Cleaning gutters is one of the easiest do-it-yourself maintenance projects around!
When a leaf falls and no one is around to see it, you can bet that gutter gets clogged anyway (darn!). Fortunately, our tips on cleaning, preventative care, and winter preparation make this chore a snap. Take that, philosophy.
Check it out:
1. Stay ahead of the shedding
You’d be amazed how quickly leaves accumulate. While it’s tempting to pretend there’s an invisible force field around your roof, let’s face facts: those trees are dropping foliage like crazy. And they’re somehow penetrating your magical shields.
Regular gutter maintenance is key, too. Unless you remove those trapped leaves and spiky seed pods, cascades will start forming from your roof. These waterfalls aren’t the kind that attract honeymooners, either. Instead, you’ll have drowned grass or— worst case scenario— a soaked foundation.
But here’s the good news: by cleaning your gutters regularly, you’ll never have to worry about expensive landscaping repairs or flooding. Wondering how to tackle this chore? Take a look at …
2. Pro tips for cleaning gutters
Getting started is easy and inexpensive. Who knows, you might already have these appliances:
- rubber gloves
- dust mask
- safety goggles
- ladder with extensions and— for gutter protection—standoff stabilizers
- plastic shovel: see if your local dollar store has cheap ones in the kids’ section
- tarp: spread it below you for easy clean up!
- garden hose
You’ll probably want to wear a long-sleeved shirt, too. Once you climb the ladder, see if your gutters have covers. If so, remove them. Then remove that gunk with the plastic shovel!
Next, flush away remaining leaf debris with the hose. While you’re at it, check for clogs, too. Increase pressure on the hose and see how much water escapes the downspout. Low volume means you’ve probably got a blocked gutter. If that’s the case, remove the nozzle and feed it down the spout. You can also buy a shop vac with a special attachment or get an extension rod with tongs.
3. Preparing for Old Man Winter
Water collects in gutters. If rain gets trapped by clogged leaves, it could turn into ice.
Here’s why you want to avoid a frozen gutter:
- Ice acts like a barrier, which diverts water into your house.
- They can pull away from your roof and fall without warning.
- Heavier gutters shift, exposing siding and trim to rot.
Insider’s tip: If you really want to make sure Santa can visit this year, keep your gutters clear even after leaves stop falling. His lawyers just sent us a memo.
4. Going pro— hiring a landscaping company
Not sure you want to get your hands dirty? Professional landscapers can do all the gutter maintenance for you. Plus, you won’t have to worry about scaring Santa away.
Prices for gutter cleaning varies, no matter where you live in Virginia. Landscape companies charge more for cleaning castles, gabled mansions and fortresses. Not surprisingly, smaller homes with fewer gutters cost less. Expect to pay anywhere from $125-$350 per visit.
5. Gutter guards— pros and cons
It seems reasonable, right? Just slap a cover on that gutter, and you’re home free! Unfortunately, gutter guards don’t keep everything out. Even the best, most expensive ones won’t prevent you from dodging this chore.
Here’s the skinny:
- Gutter guards raise cleaning costs, since they’ll have to be removed individually.
- Pine needles, seeds, and buds can still fall into gutters.
On the other hand, gutter guards prevent large clogs from forming. Ask a landscaping company if it’s worth having them installed on your house.
Adios for now! Feel free to grab an instant quote from the ‘Cow!
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