Before you throw away your old wooden furniture, consider how you might give it a makeover.
Get Off That Couch and Go Clean Those Gutters!
Yes, it’s a beautiful summer California afternoon.
But you owe to yourself and your family to maintain your home. The time to clean your gutters is now. Just 15 to 20 minutes of maintenance can help you side step extremely expensive home repairs down the line and protect your most precious material investment against the ravages of water damage, mold, structural instability, infestations, and so forth.
Gutter Cleaning Tactics
1. Identify problem areas.
Leaking gutters can allow water to overflow and cause structural problems, moisture damage to wood, and even cracks in the foundation itself. Once these problems begin, the elements will exacerbate them. Water can freeze in cracks in the winter and make them worse, for instance. Gutter problems can also crack driveways, causes sidewalks to become slippery, destroy landscaping, and invite nasty insects and bees to take up residence on your property.
2. Wear appropriate clothing, and be smart.
Wear suitable gloves, and avoid hazards, like power lines and wasp nests.
3. Trace a methodical path from one end of your house to the other.
Use a hose and gloves to empty out full gutters. Empty the hose down all spouts to clear away all debris. Do not stand or sit on the roof – work from your ladder. Replace lose bolts or gutter spikes as you go. Afterwards, install gutter guards under your spouts to prevent leaves from building up near the spout exits and causing overflow.
If you’re confused — or if you’d like help from experienced professionals — talk to the team at Century Roof and Solar. We can provide a customized gutter cleaning solution. Connect with us for a free consultation today at www.centuryroofandsolar.com, or call us at 510-780-9489.
Gutter Cleaning Tips
Safety First: If you are not comfortable with heights or don’t use tall ladders regularly, cleaning gutters is not a job for you. Consider hiring a handyman to help. If you decide to do the gutter cleaning job yourself, watch out for hidden hazards like electric lines and bee’s nests.
Clean Gutters: Using a ladder, work gloves and a hose, clear the gutters beginning at one end and moving to the other. Always work from the ladder and not from the roof, where you could fall off. If you find any loose gutter sections, tighten them up as you go along. It may help to have a supply of long lag bolts to use when replacing loose or missing gutter spikes. Lag bolts won’t pull out like spikes, so you usually don’t have to do this more than once.
Spray Spouts: When you get to the end of the gutter where the spout is, spray the hose down the gutter spout to make sure it’s clear. If the spout is clogged, water will back up and cause problems. Clearing clogged spouts can be a chore. Try removing the debris from both ends and flushing out the rest with a hose. If this doesn’t work you may need to take the spout apart to clear it. Once the spouts are clear, make sure the discharge end is extended at least 4 to 6 feet away from the house to avoid problems.
Install Gutter Guards: Once the gutter system is cleaned and properly adjusted, consider installing gutter guards to avoid a repeat performance in the future.
There are many types of gutter guards available. Screens can be effective in the short run but eventually allow debris to get through. Clogs will reoccur and can be even harder to clear since the screens will need to be removed first. Leaf blocking guards, which look like a metal louver that is installed above the gutter, are a more costly but more effective option at keeping leaves off gutters. The louvers allow water to leak into the gutter while washing leaves over the side.
No matter what gutter product you choose, it is important that you check gutters periodically as well as be mindful of signs of clogging like over-flowing in a rainstorm. Maintaining a clean gutter is the single most effective way to avoid a whole host of serious and expensive problems.