The Maintenance of Your Gutters Are Very Important
Most homeowners and property managers think about everything else but the importance of keeping their gutters clean and clear of clogging debris through-out the year. Most people also wait until issues arise with their gutter system, before seeking professional help. Hopefully, you are not like ‘most people’- and have your gutters cleaned annually, during the winter months. Your gutters are designed to collect water and direct it away from your home. But when the gutters are clogged; all the water can quickly accumulate on the roof. Once the water gathers on the roof, it begins to seep through the structure of your home. Having your gutters regularly cleaned each year, ensures there’s no water on the roof that can compromise the structure of your property. Remember: your gutters are a very important feature that impact a home’s foundation. Not following a yearly gutter cleaning can quickly lower your property’s value. Home buyers will want to check the state of the roof before they make a decision to purchase the property. If they find signs of water damage caused by clogged gutters, your home may be harder to sell. You may have to spend extra cost on roof repairs in order to boost the home’s value. To avoid all these additional costs, take time to clean your gutters annually.
Top 7 Things That Could Happen when you don’t clean your Gutters
#1 – Home Water Damage
Heavy rain does not happen often, but when it does- please do not have clogged downspouts. The water can build up and overflow from your gutters can run down the sides of your home. It will soon eventually find its way into your home, causing damage that is unseen from the outside. You may not notice the damage water is causing behind your siding, in your window frames or under your flooring where major damage is done.
#2 – Insects or Animals
Most people understand that standing water can become a breeding ground for Georgia mosquitoes and other insects. The rodents and insects may find the leaves, dirt, water, and mosquitoes to be an attractant to your home. When the gutters are full, they become the perfect home for all the outdoor critters.
#3 – Frozen Water
Its most important to schedule Gutter Cleaning during the winter months, before it gets too cold. When gutters are clogged and a combination of temperatures dropping below freezing, ice can form and cause issues in a lot of ways. When the gutters are clogged, your gutters can become heavy and can detatch from your home. If water has run over your gutters onto your deck, driveway or sidewalks; on a cold winter day; it can freeze and cause a slip hazard- followed by a costly trip to the hospital.
#4 – Weakened Foundation
Whether you have a crawl space, slab or basement, overflowing gutters can damage your home’s foundation. If the sand, dirt or clay under your home gets too wet, your foundation may shift, causing cracks and buckling. Standing water can deteriorate piers in a home on a crawl space.
#5 – Deteriation of your Driveway
If water gets under your driveway, that can cause the same damage as water in your crawlspace and under your foundation. The water can cause cracks, holes and uneven shifting can occur, which can cause major loss in structural integrity to your walkways and driveway.
#6 – Landscaping Issues
Through-out the year, with heavy rain; the water from clogged gutters can overflow and run over your lawn. Not only can water wash away your mulch, it can drown out your flowers, beat on your shrubs and make your soil incredibally loose and soft, making it hard to walk on your lawn without destorying the grass.
#7 – Water Damaged Basement
When your gutters are clogged, water can overflow and run down the side of your home and eventually into your basement. A great way to prevent a flooded basement is with annual checking and cleaning of your guter system every year during the fall and winter months.
Best tips on keeping your gutters clean.
Most of these tips come from the American Home Shield website, but a lot of this comes from our years of professional gutter cleaning experience. When you get up to your roof to clean your gutters, you are going to be faced with many possible hazards- along with getting dirty! The rain-soaked dead leaves, bits of branches, dirt; it will be a filthy task, so dress for the task at hand. That means wearing a long-sleeved shirt, rubber work gloves, and safety goggles. Another strong tool is an extension pole with a gutter cleaning tool, connected at the end of the pole. Here is a link to Amazon.com for the professional gutter cleaning tools, we at 3kings Cleaning use to get the job done in a timely fashion.
Most people think gutter cleaning is a simple and straight-forward task. We know you want to grab your ladder and get going–we like your enthusiasm! But we implore you to slow down, and take a moment to think about your safety. That means making sure your ladder is well-footed at all times; leaning on your home at an angle greater than 45 degrees. 3kings Cleaning recommends using ladder horns or ladder stabilizers to make sure your ladder doesn’t damage your roof, but these are not necessary.
You’re going to want to bring your high-pressure nozzle up with you to blast out any debris—PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! You are going to create more of a mess than needed, splashing mud and leaves everywhere and along the siding of your home- making the task of house washing the next service you may need.
You want to have a 5-gallon bucket and a “gutter scoop”, along with your pole with the gutter tool connected to the end of the pole. Don’t have a gutter scoop? Check out Amazon.com to get one for less than $10! Want to skip the hardware store? Other alternatives for a gutter-getter scoop are to use an old spatula or a little child’s toy shovel. Keep in mind, you can use the organic material that you removed from your gutters for your compost pile.
You do not have to get EVERYTHING out of the gutter, as you clean. Try to start in the middle of the gutter and work your way to one side; then work the other side, once your complete one end. Afterwards, when the majority of debris is removed, you can use your hose to spray away remaining loose dirt, paying careful attention to your downspouts. You’ll want to blast loose any clogs, by spraying water directly into your downspout for about 60 seconds. If the hose doesn’t remove the clog, you can try an auger of some type. Avoid power snakes, while they can clear metal pipes, they can easily damage lightweight plastic pipes. We like to use a bendable wire- such as a wire hangar, which we can shape into an “S” and wiggle the wire in the clogged downspout, while spraying water. The combined weight of the water and action of moving the clog, little-by-little, should clear the clog in the downspout, just look for a large dirt blob to spew out of the bottom, while spraying and working the wire. If this does not work, you may can use the hose itself to wiggle and get deep into the downspout, directly putting pressure onto the clog. Worse-case-scenario, you will have to dismantle and take apart the downspout gutter and pipe the gutter itself.
Evaluation – Inspection
Now that you’ve got everything clean and clear, this is a perfect chance to examine your gutter system. Take advantage of the moment and look for any possible leaks caused by holes in the seams. A new bead silicone can help secure the area between the gutters and potentially rotting boards. Also, check the rivets on your downspout and make sure they’re secure.
Well, now that you’ve conquered your gutters, maybe consider gutter covers? These helpful items can help increase the time between cleanings by providing a barrier between your gutters and gunk. Gutter covers are inexpensive and can be purchased in packs for less than $20 on Amazon.com.
Why you should clean your gutters in Winter Months
If you haven’t had any roof maintenance recently, winter is an excellent time to get it done. Here is some information about cleaning your gutters in the cold weather.
The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends homeowners have gutters cleaned twice per year. Unless you have had maintenance in recent months, the debris from the fall months is probably accumulating in your gutters. With leaves and acorns falling throughout autumn, gutters on Georgia homes face their biggest clogs of the year during the winter months.
Snowfalls over clogged gutters damage roofs
The winterstorm of 2014 proved that Georgia is not safe from snowstorms and regular frosts. Clogged gutters will make the usual winter storms hit your home much harder. If the gutters are not prepared to divert water snow from the roof, ice dams could form and damage shingles. When you hire 3kings Cleaning for professional gutter cleaning, we can check and inspect to see if the gutter system is working properly and make adjustments as necessary.
Spring showers test gutters
The same problems with winter storms can hit your home in the springtime, when heavy showers come onto your Georgia home. If your gutters had the proper maintenance over the winter, this influx of rainwater won’t present a major threat to your home. By removing the lingering leaves and other types of debris will make your gutters clean and clear as soon as winter ends.
Cleaning your gutters is always a smart investment
By springtime, issues will accumulate around gutters that remain filled with twigs and backed up rainwater. Vermin, mosquitoes and other insects will try to make your gutters their home as the winter frost thaws. On top of the possible risk of roof damage, you might find yourself with a bug and rodent problem when gutters are not cleaned. The small investment in preventive maintenance of gutter cleaning goes a long way.
3kings Cleaning specializes in gutter maintenance and repair. Before you end up with a problem affecting your whole home, have your gutters professionally cleaned this fall or winter.
How to Tell if your Gutters Need Cleaning
1. Plants Are Growing Inside Them
Believe it or not, over time- the dirt in your gutters are optimal spaces for seeds to land and make roots. An awful lot of dirt gets washed into your gutters from the roof. Enough of that dirt and debris can cause plants to take root (usually weeds, grasses, and even plants and flowers). The seeds get blown into the gutter by the wind and get watered by rain. Next thing you know you have little green plants sprouting up.
When your gutters have turned into your personal planting pots, it’s time to get them cleaned.
2. Water Is Over- Flowing From Them
When your gutters are clogged, runoff water will spill off the sides and onto the ground, creating a mini waterfall. Over time this can cause expensive damage to the foundation.
Rainfall is particularly heavy during the summer and spring months in Minneapolis, so gutter cleaning is critical to allow that excessive water to run through.
Water should never spill over a well-functioning gutter. If you see even a small leak spilling over, let alone a waterfall, it’s time to clean out the clogs from the inside of your gutters.
3. Your Gutters Are Sagging
Leaves, dirt, debris, and water can get heavy. When it remains in the gutters for a long time, the excess weight will begin to wear on it. This pressure can lead to sagging gutters or even complete detachment. If you notice pulling, sagging or detachment of your gutter, not only will they need to be cleaned but probably repaired as well.
4. The Season Is Changing
In Georgia, gutter cleaning is of particular importance surrounding the seasons. Georgia weather can be rather unpredictable. The spring and summer months account for heavy rain and thunderstorms, so you want to make sure your gutters are cleaned annually to allow for the water to flow through. Winter calls for freezing temperatures, ice and possible snow. If you don’t clean out your gutters before the winter season gets bad, it can freeze your downspouts and create more difficulty on your gutters working properly, including ice dams.
5. You Have a Leaky Roof
Cleaning your gutters might be a pain, but dealing with a leaky roof is an even bigger headache. Water that doesn’t drain to the ground will accumulate on the roof. It can soak through shingles and cause significant and costly damage.
Replacing or even just repairing your roof is a major undertaking. It’s best to take the step of preventing it by regularly cleaning out your gutters.
6. You Can’t Remember the Last Time Your Gutter Was Cleaned
Ideally, gutter cleaning happens twice a year. In places where the climate is extreme and unpredictable, such as Canton and Woodstock, Georgia, gutter cleaning may be appropriate up to four times per year. So, if you can’t remember the last time your gutters were cleaned out, you may want to take a look and see if the time has come.
Gutter cleaning is easy to forget about, but it’s an important part of home maintenance. Keeping your gutters clean is a small price to pay for protecting your home from even worse damage.
3kings Cleaning is happy to provide a quick estimate for gutter cleaning services for residents in Roswell, Georgia and Surrounding Atlanta Metro Area. Call Us, 7 Days a Week at: (404) 829-1141 or fill out our contact form for a same-day estimate. You can also schedule an appointment online. Call Now for a Free Quote!