They do their job quietly, without expectation of praise or spotlight, but when the time comes, your rain gutters require attention and care. It may seem unnecessary or overwhelming at first to clean out your gutters, but this is a mandatory task that should become a regular part of your home maintenance routine.
Why Are Rain Gutters Important?
The primary purpose of rain gutters is to direct water away from your home and its foundation. Without gutters, rainwould fall, puddle, and erode your home’s foundation and façade. Gutters are used to channel that water safely away from your home, preventing damage and flooding. For more information on the purpose of rain gutters read our article, Why Does My Home Need Gutters?
When Do I Need to Clean My Gutters?
It’s best to clean your rain gutters twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. There are several reasons these are the best times of the year for this task:
- Summer is a prime time for rain, and winter is a prime time for snow; both require your gutters to work properly. By cleaning your gutters in spring and fall, you are helping them protect your home during the wet seasons.
- Cleaning your gutters in fall allows you to get everything out before it freezes, and cleaning your gutters in the spring lets you remove debris that has frozen in your gutters over the winter.
- Cleaning your gutters during the milder months will save you from getting a sun burn or frost bite!
If your gutters are near a pine tree or directly under branches, you may need to clean them more than twice a year. For more information on when to clean your rain gutters, read our article, How Often Should I Have My Gutters Cleaned?
How to Clean Your Rain Gutters
There are three primary steps to your rain gutter maintenance regimen. Each one is crucial to keeping your gutters working at maximum capacity, so be sure to complete each part. Remember to never overexert yourself and to call in a professional if the process is out of your comfort zone. Never climb on your roof while cleaning your gutters; always use a ladder and work your way around the perimeter of your home.
To begin, choose a starting point along the track of your gutter. Position your ladder so the gutter is within a comfortable reach. Slowly make your way around your gutter system emptying any leaves, twigs, or debris that may be lodged in your gutter’s track. Try to clear as much sediment as possible out of your gutters as this can build up and cause blockage.
While cleaning your gutters, examine the other aspects of your rain dispersing system. This includes your downspouts, spikes, and seams. You may need to completely remove your downspout in order to clear the debris inside.
If you notice any problem areas, you should repair them immediately. Common gutter repairs include
- Patching holes
- Re-spiking gutters
- Sealing cracks
If you notice substantial damage or if your gutter system is getting old, contact a professional for a thorough repair consultation.