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Homeowner’s Guide to Roof Gutter Maintenance

Posted by Kevin Leahy on December 26, 2018

A man cleaning gutters and a man sweeping in the background

Clogged gutters can cause a lot of damage to your home, causing you a lot of stress and loss of time and money to fix it all. The best way to prevent it is to have a regular maintenance schedule to keep all the leaves and debris from building up and clogging the rain gutter.

To help, check out our homeowner’s guide to roof gutter maintenance.

The rule of thumb for optimum gutter maintenance is to clean your gutters at least twice a year, but more if you have a lot of trees hanging over your house or you live in an area that experiences a lot of storms. Either you have to climb the ladder and do it yourself or you need to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do it for you.

If you have any concerns about safely climbing up and down the ladder, then your safest bet is to hire a professional cleaning company to perform your gutters maintenance. If you are going to do it yourself, make sure you have a sturdy ladder and never ever stand on the top two rungs.

Ways to clean your rain gutter:

  • A leaf blower or a hose– but make sure you wear goggles and a dust mask and heavy work gloves.
  • Purchase a gutter cleaning kit that can connect to your leaf blower.
  • Use a garden trowel or gutter scoop to clean it out by hand. For best results, start at the drain outlet near the low end of the gutter. Then just dump into a bucket to dispose of when you are all done. It is best to do it when the leaves are only slightly damp not real soggy.

Besides focusing on what is just in the gutters, also make sure to use the leaf blower to blow any leaves or debris off the roof itself so it doesn’t all end up in the gutters the next time it rains.

If you have a lot of trees on your property, then another good way to prevent a lot of leaves in your gutters is to regularly trim your trees. Make sure you especially trim the branches that overhang your gutters. This will at least help reduce the amount of leaves you will have to clean up.

Gutter Cleaning Products That Can Help

There a lot of different types and brands of gutter products on the market that can help make gutter cleaning easier.

  • Plastic drop-in screens are very easy to installs. They do a good job of keeping out leaves, but you need to be careful because smaller debris like seeds and pine needles can still get into the gutters. Another plus is they can work with a variety of different roofing materials.
  • Add surface-tension guards. With these types of gutter covers, the water clings to the rounded nose of the guard and then flows into the gutter. The leaves and other debris however just falls over the edge. For these guards to work best they need to be installed so the slope of the guard matches the slope of the roof. Keep in mind that these guards are more visible than other options.
  • Add fine mesh gutter guard. Fine mesh gutter guards are better at catching seeds and needles, but some small particles can still get through. These gutter guards are very easy to clean with a brush or warm air. To install all you have to do is place them under the shingles or bend up the back and fastened it to the fascia. Be careful about the type of material the guards are made of. Surgical stainless steel will last the longest for you.
  • Add a leaf catcher. The leaf catcher is different from screens and guards which keep the debris up at roof level. With the leaf catcher, the debris comes down the downpipe and is caught closer to the ground. You need to use it with 2 ¾ flush mount outlets or K-Funnel outlets. Simply install to your existing downpipes and you will have minimal upkeep. The debris caught in the catcher is easy to remove with your hand. No ladder needed.

Install an All-in-One Gutter System

If you were looking to replace your gutter system any way, you can go with a permanent solution. An All-in-One Gutter System comes with a gutter as well as a cap to keep out leaves and other debris. Keep in mind this is a more expensive option.
The types of gutters installed on your home can also play a role. Aluminum gutters are one of the most popular types of gutter materials.

Install The SpoutOff

Another product that can make maintaining your gutter system easier is TheSpoutOff. It is especially helpful if you have small rain gutter outlets because TheSpoutoff outlets are designed with a larger opening allowing for water to still run down even if other parts of the gutter are clogged.

Another great plus is that these outlets are easy to keep clean through the removable downspout that allows you to check on the outlets without having to climb a ladder. With TheSpoutOff, a fear of heights or balance concerns will no longer keep you from properly taking care of your home and it is a lot cheaper than hiring a professional cleaner to come regularly to clear out all the debris.

The SpoutOff can be retrofitted to your current roof gutter system or it can be added to a new one, depending upon your needs. The instructions are relatively easy to follow so it is something you can easily install yourself, but any local gutter company can do it for you as well.

Other fast facts about The SpoutOff include:

  • As long as The SpoutOff outlets are free from debris, your gutter system will work properly even if other parts of the system are clogged with leaves in gutter. This will mean a lot less maintenance and stress on your part.
  • The SpoutOff comes with a large outlet and removable downspout clip that can either be installed with new gutters or retrofitted to the gutter system you already have.

Want to learn more about how TheSpoutOff can make your seasonal outdoor chores a lot easier? Contact TheSpoutOff today to learn how it can take the hassle out of cleaning out leaves in gutters.

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