Cleaning Your Gutters

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dirty gutter

Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important projects on the household to-do list, however, it usually is the last thing to ever be done. Many people end up waiting too long to clean their gutters and they cause damage once it’s too late. Cleaning your gutters just a couple of times a year (one in the fall, one in the spring), is more beneficial and the job gets easier every time. You may think “what’s the problem with clogged gutters? All it does is spill excess water over when it rains, and make giant icicles in the winter.” The problem is, the excess water damages the integrity of your home. Gutters create a space that water can flow off the roof and down to the ground with the least resistance. When these pipelines get blocked, the water looks for a new place to exit. This usually means, it works into the ceilings and walls of the home. Which will cost more money in the long run, then clearing away leaves and twigs.

The most obvious issue that causes broken gutters is leaves, twigs and other debris. The water gets absorbed occupied-ladderinto these objects like a sponge and creates weight that can’t be held for very long. The brackets become stressed, and can pull the gutters off the house. Not only are falling gutters expensive to replace, but the windows and lights that break while it comes down are just as expensive to repair. Overflowing water from the blocked pipeline, ruins paint and siding of the home. This also creates water marks. If the water gets inside and into the walls, it becomes unsightly. Wet wood rots and loses it’s integrity which can go unseen before its too late. Ice-damming is another serious issue with clogged gutters in the winter. Blocked water freezes and expands, which causes it to push up against the roof structure and work under the shingles destroying the wood (which causes more leaks.) Water that pools up around the foundation of a house is also another cause from clogged gutters. When the water freezes, it expands and makes cracks which leads to floods in your basement or crawlspace.

So how do you fix this? Its simple, all you need are gloves, a ladder and something to capture debris in. To start, set up a ladder around an arms length away from the corner downspout. Tuck a few garbage bags into your back pocket for easy access. While some people prefer to use a bucket and bucket hanger for the ladder, it is much easier to grab a bag from your back pocket then balance a pail up on the roof (in our opinion.) Grab a rake or hand shovel and now it is time to start the climb to the roof. When climbing a ladder, it is best to note put sharp objects in your pocket. If you fall you don’t want to get injured by a gardening tool. Once you reach the top, time to get to work cleaning your gutters! Use your hand tool to pull out debris from the down spout (be careful to not let anything fall into the opening.) One handful at at time, fill up the bags you brought up in your pocket. As the bags get full, tie them off and drop away from the bottom of the ladder. Move the ladder to a different spot on the gutter and repeat the process. Make sure to remove the dirt from the bottom of the gutter. This runs off from the roof shingles and becomes very heavy when wet. When all the debris is cleared, spray down your gutters with a hose. This will also tell you if there is a blockage in the down gutter.

Happy Cleaning!

Thank you to FOX News for the original information.


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