Got a question for real professional gutter cleaners? Read on for answers to some of the most common questions we receive on home gutter cleaning and maintenance.
Q – Is it Possible to Avoid the Need for Gutter Cleaning Entirely?
A – In a word, no. Or at least, it’s highly unlikely that your gutters won’t have to be cleaned at least occasionally. No matter where your home is located, dirt, debris, and general grime will always accumulate over time.
Some people try gutter covers, which tend to do more harm than good. Even with gutter covers or screens, the gutters and the covers themselves will still need to be cleaned periodically, in order to avoid clogs and possible damage to your home.
Q – Are Gutter Covers and Screens a Good Idea?
A – Almost never. Here is why: your gutters are part of a system, which includes your outlets, your downspouts and your underground (or above ground) drainage system. Gutter covers or screens keep debris out of the gutter, but usually impede the gutters and the rest of the system from doing the job it was designed to do. So you have clean gutters, but water doesn’t flow through them properly, which can cause mold or moss to grow in the gutters, water just runs over the covers, which causes water to accumulate just where you don’t want it–next to your foundation, and the debris on top of the covers makes a nice, moist place to encourage moss to grow on your roof edge.
We install gutter covers for clients on request, but we don’t recommend them, and we tell them what we will tell you here: we remove and throw away a lot more gutter covers than we install. After reading this, if you have any questions, give us a call.
Q – How Should Gutters Be Cleaned?
A – Carefully…and by professionals committed to safety. Every year there is an article or two about a homeowner falling off a ladder or roof and suffering death or a life-altering injury. OSHA research indicates that any fall greater than six feet is likely to result in death or serious injury. Depending on your roof, the process is: set and secure ladders, install safety equipment, blow off the roof, clean the gutters, clean the downspouts, check for loose spikes, cracks, rust or other problems. Remove safety equipment. Clean up. Optional procedures are flushing the gutters (usually not needed) and cleaning the outside of the gutters.
Q – Are Chemical Gutter Cleaners Helpful?
A – Chemical gutter cleaners are designed to clean the outsides of the gutters, and should not be used on the inside of the gutters, nor should the chemicals be flushed down the downspouts and into the drainage system. Be sure to read and follow the label on any product you choose, both for application and disposal.
Q – How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
A – As a general rule of thumb, most gutters should be cleaned twice each year–once in the late spring and again in the late fall. That being said, it all depends on the size, type, and location of your property and the type and density of tree coverage–homes surrounded by trees may call for more frequent gutter cleaning. Here in the Portland area, if you have a lot of Douglas Fir trees around your house, you should plan to clean your gutters at least three times a year.
Q – How Will I Know If My Gutters Need Cleaning?
A – If you wait for your gutters to give you a sign they’re in need of a clean, you’re opening the door to a world of problems. To avoid blockages and costly repair jobs, get on a routine maintenance schedule that is appropriate for the type and density of the tree coverage around your home. Left overlooked or ignored, it’s only a matter of time before things take a turn for the worse.
Q – Is it Worth Hiring Professional Gutter Cleaners?
A – While it’s perfectly possible (but perhaps not wise) to go about gutter cleaning on a do-it-yourself basis, it’s impossible to get the job done as quickly, effectively, and safely as the experts. Not only this, but after factoring all the gear you’ll need to clean your gutter system properly and safely, you might even find it would have been cheaper to have the pros do it on your behalf. Costs will vary in accordance with size, nature, and extent of the job. But as consultation and estimates are available free of charge, it simply makes sense to chat with us before going ahead.
Q – Are Clogged Gutters Really Such a Bad Thing?
A – They certainly can be–assuming you’d prefer both your home’s structure and exterior not to be damaged. When gutters and downspouts are clogged, they are unable to channel rainwater and excessive moisture away from your home effectively. This leads to the collection and overflowing of water, which over time can lead to anything from roof leaks to erosion to severe foundation damage, to water intrusion in your basement or crawl space. All of which represent hugely expensive repair jobs that could have been easily avoided.
Q – How Long Does Professional Gutter Cleaning Take?
A – Once again, it all comes down to the size of gutter system and the extent of the debris. Still, as a rule of thumb it will usually take a team of experts between 30 and 90 minutes to clean the gutters of an average home. In any case, it’s a huge time saving compared to the hours you’d need to put in to get the job done yourself.
For a free estimate to have your gutters cleaned by our expert crews, click the button or give us a call at (503) 407-3346.