Spring is about to arrive in Utah! Flowers will soon begin to bloom and trees will bud out, and the rains will come. Over the winter, debris has likely settled into your gutters. Leaves, pine needles, dust, and roof grit can clog your gutters and lead to water damage.
Gutter cleaning is a task that you will need to perform at least two-three times a year. Roof and gutter cleaning are perhaps the most mundane of housekeeping tasks, but they are essential for maintaining the performance of your water drainage systems. Before we discuss how to clean gutters, let’s first understand why rain gutters and gutter cleaning is necessary.
Why Are Rain Gutters Important?
Made usually from aluminum, rain gutters are hollow troughs that run along the edge of the roof. They are mostly overlooked and under maintained, often until it’s too late. The primary purpose of rain gutters is to protect your roof and the rest of the house from rainwater damage.
Here are a few reasons why rain gutters are essential.
Protect Your Foundation From Rainwater Damage
Like most people, you may be thinking, how much damage can rainwater cause? As the rainwater runs off your roof, it gathers momentum. When it hits the foundation or ground next to your walls, it has the power to erode the soil and eventually seep into the foundation. Over time, it can cause significant damage to the foundation and structural integrity of your house. Perhaps even more costly is water flooding into your basement through window wells and windows.
Protect Exterior Walls From Rainwater Damage
Likewise, when your house lacks rain gutters or the gutters are unclean or damaged, the water can seep into your walls. Over the years, the water can cause damage to your walls and lead to stucco rot, fungal and mold infestation.
Water Pooling and Stagnation
Without properly cleaned rain gutters, the water will pool in low-lying areas around your home. It can damage your lawn, garden, outdoor landscaping, and flood your basement. If this damage extends to your neighbor’s house, it may even lead to legal issues.
Having a gutter system and regular gutter cleaning is crucial. As a homeowner, you need to plan biannual gutter cleaning and repair well in advance.
Five DIY Ways for Gutter Cleaning
If you are a seasoned DIYer, you may be familiar with different rain gutter cleaning methods. If you are taking on this endeavor for the first time, the following are the best ways to clean gutters.
- By Hand
It is the oldest method of gutter cleaning, but still a good one. You will need the following tools to clean the gutters using your hand.
- Heavy-duty ladder,
- Empty bucket
- Gutter scoop or garden trowel
- Heavy-duty work gloves
- Garden hose
Set up the ladder correctly and take safe measures when gutter cleaning. Wear gloves, and using the gutter scoop or garden trowel, take out as much debris as you can from the gutters. Put it in the bucket. After removing the debris by hand, you can flush the gutters with a garden hose.
- Using a Garden Hose
You will need to clean the gutters by hand if there is too much debris and clogging. However, if that isn’t the case, you can use a garden hose to flush out the garbage. Start at the farthest end from the downspout.
If possible, use a garden hose with a rigid tube and a curved end. This unique attachment allows gutter cleaning without using a ladder. Make sure to flush the entire length of the gutter channel. If there is any debris left after flushing, remove it using your hands. Be sure to wear gloves.
- Using a Power Washer
Another DIY gutter cleaning method is using a power washer. As a power washer comes with a fine-spray nozzle, you can use it to clean the gutters with considerable dirt and debris built up.
However, power washing can be messy. So, make sure to use proper clothing and safety gear and be careful when cleaning the gutters. You will also need to clean the roof and walls after gutter cleaning using a power washer.
Using the power washer, you can also clean a clogged downspout. Use your hands or a garden trowel to remove clogged dirt and debris wherever necessary. Make sure to rinse the shaft until the water runs freely. It’s a sign that there are no clogs or debris left.
- Using a Vacuum Cleaner
You can use a shop style (shop vac) vacuum to clean the gutters as well. However, this method is suitable only when you are engaged in frequent gutter cleaning. Regular cleaning prevents dirt and debris buildup, and it’s easier to clean it off with a shop vac.
If you are cleaning the gutters after a long time, make sure to clean the dirt and debris buildup with a power washer or a wet vacuum. Moisture can help loosen the hardened dirt and debris. Finally, rinse the channel and downspout using a garden hose.
- Using a Leaf Blower
You have probably used a leaf blower to clean the lawn or backyard before. You can also use it to clean your rain gutters.
Many leaf blowers come with a nozzle attachment. This attachment releases a fine stream of air, helping you with gutter cleaning. You can start cleaning the gutter from the farthest end of the downspout. Then, use a garden hose to rinse the channel and the downspout if necessary.
In any of these DIY gutter cleaning methods, if you want to avoid using a ladder, you will need a special attachment. It can extend the reach of your leaf blower or garden hose, or power washer. Thus, you can clean the gutters without climbing a ladder.
This is probably the safest way to clean the rain gutters. You can find this special attachment in any of your local hardware stores.
What About Professional Gutter Cleaning?
DIY gutter cleaning is the cheapest way to protect your house from potential rainwater damage. But, it may not always be the right choice for you. Not everyone is interested in DIY, and not everyone has the right tools on hand.
In this case, you can always hire professionals for gutter cleaning. With professional gutter repair and cleaning, you can actually save money in the long run.
Here are a few other benefits of professional gutter cleaning.
- It’s Safe
Professionals have the necessary training and safety tools required for gutter cleaning. As experts, they can clean and repair gutters without putting anyone in harm’s way or causing property damage. If you are doing it yourself, you still run the risk of falling off the ladder or cutting yourself. It’s smarter to let a trained professional handle it.
Gutter cleaning experts are well aware of the intricacies involved in the process. They pay attention to the tiniest details that DIYers or homeowners are likely to miss. They will also clean the gutters without causing damage or causing leakage. In other words, you will enjoy better results.
- It’s Thorough
Professional gutter cleaning experts know everything there is to know about gutter repair and cleaning. As a result, they can do a more thorough job than most DIYers can. The thoroughness pays in the long run as you have to spend less on frequent repairs and cleaning.
Gutters help protect your house’s foundation, outdoor landscaping, and exterior walls from potential rainwater damage. That’s why keeping your gutters clean and in excellent working conditions is necessary.
You can try one or more of these five methods for gutter cleaning if you are into DIY. If you still have doubts or need help with professional gutter cleaning, call us on (801) 676-1048 or fill out our secure online contact form to schedule an appointment today!