Now that we are fully into springtime and winter is behind us, you’re probably thinking about home maintenance projects. There is plenty to do after the harsh weather has taken its toll. One of the most important projects is to take care of your gutters. With some helpful tips for cleaning gutters, you can tackle this chore with ease.
No matter the season, your home deserves some TLC. One of the best ways to care for your house is to be sure you have adequate homeowners insurance. The friendly agents at Lake Region Insurance Agency can help. Stop by any of our Greater Minnesota offices for a free insurance review.
When is the Best Time to Clean Gutters?
Gutter maintenance is unlikely to be high on your list of favorite activities. But it is a critical component of caring for your home. Fortunately, cleaning the gutters is not something you have to do frequently.
Typically, you should tackle this project every six months. Most homeowners choose to do this as part of their spring cleaning after winter is over. Cleaning out your gutters this time of year helps to keep them working well when the rains come.
On that schedule, you’d do another cleaning after summer ends. Again, you will be able to clear the gutters of leaves and other debris before winter weather arrives.
As is often the case with home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t let clogged gutters create problems for you at an inconvenient time.
The Cost of Neglect
Your home’s gutters have one job. They collect precipitation from a home’s roof to direct it away from the house’s foundation. This process protects your house’s roof, siding, and foundation.
As with any kind of pipe, gutters need to be free of obstructions and blockages to fulfill their function. When something blocks your gutters, rainwater can accumulate and overflow.
Where does the water go when it overflows? It goes to the very place you want it to avoid: your home’s foundation. When water ends up near the foundation, it can seep into your basement or crawlspace.
This issue creates a domino effect of problems since water in the basement can translate into mold growth. And mold can require expensive remediation to keep you and your family safe. Furthermore, foundation repair isn’t cheap. Homeowners can easily spend $10,000 or more to fix damage to this part of their house.
So routine maintenance on your gutters is vital to saving yourself time and trouble in the long run.
Tips for Cleaning Gutters on Your House
When it’s time to handle this chore, there are some simple steps to follow. These tricks and tips for cleaning gutters will help you finish quickly so that you can enjoy the spring weather.
1. Let a Scoop Do the Dirty Work
If you’ve avoided cleaning your gutters because the job is gross and tedious, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are some ways to streamline the task and minimize the “yuck” factor.
The debris that accumulates in your gutter tends to be organic material that decomposes, such as leaves. When this stuff begins to break down, it can congeal into a pretty gloppy mess.
If scooping slimy matter out of a pipe with your hands doesn’t appeal to you, there’s good news. A plastic scoop cleans gutters efficiently and keeps your hands cleaner in the process.
Once you’ve eliminated the significant blockages, make sure you flush your gutters with a hose. This way, you can be sure you’ve thoroughly dislodged all foreign substances, big and small.
2. Be Smart About Ladder Safety
Ladder-related accidents account for about 300 deaths each year in the United States. So safety is critical during a gutter cleanout. To help keep yourself safe, follow some basic common sense steps:
- Don’t use the ladder when you are all alone. Let someone know that you will be up there. Ideally, have another person on the ground to help keep the ladder stable.
- Consider purchasing a ladder stabilizer for added safety, especially if you choose to work alone.
- Make sure the ladder is tall enough for the job so that you can safely reach the gutters. Overreaching is one of the top causes of falls from ladders.
- Follow all safety guidelines for your ladder.
3. Dress for the Job
Gutter cleaning is a dirty job, so be sure to wear old clothes. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts give you the most protection.
Gloves, a mask, and protective eyewear are also good ideas during this project. Debris can fly up at you as you work to dislodge blockages in the gutters. For ladder safety, be sure to wear sturdy shoes that will stay tied.
4. Have a Plan for the Debris
You might be wondering what you’re supposed to do with the gunk you scoop from your gutter. You don’t want to drop it on your yard or patio, or you’ll be doing double the work to clean it all up again.
Place a tarp below where you can drop all the debris. This step will make it simpler to gather and dump in with the yard debris. For smaller jobs, you could keep a bucket with you and empty it as it fills.
5. Consider Calling in the Pros
Do you have a bigger home or one that’s two stories or higher? Then one of the best tips for cleaning gutters is to hire a professional.
Although it requires an outlay of money, hiring a pro gets the job done quickly and safely. It also doesn’t force you to give up your sunny weekend to clean out the gutters. It’s a win-win!
Protect Your Home with Lake Region Insurance Agency
Your house is probably your most significant investment. Make sure you protect it with sufficient homeowners coverage. The Lake Region independent agents are here to serve you. From auto to life to homeowners insurance, our team can find just what you need.
Lake Region Insurance Agency has been serving the communities of Cokato, Willmar, and New London, MN, since 1970. Let our experience guide you as you choose the best protection for your home and property. Reach out today to get started.