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The Art of Gutter Cleaning
The gutters in your home are starting to overflow, so it’s time to clean the gutters in your home. Many homeowners do this project every year to properly maintain their homes. What you may not realize is that most gutter systems need to be cleaned 3 to 4 times a year in each season. You might be wondering why you should clean your gutters so often? The reason is that trees go through different cycles each season that can clog your gutters.
In the spring, most trees shed seedlings and dead twigs. Spring is also the best time to inspect your gutters for any damage that occurred during the winter snow.
In summer, trees lose their leaves due to heavy storms and strong winds. In early autumn, you should remove early fallen leaves to ensure a smooth flow of gutters. In late fall or early winter, you need to make sure everything is properly cleaned out of the gutter system to prevent ice dams or ice build-up in the gutters. The added weight of frozen water in your gutters can easily cause them to pull away from the siding and in many cases fall off the house. Improper gutter maintenance will result in clogged or damaged gutters and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home’s foundation, siding, and basement.
To properly clean your gutters, rent a sturdy ladder and ask a neighbor to help you. Ladders can be rented from most local rental centers for as little as $40.00 per day. Avoid power lines, trees and windows when using ladders. It’s a good idea to use a ladder stabilizer to ensure your ladder doesn’t crush the grooves or slip while cleaning. Ladder stabilizers can be purchased at most hardware stores for about $30.00. Remember that your safety is more important than clean gutters, so make sure you have someone to help you. Thousands of people die each year from falls and electrocution while working on ladders.
If you have gutter screens or gutter guards, make sure they are not damaged or clogged with leaves and branches. They won’t help protect the gutters if the water can’t get into them properly and the water can just run over them, rendering them useless even if the gutters are clean! Carefully lift the guards so as not to damage them, remove any foliage or debris from under them, and then install them correctly. Pour water over them to make sure they are working properly. Check your drain pipes to see if they have screens on top and clean them as well. If necessary, use a hose to clear any severely clogged drains and make sure to replace any damaged gutters or drain screens. While cleaning the gutters, inspect them to make sure that the fasteners are properly attached. This can usually be done with a hammer or in some cases a screwdriver.
You may find that the spikes that hold the aluminum to the front panel have loosened over time. Push the loose tips back into place or replace them with longer ones for better support. When the gutters are loosened, the slope changes and water will overflow in low areas. Since you have a neighbor to help, this is also a good time to check your roof for missing shingles, cracked vent seals, or bare nails. Make sure you return the favor and help him or her around the house when you’re done.
If you have any questions about gutter maintenance, gutter guard systems, or if you would like to hire a gutter cleaning professional for your home, please contact Henry’s Housework at 301-353-9287. For more information on gutter cleaning, protection systems or our other services, visit our website at http://www.henryshousework.com. We also offer a newsletter on our website with maintenance tips, reminders and discounts on our services every month.
President, Henry’s Housework Inc.
MHIC#65039 Licensed, Bonded and Insured.
301 353 9287
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