Fall begins the shift from oppressive summer heat to the cold grasp of winter. With an array of colorful reds, oranges, and yellows, it’s one of the most picturesque times of the year. However, this season also brings falling leaves, twigs, and other small debris, as well as small animals seeking shelter from the upcoming cold. Unfortunately, your home’s gutters are an excellent place for animals to nest and for debris to accumulate.
Gutters serve an important purpose – protecting your home by directing rain away from its foundation and preventing water from pooling on the roof. Clogged gutters cannot perform these functions well and could put your home at risk. Therefore, it is important to keep your gutters clean and free of debris – especially during the autumn months. Consider the following tips for keeping your gutters clean and functional.
When to Clean Your Gutters
Gutters should be thoroughly cleaned at least every six months. Most homeowners choose to perform these cleanings in the spring and fall when debris accumulate the most. If you have many tall trees near your roof or your gutters are clogging more often, we recommend you clean them more frequently or install gutter guards.
If you notice any of the following signs of clogged gutters, you may want to consider cleaning your gutters promptly.
- Your gutters overflow during a mild rainstorm.
- You notice standing water on your roof or water stains on your siding.
- Water does not flow easily from downspouts when it rains.
- You have visible debris or build-up in your gutters.
How to Clean Your Gutters
First, it is always best to hire a professional to clean your gutters. That’s because about 500,000 people are injured each year due to ladder-related falls and the majority of these falls occur at home. However, if you insist on cleaning your gutters yourself, follow these steps to ensure your gutters are cleaned thoroughly and safely.
- Ensure your ladder is sturdy and placed on solid ground. Avoid placing your ladder on loose stone, landscaping rocks, or uneven surfaces.
- Spread a tarp below the area for easy clean up.
- Wear thick rubber gloves and / or use a plastic tool to remove build-up. Check your local hardware store for plastic scoops specifically designed for gutter cleaning or use a child’s sandbox shovel, a plastic spatula, or similar tool to remove debris.
- As you are cleaning, check for sagging, rust, cracking, or damaged areas of your gutters. These will need to be repaired promptly.
- When most large debris is removed, flush your gutters and downspouts using a garden hose. This will clear the remainder of mold, leaves, and other small debris from your gutters and help you notice any areas you may have missed.
- After cleaning your gutters, spray water on your roof to simulate heavy rain and see how your gutters perform. If you notice any issues with water flow during this test, contact a specialist to repair or replace your gutters.
How to Minimize the Need for Gutter Cleanings
Cleaning your gutters can be difficult and dangerous. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the frequency of gutter cleanings.
Repel Rodents & Unwanted Visitors
A few furry neighbors tend to seek shelter and warmth in gutters, especially during the fall season. But mice are not the only unwelcome denizens in gutters. Snakes, birds, bees, and mosquitos can also make their home in your gutters.
Pests can damage your gutters as they nest, and those nests can prevent proper water flow. In addition, insects and snakes can be frightening, annoying, and dangerous in some circumstances. For these reasons, it is best to spray an appropriate repellant if you notice critters in your gutters.
Invest in Gutter Guards
Although it’s nearly impossible to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from falling or being carried up by a gust of air and into your gutters, you can protect your gutter canals by contacting an experienced roofing company to install a gutter guard. These guards allow water to flow freely while leaves and other debris are repelled.
Fix Gutter Damage as It Occurs
Warped, cracked, rusted, and sagging gutters can function poorly and lead to additional clogs. If you notice any of these issues, contact a gutter specialist immediately to repair the damage.
Keeping your gutters clean and functional is an important part of home maintenance. If you clean your gutters effectively and take the necessary precautions to minimize gutter cleanings, you can ensure that your gutters perform their intended function with minimal effort.
Contact Complete Roofing for All of Your Roofing and Gutter Needs
Complete Roofing is a licensed, bonded, and insured roofing company with locations on the Mississippi coast, Alabama coast, North Carolina coast, and in the greater New Orleans area. We clean, install, and repair all types of residential and commercial gutter systems. Our gutter cleaning service also comes with a no-cost roof inspection. If we find any issues during the inspection, our expert roofers can repair or replace your roof.
When you work with Complete Roofing, you receive outstanding customer service, the highest quality craftsmanship, and a variety of resilient materials. Our friendly customer service team can answer your questions and even take the stress out of filing an insurance claim. In fact, we can usually file your claim for you – from start to finish.
To contact a gutter specialist in your area, use the following links for our 4 general areas or click your city for express service:
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Mobile, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Daphne, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Foley, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Orange Beach, AL
Greater New Orleans Roofing and Gutter Services: