What a downpour the other night, huh? It was certainly needed for our vegetation. But the thunder and lightning at second intervals sure felt like the world was coming to an end! Luckily it didn’t but your roof and gutters must have felt it.
Which got me thinking: There is this other topic that doesn’t make the Top 10 list of fun things to do: Gutter cleaning!
Maybe you’re hoping it takes care of itself somehow (“Don’t they clean automatically when it rains?”) Or you are afraid of heights. Maybe you're getting older, and the prospect of climbing up on a ladder isn't as easy as it once was or maybe you put it off for other reasons and skipped that pesky gutter cleaning altogether again and again...
Just 2 Reasons Why You Should Clean Your Gutters - regularly
Many types of debris fall into your gutters over months and years. Leaves, pine needles, twigs and small branches and even debris like plastic bags that fly around in high winds can land in your gutters and stay there. If you have asphalt roofing, granules from the shingles will wash into the gutters too. When left for a long time, organic matter will start to decompose, which over time becomes a heavy weight, pushing the gutters down. You have seen those drooping roof gutters, some even become its own habitat with plants growing in them and thus further adding to the weight.
The perfect breeding ground for your “favorite” pets
If you let dirt accumulate too long, you'll face another problem. Ever wondered why your home and outdoors are infested by mosquitos though you have no lake or pond nearby? Insects love to nest in gutters, and in Florida, with those heavy rainfalls, there is a good chance that you just created a private jacuzzi for them. These pesky insects love water and warm places, which is why they nest in clogged gutters. All they then need is a minuscule opening to allow them into your home as well. Once inside, you know what that means!
2. Clogged Gutters Can Damage Your Home
When your gutters fill with debris, they are unable to drain water from the roof properly. During a heavy rain, water builds up. When it cannot flow freely into and through the downspout it’s provoking leaks and seepage infiltrating the attic and eventually coming into your home. Water might also seep into the wooden frame causing rot that you can't see. Rot develops mold and that is harmful to your health.
Seepage not only occurs in the roof but also in the basement. The primary job of the gutter is to take moisture away from your home's foundation. When gutters don't work correctly, rainwater will begin to pool around your home's exterior where it will cause cracks in the foundation, seep into the basement, if you have one, or promote premature rotting of wooden beams. Once the foundation sustains cracks or rot, it begins to crumble, putting the entire structure at risk.
How to clean your gutters
Simply put: You have to put on a pair of protective gloves, climb up on a ladder and then place your hands (Oh Joy!) into the accumulated gunk before you rinse out the troughs. If you are lucky, the downspouts are not clogged and the water runs down freely. More often than not, this is not the case. Instead of taking rainwater down into the ground and away from your home, it causes a back up. Now the gutters overflow every time it rains. It’s possible, that rainwater and loose gunk runs down your siding each time, leaving streaks of dirt on the exterior of your home? Well, in any case, here is what you do, if you run into trouble:
Power Washing Gutters and Downspouts
First step: Clean out as much gunk as possible by hand wearing rubber gloves for protection. Use a gutter scoop as an alternative for your hands and then place the gunk on a tarp or inside a bucket.
Second step: You don't have to remain on the ladder to perform the power cleaning if you have a telescoping wand for pressure washing. These wands, which can reach a length of over twelve feet, allow you to remain safely on the ground. With such a wand and a U-shaped gutter cleaning tool, you can easily reach inaccessible nooks and crannies in your gutters without having to climb on to any ladder. Pay special attention to the joints as these are areas where dirt and debris tend to accumulate. Begin power washing at points far away from your downspouts and move towards them. Do all the downspouts last to flush out the debris thoroughly. You're done cleaning when water flows freely down. For more information on how to do this job, take a look at our video on The Top 5 Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips.
Please note: Using a telescoping wand with a U-shaped gutter cleaning tool has been tested by us on several job sites and found to be a little hard to control from the ground, especially, when fully extended. Higher water pressure, that might be needed to get caked-on dirt out of your gutters, makes the wand kick back so you cannot keep it steady. Yet lower water pressure isn't getting the job done properly. Additionally, all the washed out gunk falls straight down on you, so be prepared!
Spring is a great time to clean your gutters, especially if you haven't done them in a few seasons, or maybe even a few years. By cleaning them now, you'll better prepare your home for the upcoming tropical storm season that always brings those heavy downpours.
Preliminary Steps Before Cleaning Your Gutters
Inspect Your Gutters and Roof Before Cleaning
Inspecting the roof and gutters before you clean them is essential. The reason for this is, that pressure washing areas which are damaged has contra-productive effects. Make sure all issues are resolved before beginning and contact a contractor for gutter repair if required.
Regular Gutter Cleaning Through Pressure Washing is Smart
Once you’re done inspecting everything, you have two options: Do the job yourself or call us at DPI Pressure Washing.
It's always gonna be a messy job!
I am sure you can relate to this statement. If you don’t mind, go for it! At the end of the day, you will feel proud that you got it done. However, you still might find that you need someone to do a clean-up, like one of our customers stated it:
"There's always a mess that comes out of the downspouts, so you're not completely done when you've finished pressure washing yourself. You still have to perform cleanup", says one of our regular customers in Tampa. He chooses to schedule another pressure washing service, such as cleaning the driveway and sidewalks at the same time “because it just makes sense to do so."
DPI Pressure Washing in Clearwater is your full-service pressure washing company near me that makes your property look like new again. Contact us for your free quote for gutter cleaning or consider one of our whole house packages that make quick work of exterior spring cleaning.
Call us at (813) 991-7243.
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Cell: (727) 565-8722
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Ella May + Luna Marie + Amelie Rose Munoz:
We like to help our Dad to promote his pressure washing and window cleaning business in Clearwater and Tampa Bay. Hope you enjoy this blog ;-).
Charlotta Munoz + kids