Though the debris that builds up in the gutters isn’t as bad in the summer as the fall, that doesn’t mean you should skip cleaning it out until later.
Especially in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of ways your gutters can get clogged in the summer months. Even if it hasn’t rained particularly hard that year, strong winds can blow leaves off the trees, and you might even find some firework debris after the holidays.
Now add in the fact that it probably did rain all spring, meaning the gutters have had sitting water in them all summer. Standing water is the perfect place for mosquitos to breed, and nobody enjoys the feeling of being eaten alive while they’re trying to enjoy their last backyard barbecues.
At Homemasters, we offer reliable gutter cleaning services at affordable rates around the Portland-Vancouver metro area, including Salem and Battle Ground. Contact us today to get your free quote!
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
At the very least, we recommend cleaning the gutters out twice a year: once during the spring, and again later in the fall. For those living in the Pacific Northwest, though, you may need to clean them out once a season, especially if rain and wind regularly cause debris to clog.
Despite the importance, spending the afternoon cleaning out your gutters can be an unpleasant experience for the homeowner. At Homemasters, we aim to take care of this necessary maintenance so you can get back to the things that matter.
Why Do I Need to Clean the Gutters?
When they’re clean, gutters gather the water that collects on the roof and moves it through downspouts away from the home. The purpose is to keep the home’s foundation dry and protected. Because both the downspouts and gutters themselves need clear pathways to function, clogged gutters can lead to an overflow of water.
Without anywhere to go, water fills up in the home’s gutters and ends up pouring out into the foundation. Don’t think it stops there, either! If the foundation isn’t in good condition to begin with and, if there is a lot of overflow, water can end up in the crawl space or in your basement.
Repairing a foundation is no cheap task either, costing nearly $10,000 in the worst case. If the basement was soaked, then you may need to fix a mold problem as well.
Clogged gutters can also cause extra strain on the roof and the boards behind the gutters known as fascia. Gutters that are too full can even collapse, which could damage the roof’s shingles and the outside of the home.
Simply put, routine cleaning saves you tens of thousands in the long run. It’s a no-brainer.
DIY Gutter Cleaning
For many, it’s worth the cost of hiring a reliable professional to get the job done, but if you have a free afternoon and the equipment to spare, it’s not a difficult task.
Having the right equipment on-hand makes all the difference for efficiently cleaning out the gutters. Aside from a tall ladder, you’ll want to have a few extra items before you get started:
- Extension ladder, if you don’t already have one
- Standoff stabilizer, to avoid putting pressure on the gutters and to keep you stable
- Hand trowel, so you don’t need to manually remove the gunk
- Garden hose
- Spray nozzle for pressure
- Dust masks
- Rubber gloves
You’ll also want to let someone know that you plan to work near the roof and how long you’ll do so. That way, someone knows something is wrong if you become injured and unable to call for help.
That said, it’s smart to have someone spot you as you clean your gutters, even if you have some experience using a ladder. The standoff stabilizer helps to prevent tip-over while working, but it’s always safest to have another set of eyes and hands for the job.
Removing the Debris
With the right equipment and a set of spotting eyes nearby, you’re ready to start the afternoon of cleaning!
Lay the tarp out on the ground near where you will be working. Put on your goggles, rubber gloves, and dust mask before ascending the ladder. The plastic trowel can help you dig the gunk out of the gutters, or you can use your hands if you don’t think you can use a tool while on the ladder. Just beware of potentially sharp debris that could cut your gloves.
Put the gutter debris into the bucket, and drop the contents of the bucket down onto the tarp when it’s full. Take your time cleaning out what’s within your reach and not a millimeter beyond; leaning is exactly what causes ladders to fall.
If you’re uncomfortable with heights or can’t easily climb a ladder, you can use a pressure washer or a leaf blower to clean out the gutters instead. Of course, compared to manually depositing the debris by hand, this would result in a messier cleanup on the ground afterward without placing tarps everywhere.
If you live in a house with a second story or more, we do not recommend trying to clean the gutters out yourself. The impact of falling at the extended height poses a much greater risk to your health and safety. Let our professionals at Homemasters give you the peace of mind you deserve!
Replacing Your Gutters
All of your attempts at inspection, cleaning, and repair may eventually lead you to realize that the gutters simply need replacement. If you think you’ll need to repair your gutters in the near future, you may as well do it now and prevent the problems in the short-term as well.
Even one year of waiting can lead to expensive problems. One harsh autumn in the Pacific Northwest might hit the final nail in the gutters’ coffin, dealing substantial damage that extends to your home, to the landscape, and even the interior of the building. The good news is it’s seldom too soon to make sure your gutters are brand new and in excellent shape.
At Homemasters, we provide all kinds of gutter replacement and installation services to service different budgets. Residential and commercial customers alike get our Lifetime Warranty with each installation.
Can I Hire Someone Else to Clean My Gutters?
If the thought of gathering equipment and ultimately spending the afternoon cleaning out and repairing your gutters seems like an insurmountable task, we’re more than happy to take on the job for you at a reasonable rate. We also strongly recommend calling us to take care of gutters for two-story houses or taller.
The exact cost of the job will depend on the size of the home, the current condition of the gutters, and whether or not repairs or replacement are necessary. Still, even homeowners whose gutters haven’t been cleaned in years often pay no more than a couple hundred for professional cleaning.
For more information specific to your situation, please get in touch with us today! Our professionals are standing by ready to deliver your quote and schedule your home for a thorough cleaning.
Cleaning Gutters Fast & Affordable
At Homemasters, all of our technicians are qualified professionals capable of getting the job done fast, efficiently, and correctly the first time around. We provide a wide range of gutter services to satisfy your needs at the rates that will fit your budget.