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November Home Maintenance Reminder: Gutter Cleaning

cleaning gutters

For many homeowners, gutters are out of sight and out of mind. They tend to be something we don’t think about until a problem comes up. In reality, gutters play a vital role in directing potentially damaging water away from your home, so it’s important that gutters are thoroughly cleaned out before winter hits.

The Consequences of Doing Nothing

Gutters overflowing with rainwater are more than just an annoyance; they can cause significant damage in several different ways if not properly cleared out.

  • Heavy debris buildup can cause gutters to become loose or even detach from the house, endangering any people who may happen to be passing by at the time and resulting in the need for repairs.
  • Overflow from blocked gutters or downspouts spills over the sides, which can lead to basement flooding and siding damage.
  • When winter comes, any water still trapped in your gutters will freeze, potentially leading to ice dams. Ice dams may cause water to back up under shingles and leak into your home.

Getting Down to Business

Gutter cleaning is a pain, but it isn’t hard. With a few essential supplies, you can quickly knock out those gutters in one afternoon. Here are a few tips and tricks to follow to ensure a successful, injury-free gutter cleaning experience.

  • Use a strong stepladder (or extension ladder, if your home has more than one story) that is set solidly on level ground.
  • Be sure to wear work gloves to protect your hands. Safety glasses are a good idea too, to protect your eyes from flying dust and dirt.
  • A sturdy bucket is not only useful as a place to deposit the dirt, leaves and tree debris that you scoop out of the gutters, it’s also ideal for safely carrying tools up and down the ladder. Use an S-hook to attach your bucket to the gutter so you’ll have both hands free for cleaning.
  • After you’ve removed the bulk of the leaves and debris, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to flush out anything left behind. For tough downspout clogs, a plumber’s snake may be needed.

Skip the Dirty Work With a Handyman

If you would rather avoid the hassle of gutter cleaning this fall, connect with the experts at Handyman Connection. Call us at 1-800-88-HANDY before the last leaves of the season fall, and we’ll take care of the dirty work of cleaning out your gutters – so you don’t have to!

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