If you're like most Americans, you probably don't clean your gutters as often as you should. Gutter Cleaning in Dallas, TX, can feel like a daunting task, though it's one you know you should prioritize. Despite that nagging thought at the back of your mind that you should really get them cleaned, the thought of actually completing the job can feel overwhelming.
To prevent your gutters from getting out of hand, regular maintenance is key. Investing in a semi-annual professional cleaning service provided by a Dallas handyman will take the task off your plate. Or, you can tackle Dallas gutter cleaning and maintenance yourself. Below, we've provided seven maintenance tips to keep your system manageable and give you peace of mind.
Why is Gutter Cleaning in Dallas, TX so Important?
For many, gutter cleaning is a task they know they should do, but they’re not sure what the urgency really is. Not understanding the importance of cleaning leads many people to neglect it altogether. As dirty and disgusting as the process of achieving clean gutters can be, ignoring the situation could lead to big, costly problems.
The primary purpose of gutters is to carry water away from your home. Without them, rainfall—and the rare Texas snow melt—would cascade off the roof and concentrate in a handful of areas. This would lead to significant water damage to your fascia boards (the wood boards that protect the roof's edge), foundation, and attic. They are therefore integral to protecting your home.
A clogged gutter is hardly better than having no system at all. Clogs act in a similar way to a dam. When water is blocked by a clog, it has no other choice but to spill over the sides and onto the fascia. Left unaddressed, fascia boards will begin to rot.
While not typical for Texas, freezing temperatures have happened during winter in the not-so-distant past and will undoubtedly occur in the future. Water that has spilled over the edge of clogged gutters will enter cracks and crevices in the fascia boards, soffits, and attic and freeze, causing damage when it expands.
Major clogs could also damage the channels themselves by weighing them down and bending them out of shape. Bent channels can sometimes be repaired but may need to be replaced entirely.
These are all costly problems, but they have a simple solution: making time for regular Dallas gutter cleaning.
7 Dallas Gutter Cleaning Maintenance Tips
The key to turning an immensely messy project like Dallas gutter cleaning into an achievable task is to stay on top of it. However, you can also reduce the frequency of maintenance needed by making sure all components are in good working order and investing in the right equipment.
1. Prioritize Roof Cleaning
Most of what ends up in your gutters comes from the roof. Ignoring a debris-covered roof and cleaning them anyway will just erase all your hard work—you’ll end up with dirty gutters again in no time.
If you live on a property with lots of large, leafy trees, chances are you'll need to clean off your roof first. Look out your windows or observe your roof from the street. If it looks like a roof cleaning is in order, you have two options: hire a roof cleaning professional or clear off your roof yourself.
We don’t need to tell you that climbing onto your roof is risky business. Only clean your own roof if you’re fully comfortable getting up there on your own. To avoid an accident, wear shoes with rubber soles for added grip and ask a family member or neighbor to spot you. Depending on the height of your roof, you can also purchase an extendable roof leaf brush and avoid having to walk on the roof altogether.
2. Inspect Your Downspout
A major component of your system is the downspout. Gutter downspouts are the vertical tubes that extend from the gutter and direct water to a drainage area away from your home. Without downspouts, your basement would be susceptible to flooding during periods of heavy rain.
Like rain gutters, downspouts can become clogged. You can check your downspouts for clogs by either detaching them and shining a flashlight through them or by taking your hose and spraying water up through the bottom opening. Spraying water in this direction should dislodge any clogs.
While spraying water through the downspout, keep an eye out for any leaks. Spotting a leak early gives you enough time to pick up a replacement or do a repair before leaks get any worse.
3. Inspect Gutters for Repair Needs
The entire gutter system is susceptible to leaks, holes, corrosion, and rust. If caught early, you may be able to perform gutter repairs rather than having to replace the whole thing.
The easiest way to check for leaks and holes is to grab your garden hose and spray your roof. Then, watch your gutters for any signs of dripping water. This process will also help you identify the location of clogs, so you know exactly where to focus while cleaning.
There are a few different ways to repair minor damage:
- Add a Slip Joint: Slip joints are used to connect gutter sections. Like a patch, they slide right underneath the seam between sections.
- Apply a Sealant: This fluid solution will fill any cracks and crevices between components.
- Use Roof and Gutter Repair Tape: If you have minor rust, this is a great product for protecting that area from further corroding.
4. Remove All Debris
For most people, regular cleaning takes place in the fall after the trees have lost their leaves. As a general rule, most local residents should consider gutter cleaning in Dallas, TX, once in the fall and again during spring. However, the frequency will depend on a few different factors:
- Property Location: If you live on a property with lots of trees, you should consider cleaning yours more often than once per year. Additionally, if you have lots of pine trees, you may need to clean them 3 to 4 times per year. Coniferous trees like pine trees shed their needles year-round, and though the needles may seem tiny, they can still be susceptible to clogging the channel.
- Severe Storms: It’s always a good idea to inspect your system after a storm. You’d be surprised how much debris finds its way into your system.
5. Invest in a Gutter Scoop
Most people who detest gutter cleaning use nothing but their gloved hands to rid channels of debris. Dallas gutter cleaning professionals will often use a pressure washer to blast the debris out of gutters, but most homeowners don't own this device. While you can certainly rent a pressure washer, unless you have experience using it, you could end up peeling the paint off your fascia boards and tearing up asphalt shingles.
There's a middle ground solution to these two cleaning methods: using a gutter scoop. Gutter scoops are exactly what they sound like—a scooping tool designed specifically for gutter cleaning. These scoops allow you to quickly and easily remove debris and protect your hands from getting scraped.
6. Install Gutter Guards
If the idea of cleaning your gutters more than once a year sounds unrealistic to you, gutter guards may be right for you. These guards don’t eliminate the need for gutter cleaning in Dallas, TX, but they do reduce how often you’ll need to clean them. There are several different types of guards:
- Bottle Brush Guards: As its name suggests, this type of guard looks just like a cylindrical bottle brush. All you have to do is place it in the channel. Leaves and large debris won't be able to fall through the bristles into the gutter, but water will.
- Foam Guards: This guard is simply a piece of porous foam that allows water to pass through but prevents even very tiny debris from entering the gutter. The drawback? The foam holds onto water, which can lead to rot. These guards often need to be replaced every couple of years.
- Reverse Curve Guards. These are designed to force leaves to slide off the roof while allowing water to enter the system.
- Gutter Screens. Made of either metal or plastic, gutter screens lay on top of gutter openings and prevent large debris like leaves from falling through. The smaller the holes, the more debris they will keep out.
For gutter guard installations, you can contact a Dallas gutter cleaning company. While you should still climb a ladder twice a year and check to make sure that your guards are working properly, you won’t have to actually perform regular maintenance each time.
7. Upgrade Your Gutters
If your current system is reaching the end of its lifespan, it may be worth looking into getting it replaced. It's a common response to simply go for the cheapest option, but if you have the budget for it, it's worth thinking about long-term costs. Even though a certain material may cost more upfront, it may end up costing you less than a cheaper material if you never need to replace or repair it.
For ultra-durable gutters, there are two routes you can take:
- Stainless Steel: Though two to four times more expensive than vinyl, stainless steel will remain rust and dent-free for years to come. You’ll never have to replace them again.
- Seamless: Systems often fail at seams and joints. Seamless aluminum gutters can be designed in one piece to fit your home. Though they’ll cost more, the chance that you’ll need to pay for repairs in the future is very low.
DIY Dallas Gutter Cleaning
Now that you know the ins and outs of gutter cleaning in Dallas, TX, you may be wondering if you can do the job on your own. You certainly can, but bear in mind that you’ll need to take several safety precautions.
Before getting on your ladder, make sure it’s in good condition. All bolts and parts should be tight, and the ladder should be sturdy enough to support your weight, plus the weight of your tools.
Other precautions to be aware of during the gutter cleaning process are electrical lines and dangerous fecal matter from rodents. Small animals can carry disease, and simply breathing this in can be harmful to your health. Staying safe should always be your top priority—don't sacrifice this in an effort to get the job done faster.
Professional Dallas Gutter Cleaning Services
In the era of YouTube, it can be tempting to try to tackle every home maintenance job on your own. However, just because you can probably figure it out, it doesn’t mean you should.
A Dallas gutter cleaning professional has the experience and expertise to do the job efficiently and safely. Many people find that the cost of hiring a professional gutter cleaner is well worth it for the amount of time saved, not to mention the stress and effort involved with doing it yourself.
Contact Mr. Handyman of Dallas for Professional Gutter Cleaning in Dallas, TX
Mr. Handyman of Dallas is a leading choice for gutter cleaning in Dallas, TX. Over the years, our gutter services have resulted in many happy customers. As a Neighborly company, we’re founded on three values that show in everything we do: respect, integrity, and excellent customer service. We take pride in our work and strive to meet customer expectations for everything from gutter cleaning to exterior trim installation to siding repair.
Are you ready to get those dirty gutters cleaned, repaired, or replaced? Give Mr. Handyman of Dallas a call today. We proudly serve Dallas and many nearby communities in the surrounding area, such as Garland, Sachse, and Mesquite.