It’s that time of year again when the leaves fall and fill up the gutter systems throughout Washington D.C. You don’t want to skip your gutter-cleaning chore as it could spell disaster for your home. Leaf buildup causes clogs in the gutters and prevents the water from flowing easily to the downspouts. These clogs put extra weight on the gutter system and cause sagging in areas; these sags also lead to breaks and expensive repair costs. If you want to maintain your gutters more efficiently this year, it’s good to have a checklist to go by.
1. Get the right tools.
You’ll need a ladder if you want to reach your roof gutters. You’ll also need some sort of trowel, small shovel or scoop on hand to scoop out the mess. Heavy-duty gloves also come in handy for reaching in and pulling out nests and other debris. Other tools include:
- Step ladder
- Hand saw or lopper
- Hammer and nails
2. Start with the branches.
You should remove any hanging branches over your roof gutters. These branches are the first to drop their leaves into your gutters and cause stubborn clogs. If you can’t snap them off by hand, use a lopper or a saw to create a clean cut.
3. Remove the leaves.
Put your gloves on, and reach into the gutters. Pull out all the matted leaves, random pine cones and other wind-blown debris. Place the debris into your bucket, and continue removing the leaves until you know that the water can flow more easily.
4. Check the downspouts.
The channels aren’t the only parts of gutter systems that collect debris. Move your ladder to the downspout, and inspect the opening for any clogs. Use your garden hose to blast water down the spout and to wash away any debris that has collected on the inside. If your downspout doesn’t rest on a splash block, consider placing one beneath the opening. A splash block will prevent soil erosion as the water exits the downspout.
5. Repair problem areas.
If you see any sagging areas, use your hammer and nails to secure the piece into place. Fill the channels with water using your garden hose, and test for leaks. Caulk the seams if you see water seeping through the channels.
No gutter system in Washington D.C. is safe from clogs. Though it’s a good idea to clean your gutters once or twice a year, it’s even better when your gutter system does it by itself. With gutters from LeafGuard by BELDON®, you can say goodbye to gutter cleaning and enjoy clog-free gutters for years.