Last week, we gave tips on and walked you through fall HVAC maintenance; this week, it’s all about clearing and cleaning out your gutters with the following maintenance guide. Fall is a necessary time to check and clean out your gutters due to the increase of falling leaves and the aftermath of summer storms. Additionally, when winter temperatures plummet, this may cause debris and water in your gutters to freeze, causing clogs. The additional weight could potentially cause your gutters to pull away from your home and create further issues.
1. Safety first
Cleaning out your gutters can be a messy task and will require you to climb a ladder to reach your roofline. Use obvious safety precautions such as placing your ladder on level ground, wearing non slip shoes and wearing safety glasses to protect from any falling debris. You will also want to wear thick landscaping/work gloves.
2. Remove debris & foliage
It’s recommended that you clean your home’s gutters twice each year—once in the spring and then again in the fall. Doing so will help to prevent the buildup of leaves, sticks, and other debris. To clean gutters, remove foliage and debris by hand while wearing gloves. You can also use a gutter scoop which can be purchased at most hardware stores and a wire brush to loosen stubborn accumulations.
3. Rinse & flush out gutters
After you have cleared them, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose to remove remaining dirt and leaves. The water will not only rinse out the gutters, but it will make sure that your downspouts are clear, and you can spot any leaks in the process.
4. Repair small leaks
While flushing out the gutters, if you notice a leak, crack or small hole, you most likely will be able to seal it yourself. Simply use a tube of caulk to seal any leaky joints or small cracks.
5. When in doubt, hire a professional
If you are nervous about climbing a ladder, have large leaks, damages or your gutters are pulling away from your home, it may be necessary to hire a professional. For preventative measures, you may consider installing gutter guards, especially in areas surrounded by trees!