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When Benjamin Franklin said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”, he just may have been contemplating his overflowing gutters…
Raise your hand if you have put off cleaning your gutters.
No worries, we get it. It’s a messy, thankless job scooping out wet leaves, twigs, and whatever mystery might be lurking in that clump inside the top of your downspout. … and we haven’t even gotten to picking up all that mess after you come down from the ladder.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road though. Putting off cleaning your gutters — in the spring and in the fall — will inevitably create costly repairs down the road. When you first notice that your gutters have started to overflow a bit, try not to take that for granted. That overflow is the harbinger of more serious water damage to come — to your roof, fascia boards, siding, even down to the foundation of your house.
So do yourself a favor, either get your ladder out every spring and fall to clean your gutters, or hire a service to clean them for you.
Self-Cleaning Your Gutters
If you decide to take on the job yourself, follow these steps:
- You will make it easier on yourself if you wait for 3 solid days of sunshine to dry out the wet leaves and other debris.
- If there are power lines near your gutters, you should consider hiring a professional.
- Wear work gloves to avoid potential cuts from metal gutters.
- You can use hooks to attach a bucket to the ladder for the debris, or you can just drop the debris from the gutters down onto a tarp or drop cloth.
- If using a tarp or drop cloth on the ground, make sure your ladder is not placed on top of the tarp or drop cloth.
- Always access your gutters from a ladder, and NEVER from atop your roof. If your ladder does not reach some parts of your roof/gutters, find yourself a bigger ladder.
- Start at a corner with a downspout. Make sure your ladder is placed upon stable, level ground.
- Never stand on the top three rungs of the ladder.
- Keep your reach within roughly 6-9 inches past the side rails of the ladder.
- Remove all debris that may be blocking or clogging the downspout. If there is a downspout strainer remove it, clean it, and replace it.
- Work your ladder up the gutter run, clearing the debris as you go.
- Once you reach the end opposite the downspout, use a hose to flush remaining debris into the downspout. Try not to spray under the shingles as it can loosen them. Move the ladder back down the gutter run as you flush the remaining debris.
- If the downspout isn’t draining freely, you will need to clear the clog:
- Near the base of the downspout should be a strap securing it to your siding or foundation. Remove this strap and slide the downspout out of your gutter.
- If the downspout feeds into an underground drain pipe, remove the shorter piece of downspout that runs down into the drainage pipe. Clear any debris from the bottom of the downspout, from the shorter piece, or from the drainage pipe.
- Cover the open drainpipe with a bucket.
- Feed the hose nozzle up through the downspout spout, spraying at full pressure as you push it up the downspout.
- If that doesn’t clear the clog, feed a plumber’s snake up through the downspout. When it stops, lock the collar, and spin the line as you feed it farther into the downspout. Then pull it back to release the debris.
- Reattach the downspout, flush the gutters again.
- If any significant water remains standing in your gutters after you flushed them, the pitch of your gutter also needs to be adjusted:
- Detach the gutter hangers.
- Use a level to adjust the slope of the gutter towards the downspout on a 1⁄4” to 1⁄2” descent for every twenty feet of gutter.
- If your gutters sag, install additional hangers.
- Support hangers should be spaced every two feet along the gutter.
- Mark gutter for placement of each screw and ferrule hanger.
- Drill the holes in the gutter lip and fascia, then use the drill again to drive the screw through the ferrule. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation directions.
- Work small sections at a time to prevent the entire gutter system from falling.
- If no fascia board exists, use roof hangers with straps and follow the package instructions. Typical installation involves attaching a hanger across the gutter channel, clipping a strap to the hanger then attaching the hanger under the shingles.
- If there are any leaks in your gutter make sure it is completely dry before repairing it:
- To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints.
- To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the joint.
- To repair holes in the gutter material, use a product that is specifically designed to repair aluminum or fiberglass gutters.
- This is also a good time to touch up paint the exterior of your gutters/downspouts if needed.
- After your gutters are cleaned and properly sealed, consider adding gutter guards. They’re easy to install and keep most debris out of your gutters. There are a variety of options available.
- Once your gutter guards are installed, check them in the spring and fall to make sure they’re clear. If needed, brush off the tops with a small brush, and then run the hose to clear out any small debris that may have entered the system.
If you prefer to have your gutters professionally cleaned, Clark Brothers offers gutter cleaning service.
Comprehensive Roofing Services for Your Home or Business
With an exploration of our roofing services, you will gain valuable insight into how we can effectively meet your individual roofing requirements. We offer comprehensive solutions custom-fit to tackle any problem you may have – be it a minor repair or full replacement job. Our experts are highly trained and well versed in the entire construction process, from helping choose the right materials to making sure that all expectations are met with the finished product!
If you’re looking for roofing services in Roswell GA, don’t hesitate to read through our roofing blogs and learn more about how we can assist you. We guarantee excellent service quality and utilize only the best materials so that your experience with us is reliable, effective, and efficient. Our team will make sure that your needs are met while surpassing all expectations! Contact us now!