As a homeowner, it is to your advantage to maintain the upkeep of your property. Regular checks that can easily be done by yourself or professionals can help prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars being spent on fixing problems that can arise later.
Here is a list of issues that may arise from gutters not being cleared and cleaned regularly.
Other than the obvious leaks and blockages that can happen, a blocked gutter can cause severe damage to the walls and foundation of your home, not to mention the entire building pipework. When water is prevented from flowing outwards, it ends up sitting in a pool in the foundation of your house. Over the cooler months, the water may expand and freeze, cracking the foundation.
Pooling water around your foundation can also cause erosion which weakens the walls, leading to the foundation cracking. If your basement isn’t waterproofed, water pouring into your foundation will also cause a damp basement, which can then cause mould in your home.
Clogged gutters can also add weight strain on your roof and fascia. When the weight of the clogged water gets too heavy for the gutters to hold, you can risk a possible collapse, causing damage to the shingles of the roof and exterior of the house. In the less extreme possibility, constant exposure of water to the fascia boards of your home can lead to them deteriorating and rotting. This can easily be identified by the cracks and peeling of paint that you can see. In addition, build up debris can also accelerate the process of rusting or corrosion of the gutters if left stagnant for too long.
Damage to Your Gardens
Besides water causing damage to the internal structure of your home, having your gutters blocked up by debris can also cause issues in your garden. When your gutters aren’t draining properly, this can potentially lead to water overflow onto the garden below. This has the potential to flood your garden areas and cause excessive water in the soil.
By clearing your gutters, you could also prevent various pests and rodents from making themselves at home in your gutters. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, making a clogged gutter the perfect breeding ground. Damp debris and leaves also make a perfect spot for bees to build their nests.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
With the risks involved with clogged gutters, it is highly advisable to have your gutters regularly cleaned to ensure the flow of water is diverted away from your home.
Gutter cleaning is commonly mistaken as a task to be done mainly over the rainy season when leaves and debris causes water to clog up in the gutters and downspouts, which can cause severe water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. However, with the hot and dry climate we get here in Australia, cleaning your gutters over the warmer months is also a very important fire prevention necessity.
Gutter Cleaning Long-Term Maintenance Plan
Setting up a gutter cleaning long-term maintenance plan makes gutter cleaning easier to follow through. By contacting a professional gutter cleaning company, such as PorterVac, you can be sure the basics are covered. This includes having your gutters cleaned out in the spring and in the autumn. It can also set you up to have inspections at certain times of the year to check on the condition of your gutters.
Having a maintenance plan gives you the luxury of not having to worry about scheduling and remembering when your gutters were last cleaned. As a homeowner, the responsibility falls on you to ensure the safety of your property is frequently maintained. Sticking to the plan could also save you a lot of unnecessary costs!
Why Cleaning Gutters Is Better Than Simply Using Gutter Guards
Even with the best quality and professionally installed gutter guards, it can only prevent water clogs to a certain extent; for example, keeping big leaves out. It does not necessarily provide foolproof protection against all debris, such as seeds and other smaller materials. It can also be extremely costly.
Gutter guards may help to make things more manageable for some, but it is advisable to still have a maintenance plan for regular upkeep to make sure your gutters are not clogged.
Cleaning Your Gutters Is Much Less Expensive Than Paying for the Consequences
Having your gutters cleaned regularly is a lot less costly than dealing with the consequences later. By preventing debris build up, water clogs and blockages, you minimise your risks significantly from the abovementioned damages from happening. Not only that, you also avoid the inconvenience of taking time off work to organise for the damages to be fixed, or in the worst case scenario such as the presence of mould, having to find temporary accommodation elsewhere.
DIY Gutter Cleaning Versus Professional Gutter Cleaning
Gutter cleaning is not for the faint hearted. You may be able to get the work done yourself by purchasing a top of the range equipment but there are significant risks involved, such as climbing up to the roof. You may risk damaging the roof, or worse, yourself, in the process, if you are not careful especially if you are inexperienced.
By hiring professionals like PorterVac who only uses qualified roof tilers, you can rest assured that everything is done efficiently. Generally, you are not required to be at home when the cleaning is done, which also helps make life easier. You can go about your day and when you get home, your gutters would be fully cleaned and clear of any debris for the next few seasons.
Recommended DIY Gutter Cleaning Tools
If, however, you decide to clean your own gutters, making sure you use the right tools is key. You will need a tall ladder, a pair of work gloves, a telescopic gutter cleaning pole, and possibly a cleaning scoop. There are different ways that you can approach gutter cleaning, but the most common method would be to climb on a ladder and clean out the debris by hand. Unfortunately, there are obvious safety issues with this method, as mentioned above.
Another popular method would be to use telescopic poles to reach the debris in the gutters while standing on ground. Depending on how clogged up your gutters are, this may not be the most efficient way of cleaning, however, as it can be difficult to fully gauge how much debris is left in the gutters after you are done.
Regardless of which way you choose to go with, you may be able to clear out most of the bigger debris. However, getting to the smaller bits may prove to be more challenging. If left for too long, this will build up over time and unfortunately, in most cases, it will not be obvious until the damage is done, such as when you start seeing structural issues, or worse, mould.
Having your gutters professionally cleaned
The best and most efficient method that professionals use to clean gutters is by using a commercial grade leaf vacuum cleaner. For example, PorterVac uses the latest cutting-edge vacuum technology that can reach further into roof guttering downpipes, ensuring a deep clean with no blockage left behind.
When choosing a professional to clean your gutters, you also want to make sure that they are fully insured, experienced roof tilers who takes all necessary precautions to ensure their safety, as well as making sure no damage is done to your property. PorterVac guarantees this by providing before and after photos of the job done to ensure transparency and peace of mind.
Cleaning the gutters may not necessarily seem like an important thing to do every year, however, the damage can be significant if left untreated. In some locations depending on the climate, it is recommended that you clean your gutters twice a year to prevent potential water or fire damage.
Having a maintenance plan with a professional company helps take the stress out of making sure your property is taken care of throughout the year. Although you may choose to clean the gutters yourself, it is still recommended that you have a professional do a deep clean at least once a year to ensure the gutters are fully cleared of all debris. After all, the cost to get a professional clean is next to nothing compared to the costs involved in fixing the damages a clogged gutter can cause.