Gutters are the most vital and essential part of your home maintenance system. It keeps the flow of water in control and protects your house; its exterior, interior, roofs, and gardens; from the overflow of water.
Do you remember the last time you checked and cleaned the gutter in your house? If it has been a really long time, then you should be ready to face the consequences really soon. Every homeowner can relate to this problem. Gutter cleaning can be the most dreadful and exhausting task for almost every homeowner. But it is one of the most important chores as well. If ignored, dirty gutters can bring horrible consequences. Your negligence and carelessness regarding regular cleanliness of the gutters can make your house a total mess.
If you ignore the cleanliness of your gutter due to any reason, it is possible that its damages can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Why is it important to clean the gutters?
We spend so much money on constructing the house or building. After the construction, we cover all the measures in order to effectively maintain the house. We focus on the exterior of our house- its gardens, sitting, play area, roofs, windows, and paint; we put special emphasis on cleaning and keeping the indoors clean and hygienic- vacuuming every other day, keeping the sinks and floors clean, renovating it at regular intervals of time. But they often forget that gutters too are the indispensable part of any house or building.
Clogged gutters can lead to unhygienic surroundings which can be a serious threat to the health of your family. Apart from the hygiene issue, following are the reasons why you should regularly perform this chore:
To prevent roofs from leaking: If you do not clean the gutters of your house before the rainy season or before snowfall, it can cause a lot of damage to your property. You will witness the first damaging signs on the roof of your house or building. Once the water gets clogged in the gutters, the rainwater and snow will not fall on the ground and will get collected on the roof. This sitting water can eventually cause damage to the roof. The roof will lose its strength and can cause the walls and ceilings to leak the water into the house.
To prevent the basement from flooding: Most of the gutters drain their water towards the bottom of the house. If the water is stuck in the gutters, it will fail to drain out the water, and there is a major possibility that the stuck water can leak into your basement. Once your basement starts leaking, it can be very unsafe for the people living in that building. Leaking basement can cause problems like electrical problems, gas leak, bad
To avoid insect infestation: Debris inside the gutters, especially when they are moist, attracts all kinds of insects and bugs. These bugs and insects will get attracted towards your ground and settle down in the warm moisture-filled gutters. Nasty insects and bugs like earwigs, mosquitos, carpenter ants, roaches, and even mice, crawl under your house and get comfortable. The problem does not end with bugs making their home outside or under your house. They also sneak into your house through the cracks and holes. Imagine living among these pests in your house- would you rather not clean the gutters on time and with full dedication?
To protect wood from rotting: People whose house largely comprises of wood have to be extra cautious about their drainage system. Once the water is accumulated on your roof, it can easily get into your house through ceilings, walls or chimney. While the water keeps leaking, the wood in your house will eventually rot. And when you have rotted wood in the house, it will definitely start spreading in other areas of the house as well. Weakened structure and foundation also make way for the rodents and insects to make way in the house, which is very unhealthy for you and your family.
To protect your driveway: You know you have been careless and lazy when the water is not able to drain itself properly due to the bad drainage system. Standing water will make your driveway slippery. It will also ruin your beautiful garden and its plants if not clean properly on time. Apart from the damages, imagine how bad the exterior of your house will look. A messy exterior gives a very bad impression of the home and its owner.
To protect your foundation: Overflown water, when absorbed into the home, can cause the foundation and walls to develop cracks in them. These cracks occur mostly in the winters when the temperature is quite low. It can also cause your siding to rot. All this property damage can be very expensive to fix. Apart from the physical and financial damage, you will be emotionally stressed out about how to fix this mess up.
For your family’s health: The physical damage to your property is nothing as compared to the illness and problems that can prevail in your family. With mosquitoes and insects having easy access into the house, they can be very harmful to the people living in that house, especially children, who can get sick. For people suffering from any kind of allergies or have low immunity level, this can be a threatening situation.
How often and when should you get your gutters clean?
It is important to clean the gutters in your house, for your own safety, hygiene and to prevent physical and financial damage. Pete Grayson from Sac Valley Clean recommends cleaning out your rain gutters yearly in order to prevent rust and water damage, which could cause water to leak into your home. It largely depends on the kind of area you live in. There are lots of factors to consider before you decide when and how many times to clean the gutter:
- The amount of rainfall that occurs in your area. More the rainfall, more are the chances of water blockage.
- If large numbers of trees are planted around your house, the chances of clogged gutters are more as compared to the house with fewer trees.
It is often recommended that the best time to clear your gutter is after all the leaves have fallen off the trees and before the start of rain and snow season. Otherwise, the rain and snow water can lead to clogged gutters and the gutter will be filled with leaves and twigs.
Tips to clean your gutter
Following are some of the tips which can come in handy when you are planning to clean the gutters
Schedule the cleaning: You should make a point to mark a date in your calendar and promise yourself to clean the gutter of your house on that very day. You might prioritize many things over the cleaning, and I agree that every meeting, every outing is important. But it is not important than being hygienic and maintaining your house. By regularly cleaning your gutter, you are protecting yourself and your family from illness and mental stress.
Be cautious with the ladder: Be careful while choosing the ladder. Pick a ladder which is secure and strong because it has to carry you and the heavy bucket for a long time. You should inspect the ladder properly before purchasing it. Make sure that the ladder does not have any defects or dents. Its screws and bolts should be tight enough. You should also take precautionary measures while using the ladder. Make someone hold the ladder from below while you are standing on it.
Use a garden hose: You should use an on-off high-pressure hose nozzle to do the job effectively. The water pressure of this type of hose is really good and it can be handled with one hand only. You can visit the nearest hardware store and pick up the best hose for your requirement.
Gutter guards: You should plan and invest in a good- quality gutter guard which will make the process of cleaning very convenient and less messy. They will help the water to slide directly into the guard and will prevent leaves and bird waste to enter the gutters
Take out debris: It is important to clear the debris completely out of the drain. You can scoop the debris into the bucket. It is better to clear out the debris while it is damp and wet.
Take safety measures: Safety is always first, no matter how important the job is. You should take proper precautionary methods while you are cleaning the gutter so as to avoid any accident or infection. You should protect your eyes from any kind of bug or insect that may fly directly into your eyes. You should also cover your hand with gloves while clearing out debris. You never know what kind of infection you can catch while cleaning. You should also wear rubber-soled shoes in order to avoid the accident of slip-and-fall.