When it comes to home maintenance, a lot of smaller tasks can quickly add up, both in overall home value, and in helping you save on expensive repairs down the road. And your gutters are no exception. Along with saving your home’s roof and foundation from mold and water damage, cleaning your gutters and downspouts, and clearing them of any clogs or debris, can save you anywhere from $3,000 – $5,000 in gutter replacement costs.
So why is cleaning out your gutters and downspouts so important, and how can you clean them out on your own to avoid costly repairs and replacements? Read on to find out.
Why Gutter Maintenance Matters
While they may seem like a small detail, your home’s gutters and downspouts serve an important role in maintaining your home’s overall structure and foundation wellness. To start, gutters guide rainwater off of your roof and away from the foundation of the house, which is essential in maintaining your home’s structure and preventing water rot.
When your home’s gutters and downspouts aren’t properly maintained, rainwater can pool up on your roof, leading to roof rot and mold. Additionally, without gutters, that rainwater can slide down to your windows, siding, and foundation. This additional moisture can lead to mold and grime, and even cause foundation erosion and basement flooding, weakening your home’s core structure.
By neglecting your gutters, blockages can occur which prevents them from working properly, threatening the overall structure of your home. Thankfully, this can all be prevented with proper care and twice-a-year maintenance of your gutters and downspouts.
How to Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Your gutters should be cleaned out twice a year. Before you start your project, as Home Depot advises, try and avoid cleaning your gutters right after a rainstorm, and always allow a few dry days before cleaning your gutters so debris can dry out to make the project easier, and a bit cleaner, to complete.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
What You’ll Need:
- A Sturdy Ladder
- Garden Hose
- Garbage Bags
- Cleaning Rags
Step 2: Clear Your Gutters
Begin by ensuring your ladder is in a sturdy position and able to reach your gutters at a safe angle. Put on your gloves, grab your bucket, and climb up your ladder to reach your gutter. Start scoping out leaves and debris from the gutters, working in small sections so you don’t compromise safety by overreaching from your ladder.
Step 3: Clear Your Downspouts
Once your gutters are cleared from leaves and debris buildup, move on to clear your downspouts. To do this, grab your garden hose and put it in the downspout from the top opening. If there is a clog, grab your rag and insert it in the gutter while using the hose on high pressure to twist and clear it.
Step 4: Give Your Gutters a Rinse
Continue testing the flow of your downspouts by running the hose water through them, and end your project by flushing out your gutter systems with a final rinse from your hose.
By cleaning out your gutters twice a year – once in the early spring to prepare for heavy spring and summer rain, and again in the fall to clear them of leaves and other debris before the winter months – you can save yourself upwards of $3,000 in replacement costs, not to mention the mold and foundational damage you can avoid from excess water build-up.
Finally, if you don’t feel safe on a ladder, you can always call a gutter cleaning service to come by your home to ensure your gutters are in tip top shape.