Tuesday, March 2

Residential Gutters 101: Damage Causes and Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Homeowners need to take care of every aspect of their property in order to avoid expensive issues and other structural problems. Though you need to focus on everything from mold remediation to plumbing, it’s important that you don’t neglect your home’s roof and gutters.

Gutter cleaning should be done at least twice a year, but you can’t just set up a ladder, grab a bucket, and start cleaning them out. You need to do a little more and avoid making some costly mistakes.

First, you should be aware of how your gutters actually got clogged in the first place. There are several causes of clogged, overflowing, or damage and rusted gutters, including:

  • Improperly pitched gutters — In order for water to flow properly, your gutters need to be pitched correctly. Make sure the slope sits at the correct angle, which is at least a quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter.
  • Poor gutter installation — If your gutters weren’t installed properly, you’ll likely have all sorts of problems as a result. Make sure you are hiring and working with professional gutter installers.
  • Weather issues — Severe weather can cause all sorts of serious gutter problems. Heavy rain, plenty of snow, and ice can be a nightmare for homeowners. In fact, the average roof will collect over 600 gallons of water from just one inch of rain. So make sure you’re taking extra care of your roof and gutters during severe weather.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid making some of these common gutter cleaning, maintenance, and roofing mistakes:

  • Using harsh chemicals to clean gutters — You should avoid using caustic soaps when cleaning your gutters and go for more organic products to minimize the risk of damaging your gutters and home’s siding.
  • Doing everything yourself instead of working with pros — Unless you’re fully aware of how to install, clean, and maintain gutters, you need to consult with professionals so everything looks great.
  • Overreaching — Though you should hire professionals, you still can perform quick and easy cleaning tasks. But make sure you’re never overreaching when doing so. Ladders are heavy and awkward, causing you to try and reach extremely far when attempting to clean your gutters. This can lead to not only gutter and siding damage but serious injury if you or the ladder falls. Instead, take your time and climb down so you can safely reposition the ladder.

As long as you’re focusing on safety and plan on working with experienced professionals, your gutters should be functioning properly and your home will be looking great!

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