Gutter Cleaning: 5 DIY Tips to Get it Done in No Time
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably take your gutters for granted.
Gutters serve an essential function, however. They keep water from rain or snowmelt away from your walls, roof, foundation, and landscape. Without properly functioning gutters, you run the risk of incurring hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars’ worth of damage to your home.
Additionally, clogged gutters can attract pests like rodents, bees, wasps, and mosquitoes. They can also lead to mold infestation.
Luckily, cleaning your gutters isn’t that difficult. Read on for some great tips.
Know When Gutter Cleaning Is Necessary
Most home experts recommend twice-yearly gutter cleaning, in the spring and again in the fall. Some factors that might make it necessary to clear out the gutters more often, though.
If your yard has pine trees, you will want to tend to your gutters on a quarterly basis. This will prevent pine needles from building up and causing clogs or other damage.
Gather Your Supplies
Naturally, you’ll need a ladder so that you can reach the gutters. Protective clothing, like a long-sleeved shirt and gloves, is also helpful.
You can purchase a special gutter scoop to get this job done or use a child’s sand shovel for a budget-friendly option. Of course, it never hurts to get in there with your hands to make sure every last bit of debris gets removed.
What are you going to do with the gunk that comes from gutter cleaning? Think about that before you climb up there! A bucket or pail that can hang from your ladder is one option. Another is to place a tarp on the lawn, and simply let the mess drop.
Pro Tip: The leaves and other debris that comes out of your gutter make a great addition to your compost pile.
Once you have all the muck cleaned out, use your garden hose to flush the gutters. This will take care of any last bits of debris, and it’s also a good way to check for leaks in your gutter system.
Don’t Forget the Downspouts
Since downspouts generally have a bend or two, they’re prone to clogs. Flushing the gutters with a strong stream from your hose may be enough to clean out the downspouts, but if not, you will have to take another step.
A plumber’s snake is useful in this scenario. Insert the end of the snake into the downspout until you feel resistance. Then turn the crank and work the snake to clear out the clogged material.
What About Gutter Guards?
Gutter guards can prevent the debris from piling up in the first place, which may, in turn, prevent the need for a replacement roof or other roof repairs. Some experts, however, feel that the cost of installation and maintenance isn’t worth it.
If you take a couple of hours, a few times a year, to do a thorough job of gutter cleaning, it’s relatively easy to keep your home free from the water damage that clogged gutters can call.
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