There are many components on our roof that are very important. Each part is able to ensure the roof is in good condition. Our flashing keeps water out of the roof, the soffit insulates our roof better, and then we have our house gutters. But what is a gutter exactly? And why is gutter cleaning so important? To find out more about gutters, gutter cleaning, and gutter repair, keep reading below.
What Is a Gutter?
A gutter is a narrow channel that allows rainwater to flow from your roof and onto the ground. How long do gutters last? They will usually last about twenty years but can last longer with the proper cleaning and maintenance. While gutters serve an important function, do you really need gutters? The reason that gutters might not seem worth it is that they can clog easily, which in turn isn’t able to hold a lot of water in the gutter. Because of this, many people choose not to get gutters. You would think that since they serve an essential purpose for a roof that it would be required, but homeowners don’t have to have gutters if they don’t want to.
While many homeowners may choose to opt out of having gutters, it is something that should be considered for a few reasons.
- Protect Foundation: If your home’s foundation gets wet enough, it can cause cracks in the foundation. Having gutters to move rain away from the foundation will prevent this problem from happening.
- Save Your Landscaping: Although rain is very good for our grass, plants, and flowers, having rain flow over the same spot over and over can actually cause grass, plants, and flowers to die. Gutters can ensure that most of the water flowing from your roof doesn’t affect your landscaping.
- Protect Your Roof: Gutters really are there to protect your roof. When rainwater doesn’t have a way to flow off the roof, it can start to pool on the roof. This can cause leaks in the roof, which can then cause damages to your home.
By investing in gutters for your residential property, you can protect various areas of your home from damages.
The Importance of Cleaning Gutters
When you have gutters on the edge of your home’s roof, they will need to be properly maintained. Just like your roof needs regular maintenance, so does your gutters. Gutter maintenance includes gutter cleaning and inspecting it for any type of damages. But how often do gutters have to be cleaned? Typically, you should probably perform gutter cleaning twice a year. However, you might need more cleaning if you have a tree that is close to your roof, a big storm just passed through your home, or if your city is prone to snow and ice. If your gutters get clogged with snow and ice, it can be hard for the gutters to do their job properly. Not only that, but ice and snow can be heavy, which has the ability to pull your gutters away from your roof. So, if your roof isn’t by a tree, hasn’t recently been affected by a storm, or if your city doesn’t get much snowfall, twice a year is a good amount.
Biannually, you will need to clean your gutters. Gutter cleaning is very important because it can reduce gutter repair and your gutters from overflowing. Why is gutter overflowing a problem? Overflowing gutters cause the water to not flow through easily. Gutters can start overflowing because of leaves and debris; when the futter is too full of leaves and debris, the water that is trying to flow through will instead flow from the sides of the gutter. This can cause a ton of problems for your gutters, as well as your home.
Tips and Steps for Gutter Cleaning
In order to avoid gutter repair, knowing how to clean your gutters is important. You can call a professional roofer to take care of this type of service, but if you want to do it yourself, it’s important to know the correct ways to do it.
Before you start cleaning your gutters, it’s important to have the proper tools and equipment. To protect yourself while cleaning your gutters you will need goggles, gloves, a plastic scope, a plastic bag, long sleeve shirt, and a ladder. All of these things are able to protect you, as things like insects and animals can be nesting in your gutters. If you clean gutter without ladder or you don’t have a ladder, you are able to use different types of tools like vacuums or tongs. Now that you have the necessary gear and tools, you can start cleaning your gutters.
- Remove Debris: Wearing your gloves and using the plastic scope, remove all of the debris and leaves from your gutters. Instead of throwing all of that on the ground and ruining your lawn, use the plastic bag to discard debris and leaves.
- Flush Out Gutters: When you have removed as much as you can by hand, you will want to clean the gutters better by using a hose to wash out the remaining leaves and debris down the downspout of the gutter.
- Use Hose Up the Downspout: If you notice that the water is pooling in the gutters, there might be a clog in the downspout. Using the hose, place it at the exit of the downspout and shoot water up there. This will loosen up any debris and leaves that are stuck in the downspout.
Types of Damages Gutters Can Cause
By not getting the proper cleaning for your gutters, it can lead to unnecessary gutter repair, as well as repairs around your home.
- Gutters that aren’t cleaned can lead to clogs, which will then lead to leaks on your roofing system.
- Insects and animals love to build their nests in gutters because of the leaves and debris; these critters can pull the gutters away from the roof and damage them.
- When a gutter is too full of leaves, debris, and water, it can cause issues with the fascia.
- The gutter brackets can start to pull away from the roof when there is too much in the gutters.
- When water starts to overflow from the gutters, it can drown your vegetation.
- Your home’s foundation can be at risk because too much water can cause cracks in the foundation.
How Do You Fix Gutters?
Depending on where the issue lies is going to depend on what kind of gutter repair will be needed.
- Leaks: If there are leaks in the gutters, then you can adjust the gutter’s hangers, use caulking to seal holes, or you can use cement.
- Pooling Water: Water that pools by your foundation will need to be fixed. Adding a diverter will cause this not to happen.
- Section Are Loose: Parts that have become loose will need to be refastened.
- Sagging Gutters: Gutters that sag due to water, debris, and leaf clogs need to have their hangers replaced or the gutters need to be re-seated.
You can try attempt gutter repair on your own, but it’s always a good idea to call a professional roofer. When you need heat repair service you usually call an HVAC technician, so why not call a roofer to provide gutter repair services? If you need gutter repair in Richmond and Charlottesville, VA, call the licensed roofers at Superior Roofing, LLC by dialing 804-593-3047 today.