Are you getting ready to decorate your home with holiday lights? Then we recommend taking advantage of your rooftop presence to clean the gutters and downspouts, preparing them for this winter’s storms.
This time of year, your roof and/or gutters will be filled with leafs, twigs dirt and other debris that has been dislodged via fall winds and rainstorms. This creates the perfect storm (pun intended) for serious damage to your home’s roof and structural elements.
Clean Gutters Are an Important Exterior Maintenance Chore
The gutters and downspouts are a very important part of your home’s “passive maintenance system”. They direct water from your roof, down and away from your home’s exterior and foundation. When gutters become clogged with leaf material and other debris, water runoff can no longer move in a desirable direction and problems ensue:
- Waterfalls over doorways and overhangs. Firstly, water that would have moved “down and away” will simply spill over, forming a waterfall that building occupants must walk through in order to enter and exit the building. Not only is this a nuisance, it can also create a health and safety issue on slippery stairs and walkways.
- Gutters can rip off the building. Your gutters are only designed to accommodate a certain amount of weight and stress, calculated with the idea that they will be clear of accumulated debris. As debris builds up, the weight pressing down on gutters becomes more than they are designed to hold. When gutters rip away from the building, they can cause costly structural damage and – again – you risk a serious health and safety issue if they fall on passersby.
- Accumulated water leads to long-term damage. From dramatic leaks to more subtle moisture damage as a result of rot, mold and/or mildew, long-standing water poses a serious threat to your home or business. Cleaning the gutters at least once or twice a year ensures water is diverted as it was meant to.
Is Gutter Cleaning a DIY Job?
While gutter cleaning can be done on your own, it’s imperative that you use proper safety equipment and best practices to prevent an injury.
- Make sure your ladder is in good shape and that it is firmly planted on the ground.
- Do not ascend any higher than your ladder recommends.
- Use gloves, safety goggles and a mask to protect yourself from falling debris.
Now it’s time to clean:
- First, you want to remove the debris using a shop vac or a trowel paired with a garbage bag. Remove as much of the solid debris as you can so it doesn’t clog up the downspouts when you continue to the next step.
- Use a high-pressure nozzle attached to your garden hose to rinse dust and the small debris particles towards the downspouts. Scrub the gutters with a soft scrub brush, being careful not to remove the gutter’s protective coating, for best results.
- Use a hose or auger to continue moving debris all the way down and through the downspouts.
- If they aren’t there already, install leaf screens at the juncture where the gutters meet the downspouts to prevent unnecessary clogs. Replace any screens that show signs of wear or visible cracks or holes.
It is highly recommended that you hire professional roof and gutter cleaners if you are at all uncomfortable with heights, or if you live in multi-story building.
Want to scratch an important fall chore off your “to-do” list before the holiday season? Call Jorge at Proman WC to schedule an appointment, 425-908-9121 or 510-478-4880. You can also send us an email: email@example.com