For most homeowners, gutter cleaning isn't something they want to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. But when gutters are not cleaned regularly, this neglect can wreak havoc on the home and the wallet. Gutter cleaning is any method or system used to rid gutters of dead leaves, standing water and other debris.
Why Gutter Cleaning Is Important
Gutter cleaning is necessary for several reasons. When gutters are free from debris, rain water is easily directed away from the house, which protects the foundation and the siding from damage. If water flows away from the structure, this also helps keep pathways around the home ice-free during the cold winter months. Gutter cleaning should be done twice a year, just before spring (prior to heavy rains) and late fall, when most trees are bare. Gutter cleaning can be done manually on your own or you can hire a gutter cleaning service.
A Gutter Cleaning Method Involving the Ladder
A variety of different gutter cleaning tools may be used for manual gutter cleaning. If you're not afraid of heights, all it takes is a sturdy ladder, a pail or bucket, a wire brush, a sprayer/hose and a pair of rubber gloves to get the job done. For a medium-sized house, this method typically takes anywhere from 4-6 hours.
A Gutter Cleaning Method Not Involving the Ladder
If you're not the ladder-climbing type, a gutter rake may be the answer for you. A gutter rake can reach up and into gutters to remove most visible leaves and debris from gutters. This method is not as effective as the ladder, brush and spray method, but it is less expensive and "acceptable" (temporarily) if you're short on time and energy. If you opt for this method, you will eventually have to perform a thorough gutter cleaning as gutter rakes cannot remove debris that may be stuck on/in gutters. With any gutter cleaning method, a hose/sprayer must be used to test gutters after the gutter cleaning process is complete. This will ensure that they are in fact free flowing and weather ready.