Cleaning & Maintaining Gutters
Every year millions of people are injured due to damages caused by improperly maintained gutters. It is usually the case that homeowners neglect their gutters until something goes wrong, meanwhile putting themselves and their homes at serious risk. Installing and cleaning your gutter can be a relatively easy process when you know what tools to use, how to do it properly, and when to do certain things. Here is an informative guide on how to properly maintain your gutters.
The first step in caring for your gutters is removing all heavy debris that may be clogging your gutter systems-to-roofline, such as leaves or any other large objects. You can use a leaf blower or rake to ensure that the gutters are clean, but the safest tool to use is a gutter scoop. Make sure you wear rubber gloves during this process because any dry debris can scratch your hands up if it becomes stuck in your fingers.
Once all of the big objects have been removed, you should hose down any particles that remain using your garden hose and nozzle. You can also use a sponge to do this, but the hose is more likely to thoroughly clean all of your gutters.
Once you have rinsed any remaining pieces off of your gutter system with the hose, you should take another look at it to ensure that there are no major problems. If you notice any damaged or loose parts, now is the time to fix those problems by replacing the damaged pieces. If you have a metal gutter system, you can use steel wool and a wire brush to scrape off any rust or corrosion from the outside of your gutters. This will help them last longer as well as ensure that no loose pieces fall into the gutter itself and break off or fall into the area where you are walking.
Once you have finished checking for any potential problems, it is time to clean out your gutters using your gutter scoop. This should be done once every year, but can be done twice a year if there is heavy rainfall in your area. Make sure that when you are cleaning your gutters out, you are only using a wet cloth. If there is any debris that has been caught in your gutter system for a long time it may be sharp (for example nails) and scrubbing with something like steel wool could cause damage to the inside of your gutters.
Once you have finished cleaning the insides of your gutters, you should clean the outsides of them using your garden hose and nozzle. You can use a sponge to wipe off any stubborn areas if needed, but be careful not to get the area too wet. If there are any stains on your gutters from leaves or other objects, you may want to consider a commercial gutter cleaner in order to remove them.
After you have finished cleaning your gutters, it is important to check your home’s foundation for any potential problems. This can be done by checking for cracks in the foundation of your house and looking at the roofline to make sure there are no gaps between the roof and the house itself.
These two things can often cause water to seep into your foundation and cause damage, so once you have checked for this type of damage it is time to see if there are any gaps between the gutters and the house or foundation. If there are small gaps (less than ¼ inch), then you should use gutter sealant to fill them in. This will stop any water from seeping into the house. If there are any larger gaps, you can use an adhesive to seal them and prevent water damage to your foundation.
Once you have finished checking for and fixing any problems with your gutters, it is time to check them again. You should always do this once a month to make sure that everything is still in working order.
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