When was the last time you cleaned your gutters? Chances are you haven’t peeked up there lately. Although cleaning your gutters is likely not on your list of plans for the weekend, there are several reasons why this maintenance is necessary for the well-being of your home. Gutters are vital for moving water off your roof and away from your home’s foundation. If they are not in good shape and free of debris, they will not be able to do their job effectively. Springtime and fall are deemed the best times to clean your gutters due to the buildup of flowers, seeds and leaves. However, cleaning your gutters during the summer is just as important and it is the best time to replace potentially damaged components of your draining system.
Water in your basement? Clogged gutters are the #1 cause
When gutters clog, rainfall isn’t able to drain properly and causes water to overflow the front and back edges of your gutters. This overflowing water will trickle down the exterior walls of your home and, if you have a basement, that water will seep its way in, causing damage to your foundation as well as any possession you keep in the basement. This water can also seep into your home through window openings or broken seals around your window frames. This excessive amount of water can lead to mold and mildew problems and can be hazardous to the health of you and your family.
Damages of excess water
When your gutters are backed up and have obstructions, that buildup of water can be damaging your roof. And if left unchecked, commonly flooded gutters can also cause wood rot. Left untreated, this wood rot can become a breeding ground for termites and mosquitoes.
Why is it important to do summer gutter maintenance?
It is common for your gutters to become clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris. Since we know the potential risks clogged gutters can have to your home, it is important to make sure your gutters are clear so they can drain properly.
Clear bird nests
Bird nests can be a serious blockage in your gutters. Thankfully, most birds have left their nests in the summer months, so the nests are easier to remove.
Summer storm preparation
Summertime can bring large amounts of rain and wind. Strong winds can cause debris to accumulate in your gutters. Regularly clearing your gutters of obstructions can prevent that buildup of water that can damage your roof and cause water to find its way into your home.
Check for damage
When you regularly clean your gutters, it is easier to look for damage and get them fixed before fall. Areas with rust or holes are important to replace or fix in order to keep your gutters draining properly.
It’s the easiest time to install new equipment
Because summertime is typically more dry than any other season, it makes it the perfect time to update your gutters or downspouts. It is also a great time to install gutter covers that will help reduce the buildup of debris in the fall months.
5 steps to clean your gutters
- Move from the low side to the high side
Start at the downspouts or lower portions of the house to prevent debris from the gutters from clogging in the downspout.
2. Position your ladder at the downspout
Begin clearing leaves and other debris that are covering the downspout opening. This will allow any standing water in your gutters to drain out of the downspout. Make sure to block other debris from draining with the water to prevent your downspout from becoming clogged.
3. Remove debris from the gutter
Clean out debris from the gutter with your hand, a gutter scooper or a leaf blower.
4. Wash out the gutters
Grab your hose and a high-pressure nozzle to wash out the gutters, working towards the downspouts.
5. Flush downspouts
Using the high-pressure nozzle again, flush the downspouts. If there is an obstruction, you may need to disconnect the downspout to remove the remaining debris.
Regularly cleaning your gutters can prevent a lot of damage to your home. If your gutters need replaced or if you are interested in installing gutter guards to further prevent debris buildup (not having to clear debris as often is a bonus) call Siefken Contracting. Siefken’s professionals can recommend the best products and perform a quick installation!