Small but mighty – your home’s gutters play a vital part in keeping you dry from precipitation. If they are not functioning properly you can get water ingress into and around the home causing wood deterioration, erosion, staining and more. Having the proper water flow in your gutters ensure water is directed away from your home. Here are some easy steps to make sure the gutters stay clean!
We all think of leaves clogging up our gutters but even if you don’t have trees in the immediate area – you still need to get up there and clean them out. Debris from wind, shingle granular and just plain old dust in the air can all combine to create a kind of sludge that will stop the water from flowing properly.
Step 1 – get your supplies in order
You can always call a company to come and clean them for you but if you intend to do them yourself then you’ll need a few supplies. Ladder, water hose, gloves and a bucket are all it really takes to do a good job. If you’ve left it a long time then you may need a trowel to loosen up any debris that is stuck. It’s a good time to note any repairs that are needed for Step 4.
Step 2 – Get rid of the Debris
Gloves and your bucket help with this task. Working around the perimeter of your home, manually remove any debris or sludge that is sitting in the gutter. By putting it in a bucket you will save yourself the trouble of cleaning up the ground afterwards. If it’s only sludge, manually remove that too as it also stopes the flow of water.
Step 3 – Rinse with a Hose
Once you’ve got all the debris removed, use a hose to rinse out the gutters and make sure the water is flowing properly towards the downspouts. If water is not flowing towards the downspouts you may need to adjust the slope of your gutter. Be sure to send a good stream down the downspout itself to ensure they are not clogged up.
Step 4 – Repair As Required
Now that your gutters are clean and water is flowing properly, it’s time to replace any missing screws, caulk any areas that are leaking and re-slope the gutter if necessary. If you live in a heavily treed area and don’t already have them, consider adding gutter guards. These guards keep large debris out and let water flow. Keep in mind that every few years you will need to remove them to clean out the accumulated sludge but overall they may be worth it if you find you are cleaning the gutters out multiple times a year.
If you live in an area that gets snow, then it’s even more important to make sure the gutters are clean before the snow builds up. Blocked gutters can lead to ice damning and water ingress under the shingles. Keeping them clean and water flowing away from your home will keep you dry and your home in good condition.