Best Way to Clean Gutters
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your home is to clean your gutters, and it’s something you should do more than once per year. In this post from Powers Premier Contracting, we’re breaking down the best ways to clean your gutters, which is recommended every fall and spring to ensure proper roof drainage. To connect with our gutter installers, give us a call today!
Fall Gutter Cleaning
If you love the sights and smells of autumn as much as we do at Powers Premier Contracting, fall is a feast for the senses. From the smell of fireplace smoke and pumpkin spice lattes to the sight of pumpkin-filled porches and autumn leaves drifting on the breeze, there’s a lot to take in. But while you’re taking in the sights and planning ahead for holiday fun, don’t forget to prepare your house for winter!
Before winter weather kicks in, many homeowners take some time out to get ready for the harsh conditions winter exposes their home to. They’ll roll up their sleeves to check off tasks like winterizing their windows with weatherstripping and caulking or trimming their trees to prevent damage from broken branches. But too often, they’ll overlook the important task of gutter maintenance.
Unfortunately, debris-filled gutters can lead to a host of problems once the snow and ice of winter take over. These are just a few:
- Roof Damage
Clogged gutters can cause water to run up onto your roof, causing water to seep into the underlayment and damaging the structure beneath it. When ice dams begin to form, these issues can become even more serious.
- Pest Problems
During the fall, animals and insects looking for a place to nest are often drawn to debris in gutters. And once they infest your gutters, they can cause damage to your roof or even get into your attic.
- Gutter Damage
When your gutters are clogged, snowmelt and rain runoff can end up freezing in the gutters rather than draining out into the yard. The weight of that ice can pull your gutters away from your home and break their seams.
- Foundation Damage
Ideally, your gutters should cause water to drain away from your home and out into your yard. However, clogged gutters can cause water to collect near your home and seep into the building, damaging the foundation and basement. In some worst-case scenarios, this can lead to a cracked foundation.
Spring Gutter Cleaning
Just as fall and winter can bring their own unique problems when it comes to your gutters, spring weather can also take a toll. Springtime can be especially difficult on your gutters and roof because of all the melted snow and ice along with the springtime wind, rain, and occasional storms that can take their toll.
These are some of the common gutter cleaning issues that can arise in the spring:
- Mosquito Problems
Clogged gutters invariably mean standing water will begin to collect in your gutter canals. And where there is standing water, you can expect mosquitoes to breed. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and once they begin breeding, they can reproduce pretty quickly, leading to an infestation that is difficult to eliminate. Unclogging your gutters so standing water can’t collect is one of the best ways to keep these pests away from your property.
- Leaking Seams
During the cold winter months of Minnesota, any water that builds up in your gutters will end up eventually freezing. Frozen water expands, exerting pressure that can cause your gutter seams to become damaged and begin to leak. If your gutters show signs of leaking seams, you need to have the broken segments replaced as soon as possible so your gutters will function as they’re meant to.
- Gutters Pulling Away From the House
If you’re cleaning your gutters and you notice that your gutters have started to pull away from your home, this could indicate a serious problem and should be addressed right away. When winter freezes your roof due to inadequate attic insulation, ice dams in the winter can put pressure on the gutters and cause the canals to pull away from the roof and fascia.
Gutter detachment or sagging can also signify damaged fascia. Either way, you need to call a professional gutter and siding repair expert to get your gutters, roof, and siding thoroughly inspected. Otherwise, water can end up getting into your foundation and attic.
- Clogged Downspouts
Most people think about cleaning out their gutters but overlook the importance of sufficiently clearing their downspouts. As debris from the fall and winter washes down through your gutters, it can become clogged near the downspouts. To make sure your downspouts are completely clear, be sure to wash your gutters using a garden hose after you clear out the gutter canals.
Cleaning Your Gutters
Ideally, it’s good to clean your gutters once or twice per year. If you only clean your gutters once a year, do it in the fall after leaves and twigs have filled your gutters and before you start to see winter precipitation.
To clean your gutters, you can hire a professional gutter and downspout contractor or you can handle it on your own. While deciding whether you want to use a ladder cleaning method, consider the safety risks. You’re not just going to be standing on top of a ladder. Instead, you’ll actually be using a trowel to scrape leaves, twigs, and debris from your gutters. Trying to handle this task from on top of a ladder can prove to be more dangerous than you might expect.
If you do choose a ladder cleaning method, be sure to use a sturdy extension ladder. Additionally, make sure you’ve got someone at the base of the ladder to keep it stable for you.
Cleaning Gutters from the Ground
The safest way to clean your gutters is to use attachments and clean them while safely on the ground. Attachments are available for wet//dry vacuums, power washers, garden hoses, and even leaf blowers.
A garden hose or leaf blower is a good bet if your gutters aren’t seriously clogged. However, if you suspect your gutter debris is more serious, you should use a wet/dry vac or a power washer. Whatever you choose, you’ll need a telescoping attachment or extension and a curved attachment on the end. These attachments should be available from your nearest home improvement store or online.
Because gutter cleaning can cause debris and water to fly out of your gutters, you’ll need to wear protective goggles and work clothing or a raincoat. Begin at one end and work your way down to the other slowly. For extra clean gutters, flush your gutters once with water after that first cleaning and go over them again.
Hand Cleaning Gutters
Although you should plan to clean your gutters at least once in the fall and once in the spring, depending on your property and landscape you may need to clean them even more. For example, if there are a lot of mature trees over your roof, your gutters can become clogged much more frequently than they would on a property without trees. And anytime your home is hit with a heavy storm that brings plenty of debris, you will want to make a point of sweeping your gutters of debris.
To determine if your gutters are in need of a good cleaning, walk around your property and check out the downspouts on the next rainy day. If the water seems to be moving slowly or coming out of the gutter seams or over the top, this is a clear indication of debris in the canals.
If you choose to clean your gutters by hand from a ladder, be sure to wear heavy-duty work gloves. You’ll need to use a garden trowel and bucket to scrape out the debris and leaves from one end of your gutters to the other. When finished, flush your gutters with a garden hose. If you detect a clog, try using a plumbing snake to remove it. Be sure to rinse your gutters using a garden hose after the job is done.
Minnetonka Gutter Covers and Maintenance Services
If you would rather skip gutter cleaning altogether, you’ve got a couple of options. First, you can call our professional gutter service at Powers Premier Contracting. We can also install gutter guard covers that keep debris out while allowing rain and snow to flow down through your gutters and away from your home. If you’re tired of gutter cleaning, call our gutter contractors at 612-710-7283 or contact us online for a free estimate.