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    Cleaning your gutters

    Why you should do it before it's too late

    Hannah | Oneflare

    It is one of the most dreaded chores you can do around the home. The fact that the gutters fill with debris that needs occasional clearing means you probably put off getting it done until its too late or you’re forced to do it.

    The issues that arise when you don’t clean the gutters can be severe since the rain gutters were designed to help your home’s structure. If the gutters are left clogged, you could end up with the unpleasant task of paying for some very expensive roof or home repairs.

    Why gutter cleaning is important

    When it rains, the water runs from your roof into the gutters and down to a designated area. Some people allow rainwater to make its way down to the stormwater system, while others have special catchment areas for gathering rainwater. No matter what you choose, it is vital that your gutters are free of blockages and obstructions at all times. If you neglect this, water will build up inside the gutters and eventually overflow. The overflowing water can get into your ceiling, inner walls, and even the inside of your windows. This can cause devastating structural damage to your home.

    Source: Roof Leak Services

    In areas where fires are a common hazard, gutter cleaning is an essential part of reducing this risk. Proper, regular cleaning also ensures that your gutters and downpipes last longer and eliminates common breeding areas for insects, like mosquitoes. For the most part, gutters only need cleaning once a year. However, in areas where tree growth is dense, cleaning may need to take place as often as every three or four months.

    Certain gutter cleaning services go the extra mile and clean your ceiling cavity too. This reduces the risk of allergies from dust mites and removes rodent breeding areas.

    If you regularly clean out your gutters, you will be able to avoid:

    • Wearing your gutters out before their time
    • The opportunity for water to enter your home unwanted
    • Debris blocking down pipes and drains
    • Creating an environment for vermin and insects like mosquitoes and mice
    • Having possible dry debris available for fuel during fire seasons

    Setting a schedule for gutter cleaning

    If you have a large number of tall trees that overhang your home’s roof, this can be the biggest culprit for a dirty gutter. The idea is that if you have a half a dozen trees that shed their leaves, you are going to want to clean them out at least once a year after all the leaves have fallen for the season. Although, it is recommended that you at least inspect and clean accordingly a few times a year. If you have gutter guards, you might only need to inspect the gutters annually and clean them every other year or so.

    Should you clean your gutters or hire someone?

    If you are physically able to clean your own gutters, then you can save yourself the additional cost of hiring someone to do it for you, and do it yourself. The task of cleaning out the gutters only requires that you have access to a pair of gloves, a hand rake or garden scoop, and a ladder tall enough to comfortably and safely reach the gutter.

    If for some reason you do not wish to clean your own gutter or are not physically able to do it, then hiring someone to do the cleaning is a must. Be sure to hire someone who is either licensed to perform work on your home like a handyman or landscaper. If you do hire a professional and do not already have gutter guards in place, ask them about installing some. This will drastically reduce the need to clean the gutters as often in the future.

    Professional gutter cleaning services

    When calling in the professionals, these are some of the services you can expect:

    • Leaf and debris removal from the roof, gutters and downpipes
    • Gutter and downpipe flushing where necessary
    • Cleaning of the ceiling cavity
    • Checking for any damaged roof tiles while conducting roof cleaning
    • Complete waste removal once cleaning is complete
    • Gutter guards supplied and fitted
    • Ensuring your gutters are bird-proof
    • Repairs to damaged roof tiles
    • Full report on roof condition

    Choosing a gutter cleaner

    The most important question to ask before hiring a gutter cleaner is whether their company and all its staff are fully covered by insurance. Make sure that they follow all the safety guidelines when doing the job.

    Shop around for quotes and, when doing so, make sure that each company is offering the same, or at least a similar range, of services. The cheapest option is not always the best, so make sure you read through all the terms of their service. Check if they remove the waste collected in the gutters. You may ask them to leave it behind if you want to use it as mulch. Ask them if they have a satisfaction guarantee, how soon they will be able to clean your gutters and if they offer any kind of emergency service.

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