The job of a gutter system is to gather rainwater from a roof and channel it towards the ground using a downspout. When it rains, water begins to roll down from the roof's slope area and enters the gutter, eventually traveling through the gutter to the downspout. A robust gutter system is a crucial addition to a home design with wide-ranging benefits, including protecting the home's foundation, preventing soil erosion and basement flooding, safeguarding landscape, etc.
Fundamentally, all a gutter system should collect is rainwater, but it is not always the case. A home's proximity to trees means leaves and twigs can find their way to the roof and from there to the gutters. The backup is a thriving environment for molds and pests. The debris, more intensely the decaying leaves, could create a favorable soil condition for weeds to grow. Materials available in a clogged gutter also attract birds to build their nests. Continued accumulation of organic materials like leaves will break down into thick sludge of rotten leaves. The inconvenient development is not just unsightly; it will render your gutter system useless.
While many people do not regularly inspect their gutters for existing issues, if they do, it could save themselves a lot of time, effort, and money in regular repairs. Please find below a few ways to protect your gutter system from leaves and debris.
1. Trim back nearby trees
Perhaps the most cost-effective and straightforward way to keep leaves and resulting debris away from gutters is to trim branches of trees facing or overhanging your gutters at least once a year before they get overgrown. Trimming trees near home will not only reduce the total number of leaves entering the gutter system, but it will also prevent the possibility of roof damage. It will keep gutters looking good and in optimal health. Just be careful and use the necessary tools and equipment to do it safely. You should take an expert’s help if needed.
2. Regularly inspect gutters and scrape out debris
For your gutter system to work correctly, you must regularly inspect them for existing issues, including the accumulation of leaves, twigs, and debris. Regular maintenance ensures the gutters are in good condition.
3. How frequently should you clean your gutters?
The rule of thumb is to clean them at least twice annually, but if you have several trees near your home and your location experiences heavy storms, the cleaning frequency should increase.
4. Cleaning your gutters
To clean the gutters, all you need is a few tools and readiness to get your hands dirty. Generally speaking, you need a sturdy ladder to climb and wear goggles so the dirt and debris cannot get into your eyes. You might have to use a few other tools, including a dust mask and work gloves. A friend should help you secure the ladder and carefully watch for a potential fall.
While the job may sound simple, it can make you quickly get tired. It could be time-taking and unsafe if you are not careful. Read more about this below.
Should you undertake gutter cleaning and maintenance tasks?
Homeowners without sufficient experience and training should NOT do the job themselves for several reasons.
Each year, more than 500,000 people are treated, and about 300 people die from ladder-related injuries. (Source). Using a ladder to clean the gutter system can put one at the risk of a potential fall, most possibly if the ladder is placed on uneven ground.
No matter the type of ladder used, you still need the help of someone who can keep it steady all the time and hand you the required tools and equipment. Going solo means the need to go up and down the ladder, increasing the chances of accidents and injuries.
Uncleaned gutters are a loved environment for rodents, bees, birds, insects, etc. You also need to keep in mind that decaying leaf matters could have bacteria and mold capable of posing health risks.
If the gutter system is close to a power line, the ladder may come in contact with it, and thus the risk of electrocution exists. The ladder may also damage telephone and cable wires etc. An improperly positioned ladder can also dent the gutters, rendering them ineffective.
The safest way to keep gutters fully clean and healthy
Given the points mentioned above, it makes sense to take professional help to clean gutter systems. A professional gutter cleaning service provider knows the risks, has the needed safety tools and equipment and is fully trained to conduct the cleaning and maintenance tasks effectively.
Morin Gutters offers a wide variety of Leaf Protection solutions for different gutter systems and provides the best solution for your needs and budget. We ensure your gutters have a long lifespan first by using the proper gutter system and then making sure that the system is installed professionally and properly.
To learn more about cleaning leaves and debris from gutters, leaf guards near you, or leaf guards installed in Long Island, please contact us now. Trust expert professionals to do the job right the first time.