The guttering around the perimeter of your roof is essential to your home’s structure. However, it’s also one area of your home that’s often neglected. For some reason, homeowners tend to avoid cleaning their gutters till their back is against the wall. And as we’ve mentioned before, poorly maintained gutters can lead to a world of problems.
Now, not everyone is a gutter expert. Since gutter maintenance takes time and skill, it’s best to leave it to the specialists. However, if you’re good with your hands and want to take the DIY route, you’ll need to know a few basic do’s and don’ts.
Do’s of Gutter Cleaning and Protection
Ready to prep your gutters for whatever the seasons might bring? Read our list of do’s to care for these vital rainwater systems.
1. Do Use Gutter Guards
Leaves, twigs, branches, and other debris can find their way into your gutters and block them, causing water to overflow. This, in turn, can lead to water damage, leaks, and mold infestations around your home. Plus, you’ll likely have a tough time scooping everything out.
A great way to make gutter cleaning a breezy affair is to invest in gutter leaf guards. These installations are designed to cover the gutter and filter the water entering it. You’ll still have to clean your gutters, but the leaf guards will help keep most debris out. This makes gutters with leaf protection more efficient and easier to clean when the time comes.
A few things can simplify your gutter cleaning routine, like leaf protection for gutters. Get some for yourself, and you’ll know exactly what we mean!
2. Do Clean Your Gutters At Least Twice a Year
Missing your gutter maintenance mark by a couple of days might not be a big deal. But you don’t want to go too long between cleaning sessions. Blockages can develop pretty quickly, and you’ll be left to bear the brunt of any problems they create.
Overflowing gutters are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Not only do they threaten your foundation, but they also compromise the interior of your home. If you don’t have time to clean out your gutters every six months, consider talking to a professional gutter cleaning and maintenance service.
3. Do Check Your Gutters for Damage
It’s easy to spot big holes and cracks in your gutters, but small leaks and tiny holes are a different story. When left unchecked, they can wreak havoc on your home.
One way to detect them is to run water through your system and watch out for any fissures or trickles. Be sure to take note of any sections that require urgent repair/replacement. Even if you have a fixed gutter cleaning schedule, it’s good to check your gutters for damage now and then.
4. Do Get a Sturdy Ladder
Did you know that falls from ladders are the leading cause of ladder-related injuries, followed by improper use, using a faulty ladder, or simple carelessness? That’s a scary statistic.
Too many people end up in the emergency room due to ladder falls. Make sure you always stabilize your ladder before climbing it. Look around to see if it’s leaning on the gutter and whether you have enough clearance to work around it. Also, don’t use ladders with missing steps or imbalanced legs- it’s an accident waiting to happen.
Another pro tip, refrain from cleaning your gutters in rainy and windy weather. Your ladder might tip over while you’re still working, causing a major accident.
Don’ts of Gutter Protection
You may not know this, but some of the most common Utah gutter cleaning practices are detrimental to your system. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here are four gutter maintenance don’ts you should keep on your radar.
1. Don’t Neglect the Hardware
If your gutters weren’t pitched properly in the beginning, chances are you’re going to experience problems with your joints and hardware. Hardware damage can also occur due to heavy, clogged gutters and improper mounting.
Once you clear out your gutters, get them pitched and sealed pronto. Otherwise, you might have to deal with standing water every time it pours.
2. Don’t Use a Leaf Blower
Sure, leaf blowers can get debris out of your gutters. But you might not like what happens next.
When used on gutter systems, leaf blowers tend to push leaves under your eaves. This would only exacerbate your cleaning routine in the future. And in case this wasn’t enough, roof eaves with dried leaves and debris are a dangerous fire hazard. It’ll only take one rogue flame to bring about a disaster.
Your best bet is to hand-clean your gutters. You could also use a small broom or gutter scoop to reach every crevice hassle-free.
3. Don’t Hang Off Your Gutters
Holding onto your gutters when cleaning might seem like a natural thing to do. However, it’s incredibly dangerous. Your gutters are not made to support your weight, which is why hanging off them can cause the brackets to come loose. At best, this will cause gutter damage. At worst, you can overbalance and hurt yourself.
4. Don’t Do It Alone
You can always use an extra set of hands while cleaning your gutters. Have a friend or family member stand guard for when you drop something, need to move the tarp, stabilize your ladder, or keep a close watch on you. It’s a better alternative to climbing up and down your ladder multiple times.
The Bottom Line
Proper gutter protection is key to maintaining the integrity of your home’s foundation. Take regular care of your gutters, and they’ll serve you for a long time. Hopefully, this post has given you some much-needed insight into the crucial do’s and don’ts of gutter protection. Just follow these simple tips to whip your gutters back into shape again.
Don’t want to spend your weekends cleaning gutters? Want someone to point you toward a safe and effective gutter leaf guard? Just call the specialists at Ace Gutter Inc! As Utah’s leading gutter specialists, we’ll take care of all your gutter woes. Contact us today to get your free quote!