How often should Gutters be cleaned and why?
How often should guters be cleaned?
While a gutter is very useful in directing rain water away from the house, it can accumulate dry leaves and other debris causing it to clog. When there is too much debris in the gutter it traps water causing the gutter to rust and break away. Additionally, if the water does not drain from the gutter it can lead to ice damming and damage, forcing you to replace the gutter. Many small animals and insects can also decide to build nests and homes among the debris accumulated in the gutter as well.
Depending on various factors, such as the amount of trees surrounding your home, you may need to clean your gutters, twice a year, quarterly, or yearly.
1. Benefits of Cleaning Your Gutters A gutter that is full of debris cannot fulfill its true purpose. The accumulation of dry leaves and debris will prevent water from flowing down the gutter into the down spout. This means that excess rain water will pour out of the sides of the gutter and on to the siding of the house and into the landscaping. This will necessitate expensive repair and painting to restore the appearance of your home. Additionally, a clogged gutter can lead to a rusted gutter that will require replacement. The water trapped in the gutter can freeze in winter, forming ice dams that weigh down the gutter and cause damage to the gutter and the roof. All of these issues can be avoided by ensuring that the gutters are cleaned regularly. 2. Contributing Factor Gutters become clogged because of the fallen leaves and other debris that accumulates on the roof of the house. This is washed into the gutter when it rains. Additionally, small animals such as birds might decide to nest among the debris and leave their dropping and foliage in the gutter. The presence of organic matter and water leads to the formation of mold, which contributes to the further clogging and complications of damage to your property, the guttering as well. 3. Timing is Everything - Best Time of Year to Clean Your Gutters As with other home maintenance tasks, the timing of cleaning the gutters can help prolong its life and minimize other damage. The gutters should be cleaned twice a year, at the beginning of Autumn and at the beginning of spring. If you clean the gutters at the beginning of Autumn, the leaves will still be less clogged and easier to remove. Additionally, when the precipitation occurs, the water will flow freely through the gutter and into the down spout ensuring little or no damage to the gutter. Also, because there is no debris to be washed into the down spout, this will not become clogged, making it easier to clean it out. Cleaning the gutters in early spring will again prepare it for directing the water brought in by the spring rains. 4. Beyond Cleaning - Time to Replace Your Gutters? Even as you clean the gutters you should examine their condition. If the gutter is coming loose, it can be re-fixed to the sides of the roof. However, if the wear and tear of the accumulated debris and water has caused rusting and major damage, you should replace the gutter. Older gutters made of iron are prone to rusting and should be replaced with aluminum/plastic or other gutters that are rust proof. This will not only make it easier to clean the gutter later on, but enhance the your property. 5. Find a Gutter Cleaner with good references Cleaning the gutters is a time consuming and physically challenging task. If you do not have the time or the inclination to carry a ladder and put yourself at risk around your home, cleaning out the gutters, you should sincerely consider retaining the services of a professional gutter cleaner to do the job for you. Technology is amazing, all professional gutter cleaning companies use gutter vacuums. Allowing the orperative to work safely from the ground, minimising risk of falls and accidents. Summary
Maintaining a well-kept home involves more than just taking care of the interior décor and cleaning the inside of the home. The external portions of the house have to be maintained in order to ensure that the roof over your head offers the security it should. Periodical cleaning of the roof and gutters and inspection of these hard to reach areas for damage will ensure that your home continues to offer shelter and security to your family for years to come.
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