Clearing clogged gutters quick guide, Roof cleaning online tips, Home maintenance advice
A Quick Guide To Clearing Clogged Gutters
8 July 2022
Rain gutters protect your home’s siding and landscaping from water runoff while also preventing foundation damage in your home. However, when gutters become clogged with debris such as leaves and sticks, it can result in water seeping under the roof and, in time, the foundation.
Yet, clogged gutters can lead to further issues such as ice dams if you live in a cold climate like Westminster, Maryland. It’s crucial to clean your gutters regularly, so the following information is a quick guide to clearing clogged gutters and will discuss everything you need to know.
Before You Start: Required Equipment
There are many gutter cleaning tools on the market, but here are the ones we recommend:
Ensure that the hose is long enough to reach the gutters and is equipped with a pistol-grip spray nozzle.
Plastic gutter scoops are the best tool for removing debris from your gutters. Avoid using gutter scoops made from metal as they can damage your gutters or seams.
Bucket and Dropcloth
This is optional, but we recommend using a bucket and dropcloth to protect your landscaping and hardscaping.
How to Clear Clogged Gutters
Clearing clogged gutters require this four-step process:
- Clean the Roof: Before you begin cleaning the gutters, remove all debris from your roof using a leaf blower or a rake. Not only will this waste eventually go into the gutter, but debris left on the roof can lead to water dams in valleys and other roof problems.
- Clear the Gutters: Begin at the lowest end of the gutter and scoop the debris out with your gutter scoop. It’s easiest to scoop when the debris is damp but not soggy or dry. To reduce your clean-up time, carry your bucket for the debris.
- Hose the Gutters: Grab your water hose and spray at the highest end, working toward the outlet. If you have areas of stubborn dirt, use a stiff scrub brush to help.
- Clear the Downspouts: To ensure the downspouts are clear, spray water into them at full pressure. If water backs up, there is a clog. To unclog the downspouts, try gently tapping on the side. If this doesn’t work, you may need to remove the downspout and spray water from the bottom. In the event that your downspout is attached to a drain, disconnect the bottom before flushing.
Safety Tips for Clearing Clogged Gutters
Regardless of what type of DIY project you’re working on at your Westminster, Maryland, home, always be sure to maintain proper safety. Here are tips to keep in mind:
Before you gather the tools to start, check the weather to ensure no storms are forecasted. On days with strong winds or dark clouds, it’s best to reschedule the project for a clear day.
Perhaps the most dangerous part of clearing clogged gutters is using a ladder. Always be sure to use the correct height and type of ladder for the job, as well as the proper footwear. The ladder should be on level, firm ground, and should never be placed in front of a closed door.
Other ladder safety tips to remember are to always have three points of contact with the ladder, wear a tool belt, and let someone know you’ll be using the ladder.
Many people use this time to check the condition of their gutters. You probably have damaged gutters if you notice sags, leaks, overflow, or pooling around the roof. In some cases, damaged gutters can be repaired with sealant, but other times they need to be replaced.
Clogged gutters can be a dangerous place to work. Primarily, the debris will consist of leaves and other organic waste, but it can also include nails, bacteria, or other unexpected debris. We should also note that clogged gutters can become loose and fall from the roof, so never expect them to hold your weight.
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
Most professionals recommend cleaning your gutters at least two times per year. However, here at Ned Stevens, we suggest you do it about six times yearly. Your proximity to trees and local weather will dictate needs, but typically, this is the schedule anyone living in Westminster, Maryland, should follow:
- March: Once winter is over, use this time to re-secure gutters and clear dirt, branches, and other debris.
- June: At the beginning of summer, you should clean out all of the ragweed, tassels, seed pods, and other debris that have accumulated in your gutters.
- August: At the end of the summer, clean out the debris blown into your gutters from summer thunderstorms.
- October, November, and December: Schedule a day each month to clear out the fallen leaves to prevent ice dams and other winter-related problems.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
Safety is crucial on any worksite; without proper safety equipment and training, you could set yourself up for a fall. And even though this DIY project will save you on costs, hiring a professional gutter cleaning company is always recommended to avoid dangers.
Hiring a professional gutter cleaner not only removes your accident liability but the job will be completed much safer and faster than if you take it yourself.
The Bottom Line
While clearing clogged gutters may seem like a mindless, easy task, it’s not always the case. And if you live in Westminster, Maryland, then you know just how quickly debris builds up in your gutters. So, do yourself and your home a favor and call our professionals at Ned Stevens to get started on a gutter cleaning schedule.
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