New homeowners have numerous responsibilities, and in the excitement, it’s easy to overlook gutter maintenance. Although it may not seem like a top priority, gutter repairs and upkeep can help you avoid costly roof repairs in the future. Over time, debris will clog downspouts, damaging the roof, the fascia, the foundation, and other parts of the home. With these tips, though, you can keep your gutters in top condition.
How Often Should Gutters be Cleaned?
Generally, residential gutters should be cleaned twice per year. However, the actual schedule may depend on your location and its climate. For instance, if you live near a pine forest, your gutters may need more frequent cleaning because these trees shed needles with the seasons. Those in colder climates should look out for conditions that cause leaks and ice dams. Check the weather before cleaning, as dry debris makes the job easier. It’s a good idea to empty the gutters before a severe storm, so they can do their job well.
Tools for a Safe, Easy Cleaning Job
You’ll need a few simple tools to clean your gutters, such as gloves, a sturdy ladder, and a connected garden hose. For the easiest cleanup, dispose of gutter debris in a trash can or lay a tarp underneath the ladder. It’s not a good idea to clean or repair the gutters from the roof, as it poses a safety risk. Clean the gutters from a firmly-planted ladder, and don’t reach too far over your head.
Cleaning Tips for Your Home’s Gutters
After you’ve assembled the necessary tools, start the cleaning process near a downspout. Remove large clumps of debris with a trowel or small shovel. Once that’s done, clear away smaller pieces with the garden hose, beginning at the end furthest from the downspout. If the water does not drain, the downspout might be clogged. To unclog the downspout, run a high-pressure stream of water upward from the bottom or use a plumbing snake.
Gutter Repair and Adjustment Tips
If there’s standing water after the gutters have been flushed, it’s likely due to a lack of slope. For every 10 feet of guttering, there should be at least a quarter-inch downward slope toward the downspout. To resolve the issue, adjust the hangers accordingly, working in small sections. Consider calling a roofing contractors oswego il if you’re unsure how to adjust the gutters yourself.
Gutter Maintenance: Should You Go the DIY Route or Hire a Professional?
Though we can provide you with an abundance of gutter care and repair tips, in reality, gutter upkeep isn’t always easy for homeowners. Some gutters, such as those on houses with very high roofs, are difficult to reach without specialized equipment. Others might be easier to reach, but clearing them may be a challenge. Despite your best cleaning and maintenance efforts, it may be that the home’s entire gutter system is worn and in need of replacement. In these cases, hiring a contractor is the best way to get the job done safely and correctly.