Gutter Care: When Did You Last Clean the Gutters?
Gutters are an element of your home that is often forgotten, but there it shouldn’t be ignored. See why gutter care and maintenance are important for your home.
Proper gutter care is an important part of the long-term well-being of your home. Gutters are there to control rainwater flow which protects your walls, foundation, roof, and landscaping.
When you neglect your gutters, they can turn from a necessary tool into an absolute nightmare.
When gutters get clogged with sticks, leaves and more of nature’s debris they can cause a roof to start to leak. This will lead to expensive roof repair.
They can also be the cause of other exterior and interior damage to your home.
On top of that, clogged gutters make a great home for rodents, pests, mold, and bee infestations.
Ignoring your gutters can end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the many factors in proper gutter care.
Ignoring this will leave a ticking time bomb above your head.
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
Much of this question depends on where you live and, even more importantly, how many trees you have.
In general, you should plan on maintaining your gutters every spring and fall. Put reminders on your calendar so it doesn’t slip your mind.
In the fall, you’ll want to get gutters cleaned out after all of the leaves have fallen from the trees. This is especially true in northern areas of the country.
In the spring, maple trees have those annoying helicopter seeds that get stuck in everything.
This includes your gutters.
Make sure gutter care is performed after all, or most, of these have fallen. Then you’ll be pretty much set until the fall.
Don’t Forget the Downspouts
It’s also very important to clean out the gutter’s downspouts.
When your gutter downspouts get clogged it makes it difficult for rainwater to flow down. This can cause the gutters to back up and overflow, which can easily cause damage to your home.
Generally speaking, you can tell how often you’ll need to perform gutter care based on the rate the leaves are falling. Also, the types of leaves that fall are important.
When you notice a lot of leaf fall on the ground, take a look at your gutters and see if they need maintenance.
In most areas, getting your gutters cleaned twice a year will do the trick.
Remember, a little maintenance now will save you from a lot of water damage later.
Gutter Covers Can Reduce Debris and Lower Maintenance
Gutter cover leaf guards work to reduce the need for gutter care. They don’t, however, completely eliminate the need.
Un-covered gutters require maintenance every 5 – 6 months. When you install gutter covers or screens, you may only need maintenance performed every 1 – 3 years.
With gutter covers, how often routine maintenance needs to be performed will depend on two factors:
- The quality of the cover used
- The types of trees living in your yard
Even with gutter covers in place, it’s a good idea to climb up on a ladder and do a visual check about once per year. If you have trees that drop a lot of debris, take a look at the gutters every 6 months or so. In the piney woods of East Texas, call on the roofers in nacogdoches tx to help you get your gutters cleaned up.
It’s important to understand that a gutter cover isn’t going to keep all debris out. About 15-20% of the debris can still get through the guard.
Because of this, you’ll still need to occasionally remove the guard and clean out the gutter. In a lot of cases, you’ll need a professional to do this for you.
That quality of your gutter covers matter.
If your goal is to reduce the need for regular gutter care, it’s important to purchase high-quality gutter screens and covers.
Talk to a professional to make sure you purchase covers that are strong enough to hold up to the elements. You also want them to suit the types of trees you have in your yard.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation.
In most cases, gutter covers will run you between $1,500 to $2,000. That’s a small price to pay when you consider what it would cost if your home floods.
Of course, the total cost of your gutters will depend on the length of gutters you need and the size of your home.
Should I Do Gutter Maintenance Myself or Hire a Pro?
Yes, gutter cleaning is something that most homeowners can do on their own. But cleaning out gutters can be dangerous work.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, ladder falls account for over 164,000 emergency room visits each year. Of those, around 300 result in death.
That’s a scary number.
Before you get up on a ladder, make sure it’s sturdy and that all steps are stable. Climb up on the first two steps to see how level the ground is.
If the soil is soft, put some plywood under the ladder’s legs. Also, make sure you don’t rest the ladder on the gutters. The added weight pressing against them could make them collapse.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional
First, you’ll remove the fear of a fall or injury. The biggest benefit of hiring a professional is your own safety.
Secondly, a professional knows exactly what to look for when they’re performing maintenance. They can spot problems and stop them before they get worse.
Think of it this way: prevention is measured in pennies. Repairs or replacements are measured in dollars.
When you hire a professional, they should remove all debris from the gutters, roof, and downspouts. They’ll also check for and repair any loose spikes.
Costs can vary, but you should expect to pay between $75 to $250 for an average sized home.
Again, this will depend on the size of your home and the length of your gutters. If maintenance has been neglected or it’s a large-scale job, you could expect to pay more.
Finally, before you hire someone to do the work for you, make sure they carry liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
This must be in place for them and anyone they bring to assist on the job.
Final Word on Gutter Care
Gutter maintenance is important to the health of your home. By spending a little money now, you’ll save yourself from costly home repairs in the future.
Give us a call today at the Chicago Roofing Army and we’ll get everything taken care of for you.
We’ll see you soon!