Your house has a lot of areas that need regular maintenance, but one that you may not think about very often is the gutters. Your gutters are an integral part of your roof, and if they are not kept well then you might end up paying a large chunk of money for repairs. Gutter cleaning is a preventative measure that helps you to ensure your home is well taken care of and unnecessary repair costs are avoided!
What Makes Gutters So Dirty?
Gutters are intended to be a track that allows water to drain easily from the roof to a place far enough away from you home to avoid any problems. Water drips into the gutters and flows down the drain pipes and away from the house. It’s so simple, that you might be wondering what could go wrong.
Is Gutter Cleaning Really Helpful to Your House?
There are a lot of things that can go wrong and cause clogs or a build-up of dirt in your gutters. Some of the most common issues are these:
- Seeds sprouting in the gutters
- Dirt building up slowly into large lumps
- Leaves clumping up and causing clogs
- Twigs causes blocks (especially when mixed with leaves!)
- Mold and mildew from standing water
- Bird or small rodent nests
- Insect infestations and nests
- Miscellaneous debris build-up
Are all of these common problems for gutters? Yes, but every one of these issues can also be solved by regular gutter cleaning. Plus, when you’re cleaning the gutters you can also take the time to inspect them as you go and see if there are any structural issues you need to worry about in the near future.
No matter what type of area you live in, your gutters will get dirty with something or other over time. This is why it’s recommended that you take the time to clean your gutters or hire a professional gutter cleaning service at least once every 6 months.
Benefits of Clean Gutters
Functional gutter systems are meant to help you avoid problems with water damage. Although you might not notice issues right away, you will definitely feel the difference over time if you have to deal with flooding or water damage in any way. It’s cheaper to maintain a gutter system with regular cleaning and repairs than it is to take care of water damage.
The most common forms of water damage from malfunctioning gutters are foundation corrosion and basement flooding. If you don’t have a basement, you may not experience flooding as an issue inside, although it can still happen outside around your home. However, the issue of foundation corrosion is very serious and can cost you multiple thousands of dollars to fix.
Foundations are made from sturdy concrete, but over time if they were consistently exposed to large amounts of sitting water, they can start to disintegrate and break down. Water usually goes through the gutters and into drain pipes that pour it further away from the house. But, if the gutters and not working properly and the rain water drains down the side of the house, it may end up sitting around the foundation and starting to break it down over time.
Should You Do Gutter Cleaning Yourself?
It’s possible to clean the gutters for yourself if you want to try. Most homeowners dread the job, but it is a necessary part of regular maintenance, whether you do it yourself or hire someone else! If you want to try to clean the gutters yourself, make sure that your house has these qualities:
- Single-story home
If your home is taller than a single story, you may not be able to safely reach the gutters on your own with a ladder. It’s a better idea if you can hire help for a taller house, as professionals will be more equipped to work on taller homes.
- Gutters are intact and not broken
Broken gutters should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid water damage. For this reason, you should hire someone to help you fix the gutters, or patch them up if you know how before cleaning.
- No trees leaning against the gutters or with overhanging branches
If you have a problem of trees to close to your gutters it can make cleaning a more dangerous job for you as you will have to maneuver around the branches.
All you need to clean your gutters is a long hose, a small garden claw, a ladder, and gloves. Set up the ladder nearby your gutters and steady it well. You’ll need to climb up the ladder and dig out the filth and debris that’s clogging up your gutters. You can do this with the garden claw or your gloved hands, whichever works best for the specific type of blockage.
Once the mass that’s clogging the gutters is removed, run water through the gutters and wash off the remaining dirt and any mold or mildew that’s started to form. You’ll know the gutters are clean when water can run through them easily without stopping or standing anywhere.
How to Choose a Great Gutter Cleaning Company
It’s not great fun cleaning your own gutters. In fact, a lot of homeowners list this as one of their least-favorite chores. If you hate gutter cleaning, or if you are not able to safely clean your home’s gutters for any reason, then you should hire a professional gutter cleaning service to do the job for you.
Gutter cleaning services are generally not expensive, although the specific price will depend on your area and how large your house is. These services will do a great job of cleaning out your gutters properly, as well as helping to repair minor leaks and other issues.
If you want to choose the best gutter cleaners in your area, look for a company that:
- Has insurances
You can ask to see a proof of insurance if you want to know this. Any company that will be doing work around your home should be insured, so that you avoid any issues of liability or payment is they get injured on the job.
- Guarantees their work
To make sure you’ll get your money’s worth for the service, find a company that offers a guarantee on their gutter cleaning service. This means you will be able to call them back out if they did a poor job, and they will have to refund you or finish the job properly.
- Comes recommended by others
It’s easy to find online reviews for companies, although these are not always trustworthy sources because they can be faked. Look for local sources of reviews or recommendations, and ask your neighbors and friends who they would recommend.
- Gives prices out readily
Companies that hide their prices are less likely to be trustworthy overall. There should never be a need for a company to hide prices, unless they charge too much or want to get you to add additional things that will cost more than the basic service. If they can’t give you a quote directly or a base price, you might want to keep looking elsewhere.
- Is at least 2 years old
This isn’t a must-have criteria, but companies that are at least 2 years old will be able to prove they at least have some experience in the area. Anything younger than that means they may be very new to the craft and might not do a good job.
- Knows what they’re doing inside and out
You can find out about a company’s knowledge of what they’re doing by asking specific questions and listening to how they answer. If they can’t answer satisfactorily, don’t hire them. You can also ask simple questions like how many people are part of the regular team and how long the service takes, because these will both have some effect on the price of the service as well.
- Specializes in gutters
Roofing companies and other general contracting companies will sometimes offer gutter cleaning services, but it’s better to find a company who is focused mainly on gutters themselves. These companies will have more knowledge on the best practices of the job than a general contractor, and will be the most efficient in getting it done. Also, a gutter cleaning company will be more likely to be capable of making any fixes or adjustments if they are necessary for your system.
Gutter cleaning is a necessary part of home maintenance, because properly working gutters will keep you from suffering water damage issues. If you neglect your gutters, you might have a lot worse problems later on! So, look into cleaning your gutters every 6 months or else hire a professional gutter cleaning service to get the job done for you.