GET YOUR GUTTERS IN GOOD SHAPE: HOW AND WHY TO CLEAN THEM
The gutters are one of the most important and, at the same time, most overlooked parts of a house. Sure, you always look at them when you get home - but have you stopped to think about how much they help?
They defend your house from mold, mildew, rust, and other nasty things that could end up costing you plenty in repairs. In return, your gutters only ask that you clean them up every once in a while. And in this article, you'll find out how and why!
Why should I clean the gutters?
Your gutters are there to redirect water away from your house. To do so, they need to be clean and have nothing in them. Once your gutters are full of leaves, stick, and other debris, they no longer can do their job properly. This means water is going to end up somewhere you don't want.
For example, accumulated water will go inside your house. That'll start a mold and mildew epidemic you will soon have to fight. And that'll be harder than cleaning up the gutters.
When should I clean the gutters?
Fortunately for all homeowners, there's no need to get up on the roof to clean your gutters every weekend. In fact, it's more of a seasonal kind of thing than anything else.
So, at the start of each season, you get up there and clean things up. Of course, if you notice an unusual buildup, you should start working right away!
How to repair your house's gutters
1. Safety first, cleaning second
Cleaning the gutters requires that you go up to the roof and stick your hand in places you can't fully see. Not only that, but you'll also do so while standing on a ladder.
Once you realize this isn't a harmless household chore, you need to favor safety over speed. So, take your time when you're cleaning gutters.
And, while you're at it, make sure you're wearing:
2. Take a look before you start removing stuff
Speaking of breaks, you don't want to break anything while you're up there. Because of that, it's always better to take a little peek before you start striking against sticks and debris.
Plus, it's always better to know where you're sticking your hand in. There's plenty of bugs and nasty stuff there. Eyes then hands!
3. Get to work
Once you have your gloves and goggles, right after you took a sneak peek at the gutters, you can begin to work. Take your time, don't take any risks, and avoid unsupported maneuvers. If you must, climb down the stairs, reset your position, and come back up.
There's no need to play gutter ninja when you're cleaning up - because medical bills aren't cheap.
4. Make sure everything is doing okay
Once you've cleaned up the gutters, you need to make sure they're actually clean. How can you make sure of that? Well, it's simple: you have to test things out. Pour some water down the gutters and see if it manages to come out of your downspouts with no problem.
While you're at it, you should also check for rust, mold, and mildew.
5. Anticipation comes third
Remember safety first, cleaning second? Well, it doesn't end there. The third and final part is anticipation.
What does that mean? It's nothing out of this world: you need to make sure things won't get as bad as they could.
For example, if your gutters contain leaves and sticks, try to trim the trees surrounding your house. That way, you won't have such a hard time when you have to do this all over again next season.