Of all the tasks homeowners perform each year to keep their home in tip-top condition, cleaning the gutters probably falls somewhere near the bottom of the favorites list. Despite this, it is a task that must be done to prevent everything from destroyed landscaping and roof leaks to problems as detrimental as foundation cracks. Below are some tips from the experts to help you save time when it comes to gutter cleaning.
Keep Branches Trimmed Back
Most of the debris that makes its way into your gutter system falls from tree limbs and branches that extend over your roof. This means that one of the absolute best ways to reduce the frequency and extent of gutter cleaning is to keep those branches and limbs trimmed back as much as possible. Unless you are trained in the proper way to remove them, it is best to hire a professional tree trimmer to do this job for you. It will make a tremendous difference in the amount of debris that finds its way into your gutter system.
Consider Using Rain Chains
Rain chains are decorative replacements for downspouts that can give your home some serious character and charm. They come in various styles and sizes so there’s something for everyone regardless of their personal sense of style. Downspouts serve a very important purpose as they direct rain and meltwater from your roof into “safe areas” away from your home’s foundation, but because of their very nature, they tend to become clogged from time to time. By replacing them with rain chains, you can save a great deal of time on your gutter cleaning duties.
Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are pieces of equipment that are designed to allow water to flow while blocking the entry of leaves, twigs, and other types of debris. They come in many different styles, including foam guards that fill the inside of the gutter system and serve as filters and mesh guards that fit the top of the gutter and prevent even the smallest debris from entering. There is truly something for every homeowner here, and while gutter guards can never do away with the need to clean your gutters completely, they can make the task much, much simpler and save you a great deal of time. Be sure to consult with a gutter contractor to determine which gutter guards are best for your needs.
Hire a Professional
Finally, if you’ve already trimmed your branches, installed gutter guards, and/or swapped your downspouts for rain chains and you still don’t have time to clean your gutters, you can always schedule a professional gutter cleaning once or twice a year. Most of the time, these are carried out by roofing contractors or local handyman services, and the overall cost will depend on the size and style of your home and gutter. The gutters on a larger multi-story home will cost more to clean than those on a small single-story home, for example. Call around and get a few quotes before deciding on a company.
Cleaning your gutters is never fun, but it is a necessary task that can protect the very structure of your home. Follow the tips above to keep cleanings to a minimum and make them as simple as possible when they are required. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to rely on a professional to help you with all your gutter cleaning needs.