It might seem like a fall job, but gutters can collect leaves and other junk during the winter and spring, too. Rain gutters protect you and your home from water damage. With that in mind, here’s a reminder of last fall’s post on gutter maintenance.
Wet leaves and debris can cause water to back up in the gutters. That can force water to overflow the sidewalls or worse can pull the gutters away from the fascia boards. It can also cause erosion around the foundation, wet basements, and siding rot.
You should inspect and clean your rain gutters at least twice a year, once in the late fall and once in early spring. By cleaning rain gutters in late fall you can be sure to remove any leaves, branches and other debris that may have accumulated during the summer and fall seasons. You also ensure that gutters work properly during the winter, or at least minimize ice build-up. Spring cleaning gutters gives you a chance to check for any ice damage and to remove any debris that may have accumulated.
Gutter cleaning typically requires a ladder, garden hose with spray nozzle, and a pair of rubber gloves. Make sure the ladder is properly and stably positioned on the ground. A stepladder works well but, make sure it is tall enough that you can safely use it without having to stand on the top two steps. If you need to use an extension ladder, place a piece of 2×4 lumber inside the gutter to keep the gutter from bending when you lean the ladder on it. Remove the leaves and debris by hand where you can reach them. Use the hose to clean hard to reach areas. Before you finish, be sure to spray out the down spouts. Leaves can accumulate there as well.
Gutter Shields and Gutter Guards
Though your rain gutters may be outfitted with gutter shields or gutter guards don’t think you are immune from gutter cleanings. These systems help minimize gutter clogs but they are not perfect. Small debris inevitably finds its way underneath them and into your gutters.
Protect your biggest investment with regular gutter cleaning. Your new home addition will thank you!