Most homeowners have cleaned their gutters at one point at another, even though it is a task that just about everyone dreads. Although it may seem common to see homeowners cleaning their own gutters – whether they do so on the roof or with specialty tools – there are times when it may be best to call a pro. Learning more about this is important not only for your home, but also for your personal safety. Here’s what you should know.
What’s Involved in Gutter Cleaning?
For the most part, cleaning your gutter is a matter of reaching inside the gutter system and pulling out debris like leaves, pine needles, acorns, twigs – anything that can fall out of the sky or roll off your roof and get inside the system. Aside from cleaning the horizontal parts of the gutter, you should also clean out the downspouts, which are the vertical sections that carry water from your roof and direct it away from the foundation of your home. Though there are tools designed to help homeowners clean their gutters from the ground and protect their safety, these are not as effective as a more thorough cleaning performed on a ladder or from the rooftop.
The Main Reasons to Hire a Professional
Because the best way to clean a gutter involves climbing on a ladder or onto the roof to get a birds-eye view of the debris, many homeowners put themselves at risk every single season to do the job themselves. Of course, some homeowners may have the required knowledge and confidence to do these tasks safely, but many have only a very basic understanding of ladder safety, and others may not take the necessary precautions when working on the roof. Finally, some homeowners simply do not have the time to carry out such tasks on their own, so they rely on professionals to get the job done for them.
Should You DIY?
If you are trying to decide whether you should clean your gutters by yourself or hire a professional, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
- Do you have the required equipment? You will need a good ladder, a bucket or strong bag, and a pair of gloves at the very least. You may also need a few simple tools to remove and replace your downspouts.
- Do you have the time? A thorough cleaning of your gutter system will take the better part of the afternoon if not the entire day. Be sure to plan ahead for this and never rush the task. Hurrying causes injuries and may lead to a damaged gutter system.
- Do you feel confident enough to do it? If you have any fear that something may go wrong, it is often best to call a professional who is well-versed in gutter cleaning.
- Do you have any medical conditions? The last thing you want is to feel dizzy or have a seizure while you are climbing a ladder or working on the roof. In this case, it is always in your best interest to hire a professional.
Consider Professionally-Installed Gutter Guards
If you want to make the processes involved in cleaning your gutters simpler, you might want to consider installing some gutter guards designed to allow water to flow while blocking leaves, twigs, and other types of debris. Contact a gutter professional to learn more about the different types of rain guards and other tools that will work best for you. Different homes require different guards due to the trees in the yard, the local rainfall, and other factors.
Unless you have experience working with gutters, it is always better to call a contractor who can check for issues as he or she removes debris. These individuals have all the right tools, knowledge, and experience to ensure a job well done, and they often stock a variety of gutter materials and accessories to carry out minor repairs on the spot, too.