Gutters serve an important function, helping to drain runoff away from a roof. A clogged or damaged gutter becomes ineffective at protecting windows, doors, siding and the foundation from potential water damage. When selling a home, dirty gutters often become an inspection item of potential buyers. Explore a few basics when it comes to home gutter maintenance.
When to Clean Gutters
Individuals cleaning their gutters as a DIY project should schedule time to do so at a minimum of twice a year. More frequent cleaning may be required in locations prone to storms or when roofs lie beneath trees. Homeowner may be able to clean a gutter themselves when they can safely use a ladder and access the roof. Individuals with multi-story homes may want to hire a professional gutter cleaner.
Tools and Methods to Clean Gutters
One way to clean gutters on a home with a low-sloped roof is to use a leaf blower. Make sure to wear a dust mask and goggles, as debris can easily move around and get into eyes. Wear heavy gloves to avoid injury from sheet metal screws or sharp metal. A gutter cleaning kit may be used in conjunction with a leaf blower to make the process easier. Some choose to protect areas below with a drop cloth or may use a bucket to help collect debris.
When cleaning Brentwood TN home gutters, make sure that a sturdy ladder is placed on a firm and level base. It may be easier to use a tall stepladder than an extension ladder. Gutter guards and leaf-catchers may be useful but debris will eventually get inside. It then becomes necessary to remove them in order to thoroughly clean the gutters.
Begin at a gutter's low end and at a drain outlet. Use a gutter scoop or garden trowel for scooping out debris. Scooping debris into a bucket can make for less cleanup later. Wash the length of the gutter with a high-pressure hose nozzle attached to a water hose. If obstructions exist, they need to be removed from the drainpipe. A plumber's auger may be useful when a hose fails to flush lodged debris out.
Perform an inspection of gutters in spring and fall. Check to see that water moves toward downspouts, as it may be necessary to adjust the slop of the gutters when gutters drain slowly. Homeowners may also choose to add downspout extenders to avoid expelling water to close to a home.
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