When it comes to home maintenance, gutter cleaning is one of the messiest jobs, but someone needs to do it. Jammed up gutters could potentially cause major problems, from ruined trim and siding, to wet basements and impaired interior walls. Before you decide whether or not to do it yourself, read through the following frequently asked questions regarding gutter cleaning.
How Often Should I Clean the Gutters?
That depends on a number of factors, including tree coverage, but the most common answer is twice a year (spring and fall) says Bob Pergolotti of Fairfield Gutter Cleaning. If your home isn’t surrounded by tall trees, you might get away with cleaning them once a year (even longer in some cases), along with inspecting them in between. On the other hand, if your home is surrounded by overhanging trees that shed leaves, gutter cleaning will need to be performed more often.
What’s Involved in Gutter Cleaning?
You’ll need to invest in a good sturdy ladder and heavy work gloves to safeguard your hands. First, you’ll need to scoop out a much debris as you can using your gloved hands or a scoop of some sort. If the gutters are covered, remove the debris that’s on top, carefully lift the guard or screens to clean out the gutters themselves. Next, use a garden hose to run water down the gutters, making sure that the water flows freely with no signs of obstruction. You’ll also need to check for leaks and make sure the downspouts are draining appropriately. If your gutters are covered, you won’t need to clean them as often, but the guards and screens can become clogged. This means that you’ll still need to inspect and clean them every year or two. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
What is the Proper Way to Use a Ladder?
Unless you have a flat roof, you’ll need to do most of the gutter cleaning from a ladder. You’ll need to take safety precautions like making sure to stay clear of power lines for obvious reasons, especially if you’re using a metal ladder. Once you have the ladder positioned safely again the house, climb it by stepping on the center of each rung, both hands placed on the sides. If you find that you can’t easily reach sideways to scoop out debris, reposition the ladder instead of taking the chance of losing your balance by trying to reach out too far.
How Do I Choose a Good Gutter Cleaning Company?
Because gutter cleaning is a physically demanding, potentially dangerous and dirty job, having a professional do it for you is a good idea. To choose a good gutter cleaning company, asks friends, family members, and neighbors for a referral. You should also check for online reviews and take the time to read through them. Ask any company you’re considering for a written price estimate, having them come out to inspect your home first. Most gutter cleaning companies will be happy to provide a free written estimate as well as provide you with proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
If you’re not into climbing ladders and dealing with messy debris, hire a professional gutter cleaning company. Not only will the right company do a great job, but their expertise can also help prevent thousands of dollars in damages to your home’s foundation.