What Makes Gutter Cleaning So Necessary?
When gutters become clogged by debris, you can have a leaky roof that leads to water damage. Water damage to both the exterior or interior of your home is some of the most devastating damage you can experience.
Gutters play a huge role in the well-being of your home. They control the flow or rainwater which means protection for your roof, foundation, walls, and landscape. However, when neglected the gutters themselves can become a total nightmare. Once a gutter is clogged up with leaves, sticks, and various types of debris, your roof can begin to leak, and your home will suffer for it. Contractors say that backed-up gutters make great homes for rodents, pests, mold, and wasp nests.
Gutters can be a potential hazard overhead, full of creatures and insects. So how often do you think they need to be cleaned? It depends mainly on where you live. There are various things to consider, like how many trees you have close to your home. Most experts recommend performing maintenance on your gutters every Spring and Autumn.
People tend to call out the gutter professionals in the Autumn due to heavy leaf build-up. However, Spring carries some potential hazards as well, like those little ‘helicopter’ things falling out of the maple trees. They fly around everywhere before hitting the ground and right smack into your gutter as well.
Using gutter covers will save a lot of headaches with your gutters. Rather than having maintenance done twice a year you can stretch that out to once every two or three years with gutter covers. Those screens catch the debris above the gutters and make them easy to clean off. They don’t totally stop the flow of water even though they can get debris build up and slow it down. It’s very easy to clean the screens.
Gutter covers can cost between £1000 and £1700 depending on how large your home is and how long the gutters have to be.
Should You Do it Yourself?
While cleaning out the gutters is a job that many homeowners can do all by themselves, it is still a bit dangerous. The Consumer Products Safety Commission states that falls from ladders have sent over 240,000 American citizens to the emergency room (that was as of 2009).
Before you take it upon yourself to climb a ladder, make sure you have one that’s sturdy enough to hold you and that all its steps are solid. Start by climbing the first two and see if the ladder sits well and the ground is level. When you have soft soil, you can add plywood underneath the ladder legs. You can also jump up and down on the bottom rung and sink the ladder into the ground firmly.
Never rest your ladder up against the gutters themselves. The extra weight may cause them to collapse on you. They can bend inward and become unsightly or else come loose from the house altogether.
A lot of homeowners have fallen off ladders and smashed their hips. Those types of injuries are either permanent or take forever to heal. Safety should always be first. The top gutter professionals know what to do and how to go about doing it. All the best gutter cleaning companies will now have a high-powered, ladder-less system with telescopic poles so that they no longer have to climb dangerous ladders. They know what to look for when assessing your situation and addressing any problems before they can escalate. When you look at it right, you can measure gutter maintenance by pennies, but repairs by pounds.
During a gutter cleaning the professional needs to remove every bit of debris, not just from the gutters, but also from the roof and the downspouts. They need to check for any loose gutter spikes and replace or repair those too. Gutter cleaning can cost you anything from £50 to £150 and will depend on if your home is small to average in size, and your gutters are of average length. Some companies may charge you a flat fee or on a ‘per metre’ basis, but the costs can still go up if there are complex situations.
Before you hire a gutter professional to come and clean out your gutters, do some research about them online. Make sure they have modern equipment and that they carry professional liability insurance. They must also carry employers liability insurance on any employees who work for the company. These things are important and will keep you from paying for somebody’s mistakes in the case of accidental damage. You want all liability out of your hands.