Fall is that time of the year when leaves shed from nearby trees and eventually find their way to your gutter system which has a job of redirecting water from your roof away from the structure of the home. Your gutter system plays an important role in your home. A clogged or improper gutter drainage can cause costly damage to your home’s structure. Proper maintenance of your gutters in the fall should be among your top priorities.
Consequences of Not Cleaning Your Gutters
Several harmful effects might result if you don’t clean your gutters correctly and they become blocked with leaves, dirt and other debris:
- Your gutters may collapse. When the gutters are overloaded with accumulated debris, they can pull away from your home and eventually collapse.
- Improperly maintained gutters don’t allow water to flow to the spout and thereby may spill over the sides and drain toward a basement or foundation which may cause basement flooding.
- If water spills over the side of clogged gutters, it may cause your foundation to be cracked as it seeps through it and freezes.
- Clogged gutters increase the risk of ice dams. The ice may push against your walls and roof and increase the threat of mildew or rot.
- Water spilling on the sides of clogged gutters may discolor exterior siding and cause staining.
The process of Cleaning Your Gutters
Gather Your Tools
Ensure that you have every tool you need to get the job done so that you do not get stalled because you lack the necessary equipment. You will need the following:
- Hand Rake
- Work gloves
- Safety goggles or glasses
- Bucket or recycled shopping bags
Remove Accumulated Debris
Start the job near your downspouts. Prepare your ladder to be approximately one foot from the gutter’s edge. Climb the ladder with your bags in your back pocket and hand rake in your hand. Get as high as will enable you to see into your gutter system. Pull debris away from your downspout to create small piles within your gutter. Remove it (the debris) and dispose it inside your bag. Make sure that debris does not get in the downspout as this can cause a blockage. After completing a small section of your gutters, climb down and move your ladder a foot or two sideways.
Clean the Outside of Your Gutter
Cleaning the gutter’s outside is an important task. Wipe any build that appears to be dirt from the outside of the gutters. This build in many times accumulates resin from the shingles. This may add significant weight to your gutters in the case it gets wet.
Run the Hose
Finally, run your hose through your gutter system to flush out any debris you may have missed while doing the task with your hand. This will at the same time allow you to know if your downspouts have been clogged.
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