Gutters protect your home by collecting and draining rainwater, which prevents it from doing damage to your property. Your roof is built to protect the house underneath from bad weather, but too much exposure to water can eventually lead to leaking or rotting. Walls, foundations and surrounding landscapes are similarly susceptible to large quantities of water, so functional gutters are essential for successful maintenance of these areas. Learn how to clean your gutters this fall and winter by studying our list of seasonal tips below, so that you can keep your property safe.
Cleaner Gutters in Five Easy Steps: Our Top Recommendations
Here’s an overview of what happens during gutter-cleaning, for those of you who have never done it before: you’ll need to gain access to your gutters with a ladder, then remove any debris that has collected there by hand and dispose of it appropriately. Here are five ways you can make this process easier and more effective:
1. Use a plastic scoop!
Picking gunk out of your gutters by hand isn’t just gross, it’s also ineffective. Most of the material that lands in your gutters during the fall and winter is likely to be in the form of dead leaves and other organic material that decomposes easily. This material can congeal in your gutters over time, especially when it has been exposed to water on a regular or prolonged basis. Use a simple plastic scoop to make the job simple, and avoid getting your hands dirty.
2. Don’t dump your debris on the lawn!
You might think that because the majority of the material you clean out of your gutters is natural, it won’t matter if you just leave it on your lawn after removing it from the gutters themselves. However, just because the material is organic doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for your plants or grass. You’re much more likely to be choking them with sludge than you are to be providing them with valuable fertilizer. Spread a tarp on the lawn and scoop the refuse into that instead.
3. Don’t just scoop; flush!
Scooping and scraping debris out of your gutters will remove most major blockages, but if you want your gutters to be truly clean you should flush them out with water from a hose directly afterward to dislodge smaller particles too.
4. Gutter covers can make your job easier.
Gutter covers prevent material from being able to enter your gutters and settle there. They are often made from foam, wire mesh, or metal grates that clip onto your existing gutters. If you can afford these add-ons, they’ll save you a lot of manual labour in the future.
5. Clean your gutters annually to avoid major blockages.
Clean them twice a year if your gutters are beneath overhanging trees. Additionally, make sure to choose a season when your work won’t be made more difficult by extreme temperatures or ice. We recommend cleaning your gutters in the fall for comfort and safety.
Cleaner Gutters = Better Quality Homes
Learning how to take better care of your gutters will result in better protection for your roof, your walls, the foundation of your home and the landscape that surrounds it. Refer to this guide often as you prepare for your fall and winter gutter cleaning so that you can make sure you do a thorough job.