Time to clean your gutters.
The leaves are starting to drop in the Frisco and Plano area. Pretty, yes. But the dropping foliage is also a reminder about important fall maintenance tasks. Regular, preventative maintenance on your home helps keep your home in great shape, as well as reduce the risk of unexpected and costly repairs.
In the fall, one of those home maintenance tasks is inspecting and cleaning your home’s gutters.
For other fall maintenance items, check out this article.
Why clean gutters?
Your home’s gutters probably aren’t the most visible feature of your home. So, many homeowners don’t think about gutters as a potential risk for unexpected repair expense. But, poorly maintained gutters can cause damage to your home, roof, and even your landscaping.
Gutters are great at directing rainwater away from your home, but they also accumulate dry leaves and other debris causing the gutters to clog. Birds and other small animals start to build nests inside the gutters, which only compounds the problem.
When gutters get clogged, water gets trapped and can lead to damage to the existing gutter system, as well as the roof, foundation, walls, crawl spaces, and landscaping. Additionally, trapped water in the gutter can freeze in the winter and cause excessive damage to the gutter and roof due to the weight. Yikes!
When is the best time to clean gutters?
Ideally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year. At the beginning of the spring and fall seasons. However, if your home has an abundance of trees, a more frequent schedule is recommended.
Cleaning in the fall ensures your gutters are ready to take on the winter and water will flow through gutters and downspouts freely without the risk of freezing. Also, leaves are typically dry at this time which makes the task much easier.
Cleaning your gutters in the spring helps ensure water will flow as needed during the rainy season.
What is the best way to clean gutters?
Now, down to the nitty-gritty. Cleaning your gutters can be a bit time-consuming and strenuous. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are many gutter cleaning services around that are economical and can help you get this task checked off your list.
For those DIY’ers up to the challenge (or just looking to get your Fitbit steps in), here’s a quick checklist for cleaning your gutters:
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, and gloves to protect yourself from debris scratches and cuts.
- Get your ladder ready! A sturdy, extendable ladder that is tall enough to safely reach your gutters is a must.
- Grab a few lawn trash bags for the debris, along with a small plastic scoop to remove gunk, and a long garden hose.
- Don’t forget to check the weather forecast. It’s best to clean gutters when leaves are dry. So, plan on completing this task after a few dry days without rain.
- Place your ladder in a secure position next to your home where you can comfortably and safely reach the gutters.
- Begin by clearing large debris such as twigs, leaves, and nests by hand. Place the debris in the lawn bags for easy disposal later.
- Then use a trowel or scoop to get any gunk remaining. Place in lawn bag for disposal.
- Once you have removed all large debris and gunk from a section of the gutter, use the garden hose to flush the gutter length.
- You can also use a gutter cleaning attachment on the hose as an alternative. These can be picked up at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s.
- Check to make sure water is running freely from the gutter and downspout to the end at the drain area. If the water isn’t running freely, you may need to use a plumber’s snake tool to clear any blockage.
- Check for leaks in the gutter system at seams and intersections. Use gutter caulk to repair leaks.
- Check for any loose or missing gutter hangers and repair as necessary.
- Add gutter screens if desired to keep gutters clear of large debris. This makes the next cleaning easier and helps prevent nesting and damaging clogs.
Maintaining your home helps prevent costly damage and repairs down the road. And proper maintenance and cleaning of your home’s gutters can save you thousands of dollars for roof, foundation or wall repairs.
Whether you decide to tackle yourself or get help from an expert, getting this fall maintenance task checked off your list can save you money and keep your home looking great.
About the Judi Wright Team
Judi Wright/The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano, and surrounding areas. Named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine eleven times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly, Judi is also a Company-Wide Top performer with Ebby Halliday and the #1 Top Small Group for Ebby Halliday Frisco.