Rain Gutter Cleaning

Keep your Rain Gutters Flowing with these Simple Rain Gutter Cleaning Tips

By Mark J. Donovan

Rain gutter cleaning should be on your semi-annual home maintenance list. Rain gutters protect you and your home from water damage. Rain water running off your home’s roof can cause erosion around your home’s foundation, wet basements, and sill and home siding rot if left unchecked. Rain gutters also protect you from getting drenched when you walk out your front door on a rainy day.

Not cleaning rain gutters periodically can also lead to damage around the home’ s fascia boards and possibly lead to the rain gutters themselves ripping off of the home.

Sopping wet leaves and other debris that build up in rain gutters cause water to back up in the gutters. Besides rain water overflowing the gutter sidewalls, the excess weight can literally cause the rain gutters to pull away from the fascia boards.

Cleaning Rain Gutters

You should inspect and clean your rain gutters at least twice a year, once in the late fall time and once in early spring. By cleaning rain gutters in late fall you can be sure to remove any leaves, branches and other debris that may have accumulated during the summer and fall seasons. This way you can ensure your rain gutters will work properly during the winter season, or at least not get so jammed up with ice due to freezing rain water backups.

Installing gutters

Clean rain gutters in the spring time as well to inspect them for any winter ice damage and for removing any debris that may have accumulated in them during the winter months.

Cleaning rain gutters typically requires a ladder, a garden hose with a spray nozzle, and a pair of rubber work gloves. Make sure the ladder is properly positioned on the ground and is fully stabilized. Also do not climb too high up the ladder. A step ladder works best for cleaning gutters, however make sure it is tall enough for the job so that you can safely use it without having to stand on the top two steps.

If you need to use an extension ladder, then place blocking material, e.g. a section of 2×4, inside the gutter to prevent the rain gutter from bending when you lean the extension ladder up against it.

To clean rain gutters, simply remove the leaves and debris from the rain gutters and hose them down with your garden hose and spray nozzle.

When cleaning rain gutters also make sure to clean out the gutter downspouts. Make sure that there are no clogs in them by spraying your garden hose down the downspouts. Don’t be surprised to see a wad of debris flow out the end of the downspout when doing this.

Gutter Shields and Gutter Guards

Though your rain gutters may be outfitted with gutter shields or gutter guards don’t think you are exempt from having to perform periodic rain gutter cleanings. Though these systems help in preventing gutter clogs they are not perfect. Small debris inevitably finds its way underneath them and into your gutters. So even if you have these types of gutter shield systems over your gutters don’t be surprised if you will need to still clean your rain gutters.

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