Fall is upon us and the leaves will soon start to fall. Many people love fall’s beautiful  landscape and colors. What people don’t usually like about fall is cleaning up the leaves! While you may be focused on raking up the leaves on your lawn, your gutters have collected some leaves too.

Gutter cleaning may not be as fun of a task as jumping in the leaves with your kids, but is a task that must be done and should be part of your annual home maintenance routine.

Why do I need to clean my gutters?

Gutters serve a vital purpose of collecting rain and diverting it away from your home’s foundation by directing water elsewhere. Leaving debris, such as, leaves and sticks, in your gutters can result in water making its way under the foundation and eventually causing water damage on the interior and exterior of your home.

Try to clean your gutters out towards the end of fall. You don’t want leaves left in there to clog things up. You should consider a specialist if your home is more one than one story.

How do I clean out my gutters?

If you choose to get out the ladder and clean your gutters, here are the steps to cleaning and caring for your gutters safely this fall:

Ladder Safety

First, you will want to find a safe and stable place to put your ladder. Get on a sturdy ladder (use a step ladder on the ground whenever possible) and clean out the debris in the gutters. Remember never to lean out from the ladder or over extend your reach.

Cleaning Debris, Checking Drainage, Gutter Hardware

Most importantly, you should always wear safety googles along with work gloves for protection, in case of any sharp areas or  flying debris.  Pay close attention to the downspouts, as you will want to remove and clean the downspout strainers and remove any debris that could cause clogs. Gutter cleaning is not for everyone, so if you are afraid of heights, or your landscape is tricky, hire a professional.

While you are up on the ladder, make sure your gutters are secure.  There should be spikes that connect your gutters to the rafters of the house. These spikes can get loose and lose their connection to the home. It is best to replace any loose spikes you see. You don’t want your gutters to come crashing down during the winter.

Inspect for any holes. A leaking gutter is no good. If you find any holes, you can use caulk to seal them. Keep in mind caulk is only a temporary fix, so you may want to start researching new gutters sooner than later.

Look over the rivets. You will find rivets by the down spouts. Some may have fallen out or gotten loose. You will need a rivet gun to repair this which you can find at your local hardware store.

Wash them out with a hose or a pressure washer.  A deep clean will help your gutter look and perform better. Washing out your gutters will also show you how well your gutters are working and if the water is flowing properly. Always make sure to start at the far end moving towards the downspout and hit the gutter at a smaller angle to avoid hurting yourself or your roof.

Examine your downspouts and splash block. A splash block is what you put at the bottom of your downspouts to protect the area from the rush of water. Turn on your hose full pressure to ensure this block is working properly and dislodge any blockage.

If you see any rust, get new gutters. Rust means your gutters need to go. The gutter will only get worse.

What if my gutters seem old or dysfunctional?

If you notice any major problems with your gutters, it may be time to consider replacing them. New gutters are customized for your home, with oversized downspouts, and gutter covers. They are a wise investment for your home and provide lasting protection.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 952-641-6086.