are also “Self Cleaning.”
Here at Top Dog Home Pro, the Raindrop® Gutter Guard is the only product we use because we can offer a LIFETIME NO-CLOG warranty when installed by us!
This is worth it as installing gutter guards can pay for itself within 3-4 years of annual gutter cleaning! You can get a price instantly here (you just need your gutter lengths).
Maintaining Your Gutters is Worth It!
While it’s not the first thing on your mind as a homeowner, it’s clear that gutters are very important.
Keep water, pests, and worry away and maintain your gutters regularly. Invest in quality installation and maintenance, and consider a gutter guard, which can help prevent future problems.
With autumn just around the corner and plenty of leaves ready to fall, planning your next gutter maintenance inspection can help prevent future damages to your home.