Gutter Cleaning 101 [Updated 2021]

Gutter system from a rustic house

As a homeowner, your job is truly never done when it comes to upkeep and maintenance. At any point of your time, there could be dozens of tasks that you need to complete to make sure your investment lasts as long as it possibly can. Some of these chores, like keeping your lawn looking good or washing your driveway, are more obvious. It’s easy to examine your home from the street and see something you can do to help.

However, a lot of places can go unseen. Have you inspected your roof? Have you cleaned your chimney? Today, we’re going to be talking about a chore that fits this list perfectly, and that’s cleaning your gutters

We’ve discussed the importance of gutters to your overall roofing system before: they take the water that’s spilling from your roof and divert it. Without the diversion process, the abundance of water can find its way into the more vulnerable areas of your roof and really do some damage from the inside out. When gutters get clogged up, they can also end up sagging or detached and that can only further your problem.

It’s so important to maintain a clean gutter line. Most people shoot for doing it a couple of times a year, but if you’re in an area with a lot of trees, it’s definitely worth it to check up on your gutters a couple of times just to make sure you don’t need to do an extra round or two. 

Please note: if you feel uncomfortable on a ladder or are physically unable to use one, shop around for a local company to help you with it. It might save you some money to do it yourself, but it’s not worth an injury.

Five Go-To Methods for Clean Gutters

  • To clear out large debris and loose leaves, use a leaf blower. This can help reveal the compacted layers that pose the biggest risk.
  • Got a gutter scoop or something that can function similarly? Beginning at the drain end, scoop up the mess that’s left after you clear up the loose ends. Starting at the drain will help make sure you don’t end up forcing anything extra down the drain.
  • If you have a decent amount of dirt and leaves left over after scooping, use a garden hose to clear it out. Be careful though: if the temperatures are cold enough and you still have some debris in the drain pipe, using a water hose can cause an ice dam which can cause some damage over time. 
  • If you don’t have one, it’s not a terrible idea to invest in a drain snake. Outside of being an affordable and handy tool to have around the house, it’s also very helpful when clearing out drain pipes. Outside of that, if you have a clogged drain, you can take it apart and do it manually. This will, obviously, take a bit longer and a bit more attention.
  • After all of this work is done, it’s time to take a look around. Especially moving further into fall, it’s important to find all of the neighboring trees that could pose the biggest threat. Trim those babies up to help you prevent having another huge mess down the road!

A couple of helpful hints for after the clean up

  • Once the gutters are all cleaned up, it might be a good time to consider a leaf guard depending on where you live. They certainly can make future cleaning projects a lot easier.
  • Regardless of how clean your gutter appears, it’s a good idea to run a hose down to see if water is flowing through.
  • Never hesitate to call a professional if you’re uncertain about your gutters. Trademark Exteriors is here to help you if you ever feel the need. 

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