Gutters play an important role in your home’s maintenance as well as its curb appeal. When gutters are properly installed and in excellent condition, they collect rain and melted ice or snow. As the water runs through the downspout, it is directed away from the home’s foundation. Water that passes through the gutters often carries debris, such as damp leaves, twigs, and bark. These materials can accumulate and prevent gutters from doing their job properly. Clean the gutters on your home so they continue to function as needed in the months ahead.
Why Clean the Gutters on Your Home
Without gutters, water would fall straight off of the roof and damage fascia, trim, and siding. If water is not properly diverted away from your home, it can also cause excessive erosion around the foundation. When you clean the gutters on your home, they do their job as intended and reduce the risk for these types of property damage.
1. Gather Supplies
Before you begin cleaning, gather the necessary gutter cleaning supplies like a pressure washer and water hose, a ladder, and work gloves. You also may need a trowel or similar tool to scrape debris from the gutters. Keep a trash bag or tarp nearby to keep your workspace tidy as you clean.
2. Remove Debris to Clean the Gutters on Your Home
With your gloves on, use your trowel or similar tool to remove debris from the gutters. You will need to move the ladder every few feet, so this can be a tedious process. If you stand on your roof to clean the gutters, ensure that you have proper footwear on for safety. Many homeowners can safely clean gutters on a single-story home, but you may need to request professional assistance to clean gutters on a taller home with multiple levels.
3. Use a Pressure Washer
Once the debris has been removed from the gutters, use a pressure washer on a moderate or low setting to remove mildew and other debris that wasn’t removed with your scooping tool. A pressure washer may damage gutters that are already in poor condition, so flushing with a hose is a better option on older gutters. If you notice signs of rusting, loose rivets, or other issues, hire a professional to inspect your gutters and recommend repairs or replacement.
4. Identify Damaged Areas After You Clean the Gutters on Your Home
You may identify some damaged areas as you clean your gutters, but a final review of the gutter system is an essential part of this project. Your gutters endure abuse during strong storms, so they must be in excellent condition in order to do their job. Many types of gutter repairs should be completed by a professional for the best results.
Plan to clean your gutters at least once or twice each year. If your roof or gutters are partially covered by tree limbs or if other sources of debris are nearby, cleaning gutters more frequently may be necessary.