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Cleaning Your Gutters 101


Cleaning Your Gutters 101

Did you know that gutters were invented sometime between 3000 BC and 1500 BC? Even ancient architects recognized the need to move rainwater away to protect a structure’s foundation.

We seldom give our gutters much thought and maybe you’ve even wondered if you need them at all. For many homeowners, cleaning their gutters is just another part of spring cleaning. Find out why gutters are a necessity and get the answers to your gutter cleaning questions!

Why are gutters necessary, and why should I clean them?

The purpose of gutters is to collect rainwater or melting snow and release it away from the foundation of your home. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and foliage, it can send a wall of water pouring down on the yard below, saturating the foundation. This water can seep into your basement or cause damage to the structure. Debris buildup can be heavy and pull the gutters off the wall, causing damage to your siding. Don’t forget, pests love to hide in damp, covered areas. If they decide to make your gutters home, it could cause an infestation.

How do I clean my gutters?

There are two options to clean your gutters: do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you opt to do it yourself, you’ll need to prepare properly and have the supplies to do it safely. Because gutter cleanining requires a ladder and the skill to reach awkward heights and angles on your roof, we recommend that you leave it to the professionals!

However, if you decide to do it yourself, you’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands from pests and debris
  • A sturdy ladder and a partner to hold the ladder
  • A garbage bin, bucket, or plastic laid on the lawn to collect debris
  • Goggles to protect your eyes
  • To wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants to cover your arms and legs

How often should I clean them?

This question is best answered based on the climate you live in. A home in a desert-like environment with minimal trees and rain will require less maintenance than a home in a subtropical climate with more wooded areas and rain. If there are trees close to your home, it’s best practice to clean them at least twice a year and up to four times a year in a more heavily forested area. Don’t attempt to clean your gutters in the presence of snow or ice. This is best left to the professionals!

Need to repair or install new gutters? Your homeowners insurance agent may have a list of qualified contractors to properly install them. Speak with your local Lighthouse agent today!