Many people don’t think twice about their roofing system or their gutters, and for most busy homeowners, routine maintenance actions can be placed on the back burner when it comes to priorities.
Other times, homeowners know they should take action, but don’t because they’re not quite sure where to start. Whatever your reason, we want to change it! Here is a DIY guide to cleaning your gutters that will leave you with the knowledge you need to check a maintenance item off of your list.
Table of Contents:
- Why Gutters Are An Important Part of Your Roofing System
- Why It’s Important to Clean Gutters
- What You Will Need
- General Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters And Downspouts
- The Cleaning Process
- Complete the Task
Why Gutters Are An Important Part of Your Roofing System
Gutters impact more than just the aesthetic appeal of your house. In addition to being visually pleasing, properly installed gutters also impact the integrity of your roof. Water runoff from heavy rain storms runs the risk of pooling near the foundation of your home, causing water damage. The main function of gutters is to divert this water off of the roof and away from the sides and foundation of your home, and into a safe place.
Why It’s Important to Clean Gutters
Many people don’t think about their gutters until they notice a problem. But gutter maintenance is important, because as debris accumulates, it prevents water from flowing off of your roof correctly, and instead can cause the water to become stagnant which can weigh your gutters down. Clogged gutters also cause water to flow off of your roof incorrectly, damage your siding, foundation and landscaping, and contribute to leaks.
What You Will Need
- A ladder tall enough to reach your gutters
- A pair of heavy work gloves
- A small plastic shovel
- A garden hose long enough to reach the roof
- A spray nozzle for the hose
- Eye protection
- A tarp or bucket to collect the debris
General Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters And Downspouts
Keep It Regular
Routine gutter maintenance and cleaning is important to keep them in great condition. Cleaning gutters
Cleaning gutters in the early spring will prepare them for heavy spring and summer rains, whereas cleaning gutters in the fall is beneficial because it clears out leaves and other debris that accumulate as the weather changes.
Watch the Weather
Whenever possible, avoid cleaning gutters after a rainstorm, because the leaf and debris buildup will be soggy and waterlogged. Giving the gutters a few days to dry out before you clean out the debris will make the task much easier.
At Cenvar Roofing safety is our top priority, and it should be yours too. When cleaning out your gutters, it is crucial to practice good ladder safety. Working on top of a ladder can be dangerous, especially if you are inexperienced, so using and remembering these rules is an important part of any DIY roof project.
- Never climb above the second to last rung
- Do not extend your reach or stand on your “tip toes”
- Use a step ladder on solid, level ground whenever possible
- For two-story homes, use an extension ladder only if you are comfortable
- If heights make you uncomfortable, consider hiring a professional
The Cleaning Process
The first step in the gutter cleaning process is to clear the debris out of the gutters. It is best to wear safety glasses and heavy work gloves to protect yourself while cleaning. Starting near a downspout, set up your ladder and clear out any debris. Sometimes using a plastic shovel is helpful in this process.
After you remove the debris, it is time to flush the gutters with water. To do this, you’ll take your garden hose with a spray nozzle, and starting at the far end of the gutter, you’ll spray a steady stream of water toward the downspout. This will clean out any remaining dirt and debris, leaving you with a clean gutter system.
Once you finish with one gutter, systematically move around your roof and repeat this process until all of your gutters are clean and free of debris.
Complete the Task
After your gutters are clean, it’s important to check the downspout for any clogs or debris that could cause problems down the road, To do this, you can turn on the hose and spray it down the spout. If less water comes out than goes in, you may be dealing with a clog.
To unclog the downspout, you can feed the hose up through the gutter and turn the water on at full pressure. This should unclog the spout in the vast majority of cases, but if not, a plumber’s snake will usually do the trick.
Once you finish and make sure everything is functioning properly, you are free to check off “clean gutters” from your to-do list!
If you discover anything unusual while you are on top of your roof, or think something may be in need of replacement, Cenvar Roofing is your answer! We are a professional roofing company located all over central Virginia with our own in-house gutter team able to serve all your gutter needs. Fill out our free estimate request form and someone from our team will be in touch soon!