Most houses have gutters and that means most home owners need to be out there cleaning those gutters periodically. Unfortunately, it’s not a pleasant job so most people let it go. The results are usually clogged gutters and downspouts, foundation damage, and water damage to your home. Plus, clogged gutters can become so heavy with rain and organic material that they literally are pulled off your home by the weight. You don’t want that to happen.
The good news is you only have to clean your gutters three times in an entire year. The bad news is shortcuts don’t work that well.
Gutter Covers: Are They Worth the Money?
You may have heard about products that can be installed on your gutters that prevent them from being clogged which means you don’t have to clean them any more. This type of gutter guard sounds amazing, but it can be costly. You’re usually charged by the linear foot for the material so depending on the amount of gutter around your home you could end up paying a small fortune for this protection.
The good news about gutter covers is they seem to do a decent job of keeping out the big pieces of debris, such as leaves. The bad news is you’re likely to still see regular build up of smaller debris, such as pine needles. These small items can work their way through the holes and become lodged. Even with the gutter guard protection, you’ll still need to clean your gutters periodically, just maybe not three times a year. You would have to decide for yourself whether the financial sacrifice is worth it or not.
Gutter Cleaning Steps
When we first moved to our home, I had to clean the gutters after a big rain storm. I didn’t know what I was doing and seriously considered calling in one of those gutter cover companies for an estimate. Then I did some research and realized the job wasn’t pleasant but it also wasn’t too difficult.
For starters, you have to know when to clean those gutters. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered the best times are twice after the leaves begin falling (right now would be a great time) and again after all of the leaves are gone from the trees. If you have a particularly nasty autumn, you may want to watch for water dripping from the corners of your gutters. This could mean your actual downspout is clogged. You may also just need to seal the corners of your gutter with a sealer – you can find several available on the market.
When you start gutter cleaning, you’ll need to make sure your ladder is secure. Most accidents that happen do so because of ladders slipping. If you can’t secure it, make sure to have someone else available who can hold the ladder for you.
When I clean the gutters, I always wear rubber gloves. The gloves protect me from the sharp edges of the gutter and from the debris I’m cleaning out in big handfuls. That’s right. I recommend starting by cleaning out the gutter using your hands or a scooper of some kind. Once you have most of the debris out you can use a hose to flush out the rest.
Of course, you also have the option of hiring someone to do your gutter cleaning for you. But the job really isn’t difficult or time-consuming if done regularly and that money could probably be spent more wisely on other parts of your home.