You put money, time, and possibly effort into installing or getting your gutters installed, so why would you not take good care of them? To extend the life of your gutters, make sure you are maintaining your gutters and cleaning them regularly. Your gutters protect not only the exterior of your home, but the interior too, so having properly working gutters is essential.
Cleaning out your gutters helps to prevent damage. If gutters go uncleaned, things like clogs, leaks, and sagging or fallen gutters can happen. It’s best to clean your gutters at least twice a year, but if you live in a heavily wooded area, it’s wise to clean your gutters more than just twice a year.
In this article, you’ll find information including:
- The importance of cleaning your gutters
- The benefits of clean gutters
- How often you should clean your gutters
- How to clean your gutters
The Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters
Neglecting to clean your gutters can be a costly mistake if rainwater seeps inside your home or damages your property—putting a major damper on your curb appeal. From the rooftop to the basement, and everything in between, cleaning your gutters is essential and should not be just another forgotten chore.
If you’re a new homeowner, or just a curious person in general, you may be wondering: what is gutter cleaning? Gutter cleaning is the process of removing any debris, dirt, and leaves from your gutters and downspouts that clog your gutter system and stop rainwater from flowing freely from the roof to the ground.
If you choose to hire a professional to clean your gutters, they may scoop the debris by hand or by machine. After they clear out the gutter system, they’ll flush it with water to get any remaining particles, so rainwater can flow through the gutter system with ease. You may decide to clean your gutters on your own, which many people do regularly.
The Benefits of Clean Gutters
When leaves, debris, dirt, and twigs get trapped inside gutter systems, it prevents them from working efficiently. However, when gutters are cleaned and free of clogs, they provide the following benefits:
- Redirect rainwater from your roof away from your house
- Minimize moisture and condensation from windows and window sills
- Protect the exterior and interior walls from heavy rain
- Keep water out of the basement and off the foundation
Let’s take a closer look at how gutter cleaning preserves your home:
Prevents Roof Damage
Unclogged gutters tunnel rainwater off your roof through downspouts and away from your home. But when leaves, dirt, and debris clog gutters, rainwater gets trapped inside the gutter, preventing the water from moving off the roof. When rainwater penetrates through the surface of your roof, it can cause the following issues:
- Roof rot
- Weaken your roof’s construction
- Seep from the roof into your home
Protects Exterior Walls
Rainwater stuck in gutters can destroy your home’s exterior—especially when the weight of debris makes a gap in your gutter system. Areas affected include:
- Shingles covering your house
- Soffits protecting your roof and keeping moisture out of the attic
- Fascias ventilating the roof
When these areas get waterlogged, they stop working, and mold, mildew, and algae grow on the exterior wall—and paint begins to peel and chip. Say goodbye to your curb appeal.
Prevents Cracks in Foundations
When gutters are filled with gunk, the water from your roof heads straight for your basement and foundation. It can also erode your landscaping.
With excessive amounts of water saturating the ground, the soil expands, pushing your foundation. After the soil dries up, the foundation contracts. This continuous process of expanding and contracting puts strain on your foundation. When water gets into your basement, it can cause the following issues:
- Windows and doors that don’t shut
- Uneven flooring
- Cracks in drywall
Keeping gutters free and clear of dirt and debris will deter extensive water from destroying your basement and foundation, and land.
Deters Animal Nesting and Insect Infestations
Insects and small animals like rodents love stationary water. It’s one of their favorite watering holes to stop by for a drink.
Leaves inside gutters provide a haven for insects, birds, and squirrels to build a nest. From the gutter, it’s an easy commute to the roof for these critters to nest, breed, and infest your attic.
How Often You Should Clean Your Gutters
Gutters need cleaning once to twice a year. The best time is autumn after the leaves fall from the trees. But homeowners also clean their gutters in the spring if they have a lot of trees on their property.
The cost of gutter cleaning ranges depending on several factors. Gutter cleaning can make a good DIY project, but only if you’re comfortable and have steady footing on a high ladder carrying two buckets, one for debris, and the other for your tools.
The tools you’ll need:
- Work gloves
- Protective glasses
- Garden hose
Outsourcing the job to a professional can prevent injuries from falls and allow the gutter cleaning specialist to check for any drainage and gutter wear issues.
How to Clean Your Gutters
Using the right procedure, tools, and supplies help professionals get the job of gutter cleaning done with ease and perfection. From the right ladder and pro vacuums to trowels and power washers, here’s how pros get gutter cleaning achieved in four simple steps:
- Choose the appropriate ladder that’s the proper height
- Remove debris, algae, and any pests with industrial-strength vacuums, or by hand with a trowel
- Flush out the gutter with a power washer or a garden hose
- Inspect your gutter and gutter guards to see if you need to replace them
If you’d like to skip the hassle of cleaning your own gutters, we’re more than happy and qualified to help at Alamance Insulation! We offer every service you could possibly need for your gutter maintenance – from installation, to routine cleanings, to repairs and other maintenance. If you notice any damage to your gutters, call us right away and we’ll fix your gutters for you. The longer you wait to fix your broken gutters, the more damage you can get in and on your home.
Alamance Insulation has been proudly serving the Triad area for over 20 years. Located in Burlington, NC, we provide quality gutters and insulation for our clients across central North Carolina, including Greensboro, Burlington, Mebane, Hillsborough, and High Point, NC. Whether you need installation or repairs done, we offer a variety of gutter, insulation, and moisture barrier services that will ensure the safety of your home and the comfort of your loved ones.