Guide to Cleaning Gutters
The gutters on your residential or commercial property are essential for diverting rainwater from the roof, walls, and foundation of the building. Water build-up can cause structural damage resulting in expensive repairs or replacements. Getting up on a ladder and cleaning out your gutters is an unpleasant activity home and business owners try to avoid. It is a messy hassle that can ruin a perfectly good day off. Unfortunately, failing to do so can cause significant damage and costly repairs.
Cleaning your gutters can be an intimidating and laborious job, but utilizing the correct tools and techniques, becomes an achievable project.
Assessing Your Gutters
The best way to keep gutters from getting clogged with debris that inhibits the free-flowing of rainwater is to pay attention to them and clean them regularly before there’s a clog or problem. Regularly inspect and maintain your gutter system and perform any needed repairs to ensure it works in top condition throughout the year. The more often gutters are cleaned, the less likely significant build-up will have the chance to gather, clog, and cause harm.
Before cleaning your gutters, it’s a good idea to take a look and see what condition they are in. Once you’re on a ladder, you may even notice damage to your gutters that you hadn’t seen before. Take a look down the length of your gutters and see if you notice any visual clogs. Sticks and dry debris are usually easier to remove than wet leaves and dirt.
Gutter Cleaning Tools
You will need to utilize specific tools to clean your gutters properly. There are several techniques for cleaning gutters, and below are the different tools to use (depending on how clogged your gutters are):
- A leaf blower (with or without a special attachment)
- A shop vac
- A garden hose
- A pressure washer
- A bucket
- A hand spade or trowel
Inspect, Clean Downspouts
To clean your gutters, start by checking the downspouts for clogs. If necessary, feed your garden hose up through the spouts to clear any blockages.
The downspouts are essential to your gutter system as they ensure rainwater is adequately drained away from your home. Clogged downspouts can result in pooled water at your gutter’s joints. Downspouts should be inspected and maintained along with the rest of your gutter components.
Using your gloves and bucket, carefully clear out large debris, section by section, making sure to utilize ladder safety techniques. These include making sure there are always three points of contact on the ladder (one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot), and always have your body facing the ladder.
After the large debris is removed, use your garden hose to make sure that water flows freely. If there are still blockages, you can utilize the other tools mentioned above (leaf blowers, shop vacs, and pressure washers) to get any hard-to-remove gunk. Be careful, though – more power means you could potentially damage your gutters!
If at any time you feel unsafe or unable to do the job yourself, you should call professionals who will be able to quickly and safely clean your gutters for you.
Keep Trees Trimmed
Leaves and branches are among the biggest causes of clogged gutters. Keeping your trees and nearby bushes trimmed will reduce the risk of leaves building up in your gutters. Pay special attention to branches that hang over the gutters, as they can gather debris and offer inviting access to local rodents and other wildlife in the area. Remember that any leaf that blows onto your roof will find its way down to your gutter system. Often trees that are not directly above your roof also clog gutters.
Older gutters can be a pain to maintain. Because of their open design, they need to be cleaned often, they get blocked and damaged more quickly, and if a clog isn’t caught early, it can create the need for pricey repairs. It’s for these reasons that we recommend a gutter guard system.
There are a variety of gutter guards on the market to prevent debris buildup in the system. They can range in price and effectiveness. At Gutter King, we offer three solutions that cover this broad range so we can work with most budgets and tailor the right solution for your situation.
GutterGlove Pro is the top-rated gutter guard system available to homeowners and is offered exclusively through Austin Gutter King. Consumer Reports rated GutterGlove Pro as the number one professionally installed gutter guard. It features 100% metal components, so there’s no PVC or plastics to wear out like LeafGuard. GutterGlove Pro uses a heavy-duty back support system that protects the product and gutters but also helps force heavy water flow into the gutter. It works well against the types of debris we see in Texas, like cedar elms, oaks, cedars, and other small leaf trees with pollens. Whether you install the GutterGlove Pro system with new gutters or have them retrofitted to your existing gutters, you will save time, money, and hassle by not having to clean your gutters again. You can even choose from optional rainwater filters to keep your harvested rainwater cleaner and easier to utilize.
How to Avoid Gutter Cleaning
While regular gutter cleaning is essential to maintain the health of your gutter system and prevent water damage to your home, there are a few ways to potentially reduce the frequency of cleanings. Here are some tips to avoid gutter cleaning:
- Trim Overhanging Trees: Overhanging trees can drop leaves, twigs, and other debris into your gutters, increasing the amount of buildup and the need for more frequent cleanings. Trimming overhanging branches can help reduce the amount of debris that falls into your gutters.
- Clean Your Roof: Regularly cleaning your roof can help reduce the amount of debris that falls into your gutters. This can be especially helpful during the fall when leaves are falling and accumulating on roofs.
- Properly Slope Gutters: Gutters that are not sloped properly can cause water to accumulate and sit in the gutter, leading to the growth of algae, moss, and other debris that can clog the gutter. Ensuring that your gutters are sloped correctly can help prevent buildup and reduce the frequency of cleanings
- Install Gutter Guards: Gutter guards are screens or covers placed over your gutters to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from accumulating in the gutter. This can reduce the frequency of cleanings by minimizing the amount of debris that enters the gutter system.
Add Gutter Guards
Having gutter guards installed by the professional technicians at Austin Gutter King provide protection throughout the year and make them virtually maintenance-free. Gutter guards are designed to keep debris and animals from getting into your gutters and clogging them up. Best of all, they do not have to be inspected or cleaned. Most collected waste can be easily swept off the gutter guard without digging into the muck and grime that would otherwise gather inside the gutters.
Get Started with Austin Gutter King
Austin Gutter King has a team of experienced and skilled technicians and designers specializing in installing and maintaining residential and commercial gutter systems. We have been servicing the Austin area for years, providing high-quality, fast, affordable gutter products and services for your home or business.
For complete information about high-quality gutter guards and the wide range of gutter systems and accessories available from industry experts. Get your gutters in peak condition! Contact a member of the Austin Gutter King team today and let us know how we can surpass your expectations when it comes