It's that time of year again! The leaves have changed colors, and most have fallen. The air is getting crisp, and your gutters are most likely full of leaves. Like most homeowners, you probably don't give your gutters much thought until they start causing problems. The truth is, keeping your gutters clean is an essential part of maintaining your home. In this blog post, we'll discuss why cleaning your gutters before winter is important and how to do it properly.
Why You Should Clean Your Gutters Before Winter
One of the most common problems when gutters are not cleaned regularly, is "ice dams." Ice dams form when melting snow cannot travel down clean gutters and refreezes at the edge of your roof, creating a barrier that prevents additional melting snow from draining properly. Improper drainage can cause water to seep into your home through cracks in your roof, foundation, or windows. This is especially common in older homes with drafty windows and doors. Not only can this lead to costly repairs, but it can also create a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Tips for Safely Cleaning Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters can be a dangerous job if you're not careful. That's why taking some safety precautions is vital before you start.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges.
- Use a ladder stabilizer or have someone hold the ladder while you're working.
- Take your time and be careful not to put too much strain on your back or arms.
Before you climb the ladder, there are some helpful tools you will want to gather:
- Garden hose
- Gutter scoop
- Leaf blower (optional)
Start using the gutter scoop to remove leaves or debris from the gutters and put them in your bucket. Next, use the garden hose to flush out any remaining gunk and debris. Be sure to aim the hose towards the downspout so the water can flow freely. Doing this will also allow you to ensure the gutters and downspout drain properly. Finally, use the leaf blower to remove any debris clinging to the outside of the gutters (this is optional).
Cleaning your gutters before winter is in full force will help extend the life of your roof and gutters. Additionally, a clean roof and gutters will help protect your home from erosion, foundation damage, and mold.