When the gutters become clogged, they stop functioning as they should, and water can flow everywhere. It’s not one of the most fun household chores, but it is worthwhile to clean your roof gutters at least once a year.
Damage from Clogged Roof Gutters
When the gutters are so full of debris, rainwater and snowmelt can drain everywhere, except where it should, through the downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause damage to the outside and the inside of your home.
If the roof gutters are not draining the water through the downspouts, water pours off the roof like a waterfall. Have you noticed after a big rainstorm that your windows were covered with mud, twigs, and debris? The windows become so caked with mud and debris, you have to look for window cleaning companies to get the dried mud and debris off of your windows.
This happens because the gutters are clogged and not draining properly. It’s not only on the windows you can notice this, but you might start to see watermarks on the outside walls. Improperly draining gutters can damage not only the exterior walls of your home but also start to warp the soffits and fascia of your roof.
Gutters that are clogged can also cause standing water on the roof, especially during the winter. This water can find its way into your home, leaking water into the attic, ceilings, and walls.
Water seeping into your home can start to cause watermarks on the ceilings, soak the insulation, and get into electrical wiring. And to make it worse, seeping water can cause mold, a health problem for you and your family. And the cleanup can be expensive.
All of these damaging possibilities can be prevented by simply cleaning your roof gutters at least once a year. Cleaning the roof gutters is not hard and there are several easy DIY ways to get the job done.
It is safer to use a ladder than standing on the edge of your roof. The ladder should be a sturdy extendable ladder. Make sure the ladder is on stable ground, and not on rocks. Rocks can move and shift causing the ladder to tilt over. Always keep your waist between the rails and don’t reach further than is safe to do.
Wear heavy work gloves. When scooping out the debris in the gutter, there could be sharp thorns or nails sticking out of the gutters. Put a tarp on the ground if you don’t want all this muck and debris falling on your rock garden or shrubs.
Clean the Downspouts
Before you clean the gutters, you need to clean the downspouts. There could be debris clogging the downspouts, which need to be cleared first. Use the garden hose and flush each downspout, making sure they are all free of debris. While you’re at each downspout, make sure they are securely connected and not loose.
Using a Scoop
The roof gutters can get filled with packed dirt and mud that is not easy to wash out. Using a scoop can be the best way to scoop out this dirt. You can use a small hand trowel or a plastic scoop.
Use a Leaf Blower
If the debris clogging your roof gutters is loose and dry, you can use a leaf blower. You can buy a special nozzle attachment for some leaf blowers that release a narrow stream of air. This allows you to get a strong jet of air into the gutters to thoroughly clean them.
Use the Garden Hose
The garden hose is a simple way to clean your roof gutters. Get a pistol-grip spray nozzle for the hose that allows you to adjust the force of the spray. The force of the water will easily move debris through the gutters and downspouts.
Check for Loose Gutter Nails
Loose gutter nails or screws can come loose. Many times these gutter nails will snag debris and stop the water from draining.
You can buy gutter guards for your roof gutters that will help keep debris from collecting the in the gutters. Seamless gutters can also help keep them clean. Older gutters have seams, and debris can catch on these seams.
Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community