Most homes and commercial buildings have gutters. Gutters and downspouts are essential for draining water away from a property. When gutters get clogged, the intended drainage path is blocked, and water overflows, often going into the property or causing leaks.
Why Should I Keep My Gutters Clean?
Regular cleaning is essential to maintaining clear flowing gutters. A gutter that is clogged with leaves, debris, and sticks can cause a leaky roof or water damage to both the interior or exterior of your home. Blocked gutters make great homes for pests, rodents, mold, and honeycombs from bee infestations. Debris filled gutters can cause a variety of property damage issues, including some as severe as structural failure.
Clogged Gutter Problems
Without adequate and regular cleaning, debris and silt will build up in your guttering and cause blockages in your drainage system. Water then overflows and runs against exterior walls and onto the foundation of your property. Over time, this softens the soil around your house, which can compromise your foundation’s integrity, leading to cracks and eventual structural failure.
In the shorter term, water seepage from clogged guttering can lead to mold. As water and moisture permeate through your walls, mold spores and bacteria can begin growing on the wet materials. Mold damages your property, but it can also cause health issues for you and your family.
Wildlife and Pests
Built-up debris in your gutters can attract unwanted wildlife and pests. Wet, organic materials, such as leaves and twigs, serve as a prime source of food and shelter for insects and small rodents. If these animals are close to the outside of your home, they will find a way in
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The Cleaning Process
To protect your property from damage caused by dirty gutters, you should clean your guttering at least twice a year: once in spring and once in fall.
The number of times you need to clean your gutters each year will vary depending on where you live. Living in Florida with frequent storms, you will probably need to clean your gutters more often. If you have a high number of overhanging branches or large trees surround your home, consider cleaning your gutters every three months.
Signs that your gutters need to be cleaned include
Here are some signs that you need to clean your gutters:
- You find pools of water that collect near your home, especially around the foundations
- Dripping gutters in dry weather
- Sagging gutters
- Water pouring over the gutters during a rain storm
Regularly cleaning your gutters will not only protect your home but help your guttering last longer. A well-maintained guttering system can stay intact and in working order for over twenty years.
Before you start, get together all the equipment you’ll need, and make sure you are wearing suitable clothing to protect you from injury. Think about what type of ladder you’ll need and the risks so you can keep yourself safe. Here is some equipment you’ll need:
- Tall ladder
- Thick protective gloves
- A trowel
- A stiff-bristled brush
- A flashlight
Cleaning the Downspouts
Clean downspouts first so water can quickly drain when you move onto your gutters. Remove twigs, leaves, and other large debris from the base of downspouts. Feed water down them using your hose to try and loosen and remove any clogging. If this does not work, you may need to use a plumber’s snake to shift blockages.
Cleaning the Gutters
Start by clearing out all the larger debris that has accumulated in your gutters. Use a powerful garden hose to flush out most of the silt and manually remove what is left, wearing thick gloves.
Protecting Your Gutters
Several products are available to help you clean out your gutters by keeping leaves and debris out of drainage systems.
Gutter guards are simple screens placed over the top of your guttering. The purpose of gutter guards is to stop larger leaves and other debris from entering your guttering. Gutter guards are made of mesh, which is placed over the top of your guttering.
Water can flow freely through the mesh, while leaves, twigs, and stones are held outside it.
The use of gutter guards can prevent blockages and make gutter cleaning less strenuous. When cleaning with gutter guards, brush off debris collected on top of the guard, and use a powerful hose to wash out smaller bits of mulch and silt that have made their way through the guard.
Gutter Splash Guards
Acting as upward extensions of your guttering, splash guards stop water from splashing out of gutters and onto your foundation during heavy rainfall. Splash guards are a relatively cheap option for protecting your property. The higher side of the gutter created by the splash guard also helps direct and control water flow, preventing water from building up in unwanted places.
Gutter aprons are installed along the edge of your roof at the eaves. The gutter apron hangs into your gutter, allowing water to flow directly from the roof into the guttering. They prevent water from dripping onto your walls and damaging them.
By following these gutter cleaning tips and installing some protection, you will be able to prevent future property damage. Water damage can be costly to repair. So, by taking these steps now, you could be saving money in the long run.
Contact our Synergy Property Restoration’s emergency response team at 855-630-4585, and we will find the right emergency response solution for you and your property.