Although probably not on the top of your list when it comes to chores around the house, gutter cleaning should be something that you don’t neglect. The folk at Global Gutter Systems say that gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, and even those who have invested in rain gutter coverings are not exempt from regular cleaning.
Why Should You Clean Your Gutters?
If you don’t have rain gutter coverings, all sorts of dirt and debris can end up in the gutters. This is completely natural. Leaves and twigs from nearby trees can be blown into the gutter drainage system, as can trash from below.
Sometimes, birds will decide that your gutter is the perfect place to build a nest. After all, it has plenty of the leaves and twigs required to build the nest, and it may also provide much-needed shelter. While building this nest, the bird is likely to poop in your gutter.Moreover, if it has been eating seeds, these could find their way into your system too. Then, because gutters have both water and sunlight, the seeds usually sprout, resulting in a little garden up in the gutter.
All the dirt and debris that can find its way into a gutter can build up over time and then prevent the water from flowing freely. If this happens, you are likely to see water flowing over the sides of the gutters, which can then run down the sidings of the house and into the basement or foundations.
Rain gutter coverings can prevent the largest pieces of dirt from getting into the gutter system, but it does not prevent things like seeds, mud, and silt that is often carried in the wind, so you will still need to clean thegutters (although it will not be as big of a job).
Cleaning Your Gutters
The experts recommend cleaning the gutters around once or twice per year to avoid a buildup of materials that can cause blockages. You can call in a gutter company to take care of this for you, but it is possible to do it yourself provided you don’t mind working on a ladder and have the necessary equipment.
You will need to wear protective clothing and a hard hat, as well as a thick pair of gloves and some safety goggles. For the ultimate in safety, make sure you have someone else to help you by keeping the ladder stable, but if you must work alone then you will need equipment to do this for you. Never get on the roof to clean the gutters as this is very dangerous and you could easily slip and fall.
The first thing to do is to remove all the loose dirt.The best way to do this is with your hands, hence the thick gloves. Gather what you can into a garbage bag or bucketrather than simply scooping it out and onto the ground. This will prevent a big mess on the ground that you will have to clean afterwards.
After you have removed what you can, get your hose up there to flush out whatever remains. This should also allow you to see that the water is flowing freely through the gutter system.
Your gutters require regular cleaning, with experts recommending that it be done once or twice per year. Failure to clean the gutters can lead to blockages that can cause damage to the sidings of your home or, at worst, penetrate the foundations. To prevent this from happening, you should either clean the gutters yourself or hire a gutter company to do it for you.