What a fast start to Spring this year. You don’t often see homeowners out and about so early in the season starting to check out their lawns and shrub beds. And despite the fact that it’s been a mild winter, the trees around your home have been self-pruning for over four months, dropping twigs, branches, pine and fir needles, bits of bark and wood all over your yard. And this debris is heavier and more of a hassle to pick up than the leaves that might be blowing around your lawn. Ever try pushing a bunch of twigs with a blower? Or with a rake? Spring cleaning is a real chore and gutter cleaning is a big part of it.
That’s because an equal amount of twigs, bark and wood also fell on your roof during the winter. You may not notice it because, more likely than not, all that stuff has slid into your gutters, just ready to cause a gutter clog, if it hasn’t already.
Gutter Cleaning Tips
Since gutter cleaning will have to be part of your Spring clean up, here are 5 gutter cleaning tips to keep in mind before you pull out your ladder.
1. Ladder safety first. Work with a partner, keep the ladder steady, watch out for power lines as you move around your home. You’ll find more ladder safety tips here.
2. Start at a downspout and work out from there. Start anywhere else, and as you clean, debris may get flushed down the downspout. If you have underground drains, your setting yourself up for a clog there. Read about the damage this can cause here.
3. Plan ahead. There’s more to gutter cleaning than grabbing the ladder and throwing debris onto the ground. Whatever’s up there has likely been through numerous rain falls. It’s decomposing. Don’t wind up creating more work for yourself by not having a game plan.
4. Use this opportunity to check your roof. Are there any broken shingles that you can see? How does the last row of shingles look? If you live in an area prone to hail damage, can you notice anything now that you couldn’t see right after the hail storm? It often takes months for damage to become visible.
5. Take the opportunity to consider a gutter guard. This isn’t a job that you like doing, is it? Every year, thousands of homeowners climb down their ladders after gutter cleaning and say to themselves, “I’m not doing THAT ever again!” Consider the features and the performance factors you want in a gutter guard now, so that when you start your research, you’re more likely to narrow down the playing field from hundreds of options to a select few.
Most importantly, don’t forget gutter cleaning this season – it may actually be something you should do twice. Once now, once all the spring buds bloom. The last thing you’d want to do is procrastinate and unnecessarily cause water damage to your home. It only takes one clog and one rainstorm to get water into a basement, for example.
Have any other gutter cleaning tips? Share them with us below. Want a more comprehensive guide to gutter cleaning? Download our free guide by following this gutter cleaning link.