The gutter system of the home is a very important factor in the structure of the home, yet many home owners do not fully understand how gutters work. The gutter system is created to control the water around the home. The system helps to flow rain water away from your home to avoid flooding and other water damage issues. If a gutter system is clogged, the home owner may have to face several home repair issues. It is essential that the gutter system be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that costly repairs are avoided. Below are five gutter cleaning tips to avoid major issues.
It is very important to remember Safety First! The gutter system of your home is high off the ground. If you have a fear of heights or are not comfortable on a tall ladder, then do not try to clean your gutters. Cleaning the gutters requires being up high on a tall ladder for some time and you must move around to remove the leaves and sticks from the traps. Hire a professional to take care of the job for you if you cannot remain high up safely.
If you are comfortable on a tall ladder, be sure to remember to be aware of insect nests and power lines. Use proper footwear so you have a good stance on the ladder and ask for support when needed.
Cleaning the Gutters
You will need a ladder, work gloves and a garden hose to clean the gutters properly. To start, you will need to clear the gutters from one end to the other. Use the ladder to reach the areas that need cleaning and keep the gloves on your hands to avoid any injury. Once you have removed the debris from the gutter system, you can go back along the track with a garden hose to remove any backed up dirt or stuck on debris.
Once you have reached the end of the gutter system, you should be at the spout. You will need to use the garden hose to spray down the gutter spout to ensure the spout is clear of debris. If the spout is clogged, the water you are spraying will become clogged. You can use the hose to try and unclog the spout but you may have to take it apart to clear the way. Once the area is clear, you will need to ensure that the discharge end of the spout is 4 to 6 feet way from the home to avoid flooding or damage issues.
You can also choose to install gutter guards to avoid major gutter cleaning. Gutter guards will block any large debris from your gutters as well as help your gutters remain unclogged. There are many options for home owners to choose from. Screens are one choice but can still allow for clogging and backups. The most effective option, but more expensive, is the metal louver. This option is installed above the gutter and will keep leaves off of your gutters. The water is allowed to leak into the gutter as the leaves are pushed off the other side.
Most importantly, it is essential that home owners remain proactive. If you do not care for your gutter system, you will eventually see a host of problems in your home. From mold issues, to water damage and flooding, there are a number of problems that can exist if your gutter system is not working properly. Take the time to monitor your system and service when needed so your home can remain safe and secure.
Maud Fitzherbert is an HVAC Expert and an avid reader of the USAPlumbing blog, if you happen to live in St. Louis, check out Heating Systems, St Louis.