If you're like most homeowners, you likely dread having to clean your gutters. Not only is this job unpleasant and can take up your whole Saturday, but it can also be unsafe. And so, it's a task that is often neglected—possibly causing serious problems for your property.
If your gutters are not able to safely move water away from your home, it could cause all kinds of damage that is even more difficult and costly to repair than hiring a simple cleaning service.
To ensure this system gets proper care to prevent any issues arising, the team at Mr. Handyman of E. Nashville and Hendersonville have put together this guide.
How Do Gutters Get Clogged?
Trees, Leaves & Debris
Firstly, all manner of debris will blow into your gutters. This will cause them to be filled with gunk that will start to decompose as time goes on. Usually, if you live near a forested area or your home is surrounded by trees, your eaves will fill-up fairly quickly.
Even if this is not the case, the wind will still blow debris toward your home. Surprisingly, even rain can leave behind stubborn dirt deposits.
Pests & Nests
Stagnant water creates the ideal environment for all kinds of creatures to build a home. Birds and rats might infest your roof, and mosquitoes in particular look for still water to breed. In fact, if you notice mosquitoes buzzing around your roof it's a sure sign you need to hire a gutter cleaning service.
Designed to move water from the gutters to a safe distance from your home, if there is an issue with your downspouts your eaves will not be able to empty correctly. For instance, a poorly designed or improperly installed downspout may trap debris at its entry or exit points. This inhibits the natural flow of water, causing it to get stuck in the gutter. This creates even more clogs throughout the entire system.
Why Are My Gutters Overflowing?
When was the last time you had your gutters cleaned? If it's been more than a year, it's likely they're full and that's why they're overflowing. When there is too much debris trapped in the pipes, the water has nowhere to go but over the side. Neglecting to empty your eaves regularly means you increase the risk of overflow.
If you cleaned the system fairly recently and are still noticing overflow, it could be that a storm blew debris into the pipes or perhaps a bird, insect or rodent is nesting in the eaves.
How Often Should My Gutters Be Cleaned?
We recommend you hire a professional cleaning service at least twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. These two periods are when the greatest seasonal changes take place. It's important to prepare your eaves during the fall before the weather cools, and to get rid of any residue that built up during the colder months during spring.
There are a few situations where you should “spot clean” your eaves as well:
If you live under trees, you should check your eaves more often
After a big storm; this is also a chance to check for damage
If you notice pests along your roof, you might have too much stagnant water in your eaves
What Happens If I Don't Clean My Eaves?
Your house has gutters for a reason. They're there to protect it from water damage. If you neglect cleaning the system, it can have very negative consequences. Keep your eaves clean to:
Prevent your basement from flooding
Keep pests away from your house
Stop the breakers and hangers from falling and damaging your roof
Protect your roof from water damage
Prevent your yard or garden from being flooded
Stop paved areas, like walkways and patios, from being eroded
Avoid damage to your home's foundation, such as erosion, cracking and water damage
How to Clean Gutters?
Let us preface this section by saying that we recommend you hire a professional service to clean out your gutters. Although it's a fairly straightforward task, it's unpleasant, time-consuming and can be very dangerous as you have to go on a ladder. If you're not comfortable with heights, this home maintenance task is not for you. Anytime you go up on a ladder there is a chance you could fall. In fact, roughly 500,000 falls happen annually in America, with 97% of these happening at home or on farms.
That said, if you're an avid DIYer, and are used to completing strenuous tasks and enjoy time spent outdoors, then complete these steps to clean your gutters:
Use a sturdy, extendable ladder. Place the ladder on a flat surface and use a ladder stabilizer.
Dress for the job. Wear rubber gloves and clothes you don't mind getting dirty, like a long-sleeved shirt and work pants.
Spread a tarp beneath your work area. This collects the gutter gunk while protecting your lawn and garden.
Use a small, plastic scoop to remove debris and throw any gunk on the tarp.
When the debris is removed, use a garden hose to flush away remaining residue and check for leaks.
Do I Still Need to Clean Out My Gutters if I Have Gutter Guards?
Many homeowners think they don't need to clean out their eaves if they have guards, but this is not the case. Although this handy system will help prevent dirt and grime from accumulating, some debris will still get through. The benefit to guards is that you need less frequent cleanings. For instance, instead of one or two times a year you could book biennial services instead.
How Do I Hire Mr. Handyman?
If you're ready to hire a gutter cleaning service completed by the pros at Mr. Handyman of E. Nashville and Hendersonville, then we invite you to contact us today. Not only does our team provide exceptional quality cleaning services, but we can also complete pressure washing, gutter installation and repair services.
Our company is known for our excellent customer service. We've helped property owners throughout the East Nashville and Henderson areas, including Goodlettsville and Whites Creek, with all their home maintenance needs.