How do I maintain my gutters?

close up of gutter system

What happens if you don t clean your gutters?          

If your house has gutters installed already or you’ve recently had a gutter system installed, you realize the importance of them.  They catch rain coming off your roof and redirect it into the downspouts. From there, it send out and away from your home’s foundation and flower bed. But when that water is redirecting to the downspouts, you realized how important gutter system repair is too. 

As a homeowner, you should have a routine of performing basic gutter maintenance two to three times a year, more if you have a lot of trees around your home. This isn’t a job that anyone likes doing because it isn’t fun, but it is messy and time consuming.  So, there is the option of hiring a gutter maintenance company and have them come on regular schedule. 

Gutters may seem like an ordinary part of your home, but they have health concerns like anything else around or inside your home. You wouldn’t think about skipping a filter change every month because it is a health factor your HVAC system. The same is to be said about  gutter cleaning and maintenance too. 

When gutter system repairs, maintenance, and cleaning are ignored, it puts your gutter system in jeopardy, setting the system up for falling apart and causing damage. Here is a short list of what can happen when you have skipped gutter cleaning, maintenance, and gutter system repairs: 

  1. Insect Infestation 

A gutter system that doesn’t get cleaned regularly becomes damp and dense, the kind of neighborhood that insects like to live in.  You’ll start seeing a lot of ants, mosquitoes, roaches, and termites infesting your home. We know what kind of destruction and disease these insects can cause! 

  1. Wood Rot 

If your home has a wood foundation, gutter cleaning, gutter maintenance, and gutter system repairs should become a priority for your home maintenance. When gutters become clogged, the water pools inside them because it can’t flow to the downspout. Then it overflows the gutter run and pools around the foundation, seep into your house, and the foundation and structure become jeopardized, causing you more repairs. 

  1. Roof Leaking 

A leaking roof is a nuisance that can get nasty bad fast. It is also a sign that your gutters are clogged and may need gutter system repairs. The same is with ice building up putting extra weight burden on the roof, creating more woes than gutter cleaning and gutter maintenance.   

  1. Basement Leaking 

Leaving the gutter system clogged and not performing gutter system repairs and maintenance can lead to flooding basement. The water that is backing up in the gutter system will spill over the gutter runs and pool up around the foundation, seep into the basement. Basements are often where electrical breaker boxes and circuit boxes are located. With a flooded basement cause by clogged gutters, it becomes a health and safety issue.  

  1. Foundation Damage   

We’ve already mentioned how a clogged gutter system will spill over the rain, pool up around the foundation. This is a problem more frequent in the winter, which is why a gutter system repair and cleaning should be done in the early fall. The water inside a clogged gutter will build up, absorb into the structure, then when the temperature gets to freezing, the foundation cracks. This leaves it susceptible mold damage and growth and increase the insect infestation .

How often should gutters be cleaned?

The experts and professionals in this industry recommend twice a year professional gutter system repairs and cleaning. Early spring and early fall are the best times.  If you have heavy amount of trees around your home, you may consider 3 times a year unless you’re doing it yourself every 6 to 8 weeks. 

cleaning gutter systems

Can I clean my gutters myself, what is the fastest way to clean gutters?

Yes you can, but we advise before you start with the methods we’re going to share that you take time and follow these safety steps: 

  • For a high rooftop, get an extension ladder.
  • Wear goggles and thick suede gloves.
  • Do not walk on the roof unless absolute necessary. 
  • Reaching down from the roof to the gutters is setting yourself up for a fall. 

Before you begin your gutter system repair and cleaning, clear the roof of any debris, leaves, and limbs. You don’t want the gutters to fill up again as soon as your done! Now, you are ready to try one of the following methods for gutter cleaning:

Use The Leaf Blower: Not only does the leaf blower save you from hours of raking leaves, but it can also save you time cleaning the gutters. From the ladder, blow the leaves from the gutter as far as you can safely reach. Climb down the ladder, move it down the roof line and repeat the process. 

There are extension kits available today at your local home improvement store that curves and extends the reach so that you can do this gutter cleaning job from the ground. 

Use The Power Washer: After a good hard rain, your gutters may have wet leaves stuck insides that the leaf blower can’t loosen and blow out. A power washer is a better method with the force of the high-pressured water jetting out. A u-shape, telescoping wand will make the job possible from the ground. 

Use The Shop Vac: The two methods above will make a mess on the ground, and that isn’t any more fun to clean up than doing the gutter system repair and cleaning. So, using a shop vac will clean the gutters and then you empty the canister. Again, there are extension kits available so you can do this safer from the ground. 

Following the tips we’ve provided here will help you keep your gutter maintenance and repair on schedule.  But what if you don’t know how do you maintain gutters and downspouts? Here are a few steps to help you with this process: 

Step 1: Repair any small crack or holes with a gutter patch kit available at home improvement stores. Use the same kit to repair the downspouts if needed.

Step 2: Replace any gutter sections that are damaged beyond repair. 

Step 3: Check and make any needed adjustments to the pitch of the gutter runs.

Step 4: Install gutter guards or screens.

Need gutter cleaning for your home in Justin & Fort Worth, TX? J Riley Roofing is your choice for expert gutter system cleaning! Call (940) 441-4544 today!