A lot of homeowners typically create to-do lists, even if just in their heads, to help themselves stay organized. We include common daily tasks and basic household chores such as cleaning and doing the laundry, picking up the kids from school, paying bills, and having our cars maintained in our mental checklists.
One thing that often escapes us, however, is to include gutter cleaning in our seasonal list of “to-dos”. The truth is, in the overall scheme of things, we seldom consider gutter cleaning an important chore.
Big mistake. As a homeowner, you cannot afford to think this way. If you’re the type of person who would rather ignore problems until they’re staring you right in the face, it’s important that you realize right now that ignoring the condition of your gutters and delaying cleaning are among the worst things you could ever do.
Gutters are installed in our homes for a good reason: mainly to funnel water away from our home’s foundation. Clogged gutters can cause water to seep into the home where it shouldn’t, and can lead to costly damage, including these issues:
- When debris builds up in our gutters, many insects or disease-carrying pests could infest our homes, creating an unsafe environment for us. The dampness may also attract wood-destroying insects that can slowly eat up the home.
- When roof water overflows, it can cause damage to the home’s foundation. Accumulated water around the foundation could lead to basement leaks and other leaks inside the house. A weakened foundation can also lead to the entire home’s collapse.
- Water may also cascade down our walls and cause them to weaken. Our walls may crack and the parts of our home made of wood may rot.
- During winter, ice caps can build up and cause great damage to our ceilings and walls; possibly even cause them to collapse altogether.
- Water spilling onto the driveway it can make it slippery and dangerous to walk on.
- And your flowerbeds? Overflowing gutters could drown your plants and make a muddy mess of your landscaping.
These are just a few things that ought to convince you to place gutter cleaning at the top of your home maintenance list.
When checking your gutters, however, you should keep in mind one very important thing…safety first!
Checking your gutter is not as simple as other chores like, say, vacuuming your carpets. You need to climb up the level of your roof to check things out, so you need to make sure you take the necessary safety measures. Make sure that you have a sturdy ladder that can reach the required height of your gutters. Before you even attempt anything, do watch out for possible hazards, such as electrical wires that are within reach, or wasp nests you could hit accidentally. Wear appropriate safety gear, including working gloves to avoid hurting yourself as you remove debris from your gutter. Always work from a ladder, and not on top of the roof itself. Better yet, hire professionals to do the work for you!
Gutter cleaning may seem a nuisance, but it is way easier and a lot less expensive than having to repair any damage arising from gutter neglect. You might also want to consider having gutter guards, such as leaf solutions, installed. Take a look at http://www.xteriorpro.com/gutter-guard/leaf-solutions/ to see what gutter guards can do to make the job of keeping your gutters clean much easier.
Lisa Sanning is a passionate home improvement contractor and co-owner of Xterior Pro. She loves writing blogs to share her professional experience, her knowledge on home improvement, and everything in between. Outside work, she is a loving wife and mother to three kids.