Cleaning out the gutters and downspouts in your home is something that should be done on a regular basis. But, let's be honest, many homeowners don't include gutter or downspout cleaning in their yearly checklist for home maintenance tasks. Most homeowners don't see their gutters or downspouts clogged so it's easy to forget to schedule the job.
But the problem is that when these get clogged, water gets trapped in there and doesn't flow as it should. If the gutter is clear but the downspout is clogged, then the water gets backed up in the gutter and again, doesn't flow through.
The other problem is that cleaning gutters and downspouts can be a dangerous job. Simply because it entails climbing a latter, sometimes standing on the roof, reaching out while on top of a ladder - all of these can be dangerous for many homeowners. Because of this we do strongly recommend that homeowners use a professional service instead of trying to do this job themselves.
How To Tell If Your Gutters and Downspouts Need Cleaning
Here are 3 ways to tell if your gutters and downspouts need to be cleaned out before any major damage has occurred.
1) During a rain, step outside and check to see if water is coming out from over the top of the gutter. This is a sure sign that there's debris in there.
2) If you notice water dripping from the gutters when it's not raining that tells you there's standing water in there and something is blocking the normal flow of water.
3) If you notice wet spots inside your home, especially where the ceiling meets the walls, that's a sign that should not be ignored. Your gutters in that area may be clogged.
Gutter and Downspout Cleaning Tips
We strongly recommend that you hire a professional to clean your gutters and downspouts. The most obvious reason is that it's simply safer. Our staff is experienced in climbing latters and reaching into the gutters to clean them out. They have the proper tools needed to clean out the downspouts. They can safely test everything to make sure that water flow is running smoothly.
The second reason to use professionals is because it can be done faster - simply because we have more experience.
But, if you are going to work on your own cleanup, here is our list of tips to help you clean your gutters and downspouts.
1) Never do this job by yourself. You should always have another person with you in case of an accident.
2) The tools you will need are:
- A sturdy ladder
- A trowel
- Gardening gloves
3) Once you are up on the ladder only clean the portion of the gutter / downspout that is in front of you. Do NOT overreach as this may cause you to fall off the ladder.
4) Clean out any debris in the gutter / downspout with the trowel and your hands (with the garden gloves on) and discard of this debris by throwing it onto the ground below.
5) Once you have cleaned out the gutter / downspout, you can then use a garden hose to clean out any remaining debris.
6) The most important step throughout the process is to be as safe as possible.
When Should You Get Your Gutters and Downspouts Cleaned?
Most often, the best time to schedule regular maintenance for your gutters and downspouts is at the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter.
If you can only schedule it once a year we highly recommend to do it at the start of winter. Reason is that here in the Atlanta area, we deal with many falling leaves during the autumn and you want to have the gutters cleaned out before winter when rain and snow can cause problems due to clogged gutters and downspouts.
But there are other times that your gutters would need cleaning and that is after a large storm. The high winds associated with a storm will send leaves and debris flying and your gutters will capture some of that.
If you feel that the job is just too dangerous for you then we strongly recommend that you contact a service to do it for you.
If you have any questions about cleaning gutters and downspouts, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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