There’s no question, Nashville. The days are getting shorter, the nights cooler, and the leaves are in full transition — fall is officially here. Before you know it all these fiery-colored leaves will begin to fall, covering your home and yard, which means it’s time for everyone’s favorite fall activity: gutter maintenance.
Whether you are a new homeowner, new to gutter cleaning, or just want to brush up on some gutter cleaning reminders, the intention of this blog post is to provide some helpful reminders to clean your gutters and prepare your home for the all the rain and snow ahead.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GUTTER MAINTENANCE
While it’s a job that many of us would like to ignore, gutter cleaning and maintenance is a necessary part of owning a home or business. If water is unable to properly flow through the gutter and downspout system, this can damage your roof and home and cause a number of headaches. For instance, when clogged gutters overflow, they can cause ice dams the force water into your home, as well as damage your gutters, siding, fascia board, and roof. Even if the leaves that are left in your gutters don’t create clogs, they will serve as an ideal hotel for ants and other pesky critters.
HOW TO CLEAN GUTTERS
From shop vacuums with gutter nozzles to contraptions that use tongs and extension poles, there are lots of ways to clean your gutters. For most of us, however, cleaning primarily consists of some form of getting on a ladder, scooping out debris, spraying down gutters, and flushing your drainage system.
After you have cleaned out your gutters, run water from the hose down the downspout at full pressure. Ideally, the water will rush out the bottom. If it doesn’t though, you know that you have a clog in your downspout. This can often be unclogged by simply tapping on the side of the downspout. But if this doesn’t do the trick, you can try flushing the downspout from the bottom. If you have an underground drain that connects to your downspout, you will want to disconnect these. Otherwise, you may run into the risk of transferring the clog to your underground drain.
WEAR PROPER ATTIRE
Obviously, you don’t want to wear clothes that you care about — this is a dirty job. More importantly, make sure that you wear rubber gloves and shoes with good traction. Eye protection is also a good choice. It’s hard to know what might fly out of your gutters and downspouts when you start cleaning.
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Don’t work harder than you have to. Having the right tools will not only make the work easier but it will also make it safer. Some tools to consider getting include a plastic scoop and hose with plenty of coverage. Also, you may want to have a good bucket to dump the debris in, as well as a tarp to lay on your lawn to function as a spot to dump all debris.
ALWAYS PRACTICE LADDER SAFETY
Cleaning gutters can be dangerous work. However, following proper safety and cleaning procedures can make this a relatively safe task. Below are some specific tips to ensure that you stay safe while on a ladder.
- Use a safe, steady, and sturdy ladder, ideally one with a little shelf that is strong enough to support a bucket.
- Make sure your ladder is long enough to reach your gutters. This will keep you from overextending and potentially losing your balance.
- Enlist the help of another person. If you are unable to do this, at least let someone close to you know that you will be using a ladder and working on your roof.
- Avoid wooden ladders that are wobbly and difficult to balance.
- Inspect your ladder for defect and any loose screws, bolts, or parts.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CLEAN MY GUTTERS?
As a roofing company that spends a lot of time repairing roofs, we recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year, especially if you have overhanging trees. However, if you don’t have many trees in your yard, you may be able to get by with just one yearly cleaning.
WHILE YOU’RE UP THERE…
While you are cleaning your gutters, why not inspect your roof? Although not all roofing problems are overtly apparent, some are. When you are on your ladder cleaning your gutters, take some time to scan your roof looking for any missing or damaged shingles. If you spot a potential problem, contact your local roofing company — we’d be happy to help if you’re in the Nashville area.
LOOKING FOR A DEPENDABLE ROOFING COMPANY IN NASHVILLE?
Tim Leeper Roofing is ready to provide all the roofing services that you need. Our roofing contractors have years of experience and know the industry like the back of their hands. We have experience in asphalt shingles, flat roofing, metal roofing, and more. Learn more about our residential and commercial roofing services here.
Give us a call at 615-553-2782 or fill out this online form today to get your free, no-hassle quote.