Are your gutters full of fall leaves? Take a few minutes to clean them out, before winter officially arrives. Check out our tips on gutter maintenance.
Benefits of Cleaning Out Your Gutters
Gutters are designed to take the water off your roof, and move it off to the sides of your home. Otherwise, water would pour down and pool near your foundation.
By keeping your gutters clean, water will flow away from your home. However, if your gutters are full of leaves and debris, they will overflow with water. This water can seep into the soil, and into your basement.
Keeping your gutters clean during the winter will help prevent ice dams. If you live in a colder climate, clogged gutters can lead to an ice dam.
What is an ice dam? An ice dam is a layer of ice that forms at the lower edge of a roof. It stops the melting snow, rain and water from draining off the roof. As a result the water backs up behind the dam, and can leak into your home causing damage to your ceiling, walls and insulation.
Proper gutter maintenance will help your gutters last longer. If you keep the leaves and helicopters in the gutters, small trees can start to grow. In addition, the gutters will get heavy. They will eventually sag, or separate from the house, and will need to be replaced.
So, are you ready to clean your gutters?
How to Clean Gutters
There are several ways to clean your gutters.
- Leaf Blower: If you are willing to stay on top of it, a leaf blower works great. However, once the leaves get wet, and start to decay, using a leaf blower is no longer an option.
- Gloves and a bag/pail: If you are dealing with wet, soggy leaves, put on some rubber gloves. You’ll want heavy-duty gloves, since some gutters can be sharp. You’ll also need a bag or pail to collect the leaves.
Depending on the location of your gutters, you may need a ladder. Other gutters may be accessed more easily through an upstairs window, or by standing up on the roof. If your roof is too high, or very steep, you may want to hire a professional to clean out your gutters.