Most homeowners don’t think about their gutter until it’s too late; either there is a major leak or foundation issue that alerts them to a problem that quite often should have never happened. You see, gutters are integral to keeping your home in tip-top shape 365-days a year as they redirect water and other elements of nature away from your house.
All you need to do is pay attention to and care for them. Which is easier than you think with our guide on How to Clean & Maintain Your Gutters All Year Long. We’ll show you what to do, when to do it, and explain why you need to do it, ensuring your gutters and home function at their best.
How to Clean & Maintain Your Gutters All Year Long
Most homeowners understand that gutters are meant to be a home’s main drainage system, taking water and snow away from a home’s foundation through the downspout and preventing building up or indoor flooding. What they fail to realize, however, is how quickly they can become damaged or clogged by twigs and leaves, causing improper drainage that can cause costly damage.
Source: Fix.com Blog
Which is why we must be vigilant in cleaning and maintaining them. By doing routine cleanings and repairs you can eliminate issues or head problems off before they bloom out of control. Here’s how:
Maintenance & Cleaning Schedule
Every season you need to care for your gutters, but spring and autumn are the busiest times. That’s because the biggest enemy to your gutters are leaves, twigs, dirt, shingles, branches and other natural debris, which happen to blossom and fall in spring & autumn. Here’s a schedule to follow:
Spring & Fall
- Ideally, you should get up on a ladder every week during those seasons to remove anything inside them that could clog or puncture your gutters. Do this job the same time you mow the lawn so you don’t forget or skip a week.
- If there is a storm it is important to go up and check them immediately afterward; flying debris can loosen or damage your gutters, which you would rather find and repair as soon as possible.
Summer & Winter
- At the start of these seasons go up and inspect your gutter, then check and clean them bi-weekly or monthly depending on the weather.
- Always check gutters after a major storm and be sure to clean snow away in the winter; snow can be heavy, causing them to bend, bow, or break, which can prevent them from draining properly.
How to Clean Your Gutters
If you want to keep your gutters clean and functioning, here is a list of what you need, besides a ladder, and how to do it properly.
List of Tools
- Gloves: Garden gloves can work, but since many times leaves and dirt are wet it’s best to use heavy latex or rubber gloves
- Gutter Trowel: Trowels made for gutters are plastic so they don’t puncture or damage them and thin enough to easily scrape along the inside.
- Hose: A hose is needed to wash away dust and debris when you are done; they can also help you see if there are any pinholes.
- Garbage Bags: Bags are needed to put the debris in.
- Putty Knife (dull) or a Spoon: These are needed to scrape up gunk that is stuck to the bottom.
Step to Clean Gutters
- If you have gutter covers remove them and place them on the roof; then, with gloved hands take the trowel and remove the loose, top layer of debris, like twigs and leaves; you can also use your hands if it’s easier
- Use a putty knife or spoon to get the bottom layer of debris loose and remove it; put everything in a garbage bag and throw it out.
- Take the hose and wash the gutters, checking for proper drainage and holes.
- Make sure that downspouts are clear and debris free; If it is clogged take the hose and run it up the downspout and tap gently to loosen anything that is stuck.
Maintenance & Repairs
Here are the most common issues and how to maintain and repair them:
If you notice your gutters are hanging low or not draining into the downspout you can fix this by installing gutter hangers. Install gutter hangers. They can be placed anywhere along the gutter to hold it up without crimping or damaging it and are easy to install; use metal hangers instead of plastic, which tend to break.
Leaking Gutter End Caps
If your caps are leaking the best way to deal with it is to replace them; just pay attention as caps are either left-side or right-side, so you need to buy the right one. Also, use silicone to seal them on.
If the downspout is loose the water can pool near the house. Lucky for you, all you need to do is buy and attach downspout straps which will hold it level and in place.
Hopefully our guide on How to Clean & Maintain Your Gutters All Year Long will help you keep them working as they should. Our tips are easy-to-follow, so take a few extra minutes to use them so you don’t end up with a big mess.