On the gutter: Maintenance and cleaning of gutters

Gutters are extremely important aspects of your roof. They help channel water away from your home to the side of your property, preventing undesired flooding not only on pavements and front steps but away from the foundation of your home as well. However, by the very nature of a gutter’s design, they are also likely to collect dirt, branches, leaves, and other debris for a year. While that might not sound like that big of a deal, over time, the debris can cause all kinds of problems with your roof. That is why you need to perform regular gutter maintenance for over a year.

Why Is Gutter Cleaning Important?

Several problems can develop should you not clean out your gutters regularly. For starters, when debris collects, it will change the way water flows in the gutters. In essence, it will dam up the gutter. In some instances, water might still flow to the necessary locations, but eventually, the dam will become so high that water will sit either in place or start to flow back up on the roof.

When water sits in place, it may freeze and expand, which could damage the gutters. Additionally, water will seep back up into the roof from the underside of the shingles, which might, in turn, lead to damaged shingles and a water-damaged roof. By the time you realize what’s going on, you might have serious water damage, mold, and other issues. This alone can end up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Third, when tree branches, twigs, dirt, and leaves remain in the gutters, they will begin pulling in water. This makes the debris heavy. Over time, it can strain the gutter supports and not only break off from the roof, but it might pull part of the roof with it. Thankfully, you can avoid all of these issues by simply performing basic gutter maintenance.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Ideally, you’ll want to clean your gutters twice a year. The best time to do this is right after all (or most of) the leaves have fallen for the year in autumn, and then again in early spring. By waiting for all the leaves to fall, you’ll be able to clean out whatever leaves, and twigs might be collected in the gutters. The last thing you want to do is clean the gutters in early fall, then be forced to do it again because more of the leaves have fallen back into the gutters. And then, in the springtime, you’ll be able to remove whatever gunk might be in there following the winter months. Sometimes heavy rain and the occasional snowfall might cause additional branches to fall into the gutters.

If you have to tweak the schedule, that is okay, though, just as long as you’re doing it twice a year. And, of course, if you need help with cleaning out your gutters, make sure to bring in a professional. If you’re not comfortable cleaning the gutters yourself, it is best to have an expert do it.

Gutter Cleaning Tips

The most important tip to follow is to consider safety first. If you’re not comfortable with cleaning the gutters, bring in someone to help. Or, if you do want to inspect and clean the gutters yourself, make sure the ladder is properly set up and isn’t wobbling. Use a long enough ladder to reach the roof without causing you to strain or reach, and take your time. The roofing doesn’t need to be done quickly. It is better to play it safe and clean portions of the gutters over several days than to rush the job and potentially injure yourself.

Next, as mentioned earlier, clean the gutters twice a year. This will reduce the hefty sludge you’ll pull out of the gutters each time, which makes cleaning the gutters easier.

Wear gloves when you do it. You never know what might be in the gutters when digging through them (especially if it has been some time since you were able to clean the gutters). Work gloves are great for this, and they will have a grip to help you hold onto the roof and ladder.

Consider dropping the gunk to the ground instead of holding onto a trash bag as you clean. If you can hold onto a heavy-duty trash bag as you clean, this might work out, but if you require two hands to balance, it is okay if you drop it down to the ground and then pick it up from there. It’s always best to do what you are most comfortable with.

One important tip to follow is to not lean too much onto the gutters. While the ladder is resting against the gutter, you don’t want to put all your weight onto it. The gutters are aluminum and may break if you put too much weight onto these objects. If you do put too much weight on the gutters, the gutters might strip out of the roof, they might fall, pull parts of the roof, or it might cause the ladder and yourself to fall to the ground. So do what you can to avoid putting too much weight on the gutters.

Roofing And Gutter Maintenance Is A Phone Call Away

Having your gutters cleaned and your roof inspected are two important steps in protecting your home and preventing any kind of significant damage. It is always better to catch minor issues instead of waiting for major problems to strike. Major roof problems can quickly jump into the thousands of dollars (if not more) to fix. Whatever your roofing needs might be, though, the Charlotte Roofing Specialists are here for you. From general inspections to fully installing a brand new roof, whatever your needs may be, you can discuss the situation and what you need help with by giving them a call today.


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