Gutter cleaning and Why it’s so important

The fall season is finally here and that means the leaves are starting to fall off of the trees! The different colored leaves are certainly a beautiful sight to see, but not when they are clogging up your gutters. It is important that you keep your gutter clean in order to effectively keep rainwater away from your home and flooding your basement. Or causing major foundation issues.

Here are some tips for cleaning out your gutter system.


A Word of Caution

Make sure you exercise extreme caution when working on high rooftops or ladders. Follow these tips to keep yourself safe:

For high rooftops, use an extension ladder. We advise against walking on the roof unless completely necessary. From the roof, leaning ‘downhill’ to reach the gutter increases your risk of falling. Accessing the roof and gutters while using an extension ladder is the safest. We also recommend waiting until midday when the roof is dry.

Before beginning to clean the gutters, make sure you clear debris off the roof itself, so your gutters don’t clog again as soon as it rains! You can do this with a leaf blower or broom. If possible, clean the gutters with help from another person to hold the ladder.

Don’t forget to clear out the downspouts when you clean the gutters. A flexible rod with a brush on the end, which is commonly used for cleaning dryer vents are great for this. Then, run water through the downspout to make sure it’s clear all the way out.


Protect Your Hands and eyes

Protect your hands with thick suede gloves and wear work goggles to protect your eyes.

Even with a scoop, you want to protect your hands because there could be rotting debris or animal droppings present. They also protect you from any possible metal shards that can come from an old gutter system. You want to use thick, suede gloves when doing this to ensure the best protection. Cotton gloves can soak up water and expose the skin to bacteria and rubber ones can be broken by metal shards.


Gutter Scoop

It is a good idea to invest in a gutter scoop so that you aren’t using your hands to get all of the dirt and debris out of your gutter system. Plastic gutter scoops can be found at almost any hardware store and are great tools because they are designed to form to the bottom of the gutter. This makes it easy to remove even the tough debris that gets stuck at the bottom. Avoid metal gutter scoops because it can damage the gutter system and cause rusting.


Leaf Blower

Just as it replaces tedious raking on the ground, using a leaf blower to clean your gutters prevents the need to remove debris by hand. The most straight-forward method is to climb a ladder onto the roof and walk along the edge, blowing the leaves out of the gutter as you go. A safer method is to use an extension kit. This extends and curves your leaf blowers reach, so you can clean the gutters while standing on the ground. This is a messy but effective method so prepare for debris to fall on you!


Power Washer

If a storm hits before you have a chance to clean your gutters, the leaves may be sticky and wet. This makes leaf blowers and air compressors more challenging to work with. In this case, a better method may be to use a power washer. Because of the force behind a high-pressure power washer, we recommend using a telescoping wand with a u-shaped attachment at the end so you can clean the gutters from ground level.

When you’re finished cleaning, the debris will litter the ground at the bottom of the downspouts. You can pick this up with a rake or gloved hands, or you can “sweep” it away with a water broom. Debris may end up on your siding, windows, and anything else underneath. Consider removing patio furniture, etc. and be prepared to power rinse your home afterward, if needed.


Wet/Dry Vacuum

Don’t want to pick up a mess on the ground after cleaning your gutters? Do it all at once by vacuuming the debris with a wet/dry vac. You can do this while standing on a ladder or, again, you can purchase an extension kit that allows you to reach the gutters from the ground.


Semi-Annual Cleanings

It is a good idea to make sure you are cleaning your gutter system at least twice a year. The best times to do this are in the fall and in the spring. Cleaning your gutters regularly prevents any water damage that can occur when they are clogged. It also helps to prevent corrosion which could lead to costly repairs or a gutter replacement.


Why is Gutter cleaning important?

When leaves, debris, dirt, and twigs get trapped inside gutter systems, it prevents them from working efficiently. However, when clean and free of clogs, rain gutters have an important job to do. They provide the following benefits:


·         Redirect rainwater from your roof away from your house

·         Minimize moisture and condensation from windows and     


·         Protect the exterior and interior walls from heavy rain

·         Keep water out of the basement and off thefoundation


Basement and Foundation issues

Allow the experts at BAM Basements and Masons to help you. We are one of the most sought-after names when it comes to basement waterproofing in and around Des Moines. Our team has many years of experience and in-depth knowledge about keeping the basement free from moisture and humidity. Therefore, we can suggest the right method for your home. All our basement waterproofing techniques come at bargain basement pricing, and we ensure timely completion of each of the projects. To know more about basement waterproofing and get a free estimate, please feel free to call us!

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