Your home’s rain Gutters work hard for you all year-round, diverting rainwater and melting snow from your roof. Unfortunately, leaves and debris accumulate in your Gutters and, because you can’t easily see inside them, you may end up with a big problem before you even know it. Clogged Gutters may cause overflow, which can in turn cause water damage to your roof and fascia.
In addition, gutter overspill can pool around the home’s foundation, degrading the home’s stability, encouraging the growth of mold, and potentially home flooding. In you live in a snowy climate, clogged rain Gutters contribute to the formation of ice dams that can cause severe roof damage and leaking. Take these proactive steps to avoid clogging in rain Gutters, or to deal with clogs once they occur.
Roofing contractors recommend that homeowners clean Gutters at least twice each year, more often if you have dense vegetation around your property. If you plan to clean out your own Gutters, do so after a few dry days so that accumulated debris is less heavy – and messy – to deal with. You will need a garden trowel, safety ladder, buckets, garden hose, gutter cleaning attachment, work gloves, and eye protection. You should also have gutter repair tools and supplies at the ready, should you discover leaks or damage. Working on your Gutters from a ladder carries a myriad of risks, not the least of which are potential proximity to power lines and the risk of injury from falling. Unless you are comfortable working on a ladder, it may make more sense to contact a professional roofer for periodic gutter maintenance… especially if you own a 2-story home.
How to Unclog Gutters
So you got busy and forgot to do your roof gutter maintenance, and now you have a clog. The first step is to find where the clog is. The location of water overspill is not necessarily a reliable determination of where the clog is. Clogs can exist in almost any gutter location, including the downspout, and you will have to do some sleuthing under mounds of wet leaves and other debris to find it. Once you find the clog, use extra care when trying to dislodge it, lest you damage the gutter, roofing surface, or fascia.
Prevent Rain Clogs with Rain Gutter Leaf Guards
Residential roofing contractors specialize in helping homeowners resolve rain gutter issues, including clogs and overspill. The best approach to clogged Gutters is prevention, which can be achieved through periodic maintenance or – more effectively – with the installation of Gutter Guards. Gutter protection comes in a variety of forms, including brushes, metal or synthetic mesh or screening, internal filters, and strainers. Although you can find DIY leaf guards, these products are often difficult to install, ineffective, and potentially dangerous. Leaf guards must install securely and be rated to handle significant weight and wind speed. Look for low-profile leaf guards to offer the most aesthetic level of gutter clog prevention.
Autumn marks the beginning of clogged gutter season, so it’s best to install your Gutter Guards during the summer. A local, licensed roofing contractor will be best qualified to explain your rain gutter leaf guard options and to recommend the most effective – and cost efficient – option for your home. The good news is that you won’t have to risk going up the ladder again… at least not until time to install the holiday lights!