Standing under the giant gold umbrella of foliage that covered your majestic shade tree this fall was like wandering into a painting, but now that the leaves have all fallen and the stately guardian is beginning its winter rest, it’s time to consider the clean up. You’ve already mulched the leaves on the lawn, but that’s only the beginning. Your gutters were also gracious receptacle of those golden flags — they’re going to need a good cleaning to keep working like they should.
Getting the Muck Out
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to come out with it. All that gross, grimey stuff in your gutters has to go and there’s not really a hands-off way to do this that’s both safe and reliable. The very best way to clean your gutters is still to don some work gloves, mount a ladder and use a garden trowel to scrape out all the detris that’s accumulated since the last time you or the former owner of your home did this vile task.
Try very hard to not push any of that debris down into the downspouts. Once inside the downspout, that mess of rotting leaf matter can turn into the most epic clog you can imagine, requiring a Herculean effort to extract. That is not what you want to spend doing this weekend. Instead, start at the downspout and work toward the middle of the gutter, and then repeat on the other side if it also has a downspout.
You can toss the mess into a bucket you’ve carefully hung from your nifty ladder, lay a tarp down to catch whatever you toss on it or have a friend on the ground who gets to be the unlucky bearer of the compost pail. Just try to get most of the muck in the container or he won’t come back to help you fix that chimney cap.
Once all the muck’s cleaned out, you should then run a hose to rinse the silty deposits out of the bottom of the gutters until they shine. This will also show you if there are any leaks or sagging spots that need to be addressed right away. Your gutters should always move on a downward slope toward the downspout, without any places that can allow for puddles to accumulate unless you’re interested in breeding mosquitoes.
Gutter Care and Maintenance
With your gutters nice and clean, you can see exactly what needs to be done, if anything. Because many gutters are neglected for years and years, they often are found in quite a shape by the time anyone bothers to clean them or give them any attention. There are three common problems you may encounter:
Loose gutter nails. The most common offense, by far, is going to be loose gutter nails. You might as well just buy a bunch of new nails and grab a hammer before you even start your clean-out. Unless your gutters are brand new, they’ve had time for the sheer weight of water, wet leaves and who knows what else to work those nails out bit by bit. Remove any nails that are bent, broken or have separated from the house and put a shiny new one in its place.
Jeanni PrescaneXp Realty LLC (724) 561-5554 Send EmailVisit Website
"Clients ask me for recommendations all the time, so I've put them all in one place that you can access anytime. It's completely free!"