Although you may not give them a whole lot of thought, gutters and downspouts are actually an integral part of your house’s overall well-being. They direct and control the flow of rainwater as a means of protecting your roof, walls, foundation, and even your landscape. While many homeowners take the function of their gutters and downspouts for granted, though, when neglected, they can turn into a huge nightmare.
After heavy rains throughout the spring months, your gutters and downspouts may have become bogged down and clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris. When this happens, your gutter system stops being able to work efficiently (or at all), and you may start to notice leaks and/or water damage to your home’s interior or exterior. They can even become a home to critters and insects, resulting in major pest control problems. Ultimately, clogged gutters can lead to cleanup and repairs worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Regular Maintenance is the Key
For obvious reasons, preventing your gutters and downspouts from becoming overly clogged is the best way to eliminate potential problems with leaks and pests. This means making it a point to clean them out at regular intervals. So, how often should you be clearing out your gutter system? For Colorado homeowners, it’s best to perform this type of maintenance twice a year: before summer and before winter, after all of the leaves have fallen off of your trees.
The spring months bring a lot of wind and rain, which pull leaves, sticks, and small branches into the gutter system. You may also have trouble with those pesky “helicopter” seeds that can fill up your gutters and downspouts. This means that the early summer is the ideal time to have your gutters cleaned out. This will make sure that they are clear and in good condition so they can handle any summertime storms.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
So, should you handle your semi-annual gutter and downspout cleaning on your own, or would you be better off hiring a professional? Although the work of cleaning out the gutters can be a pretty simple process, it also comes with serious risks. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that around a quarter of a million Americans end up in emergency rooms each year due to falls from ladders. If you’re going to treat this as a DIY-type job, be sure to work with a safe and sturdy ladder, and avoid resting the ladder on your gutters as they may not be able to handle the weight.
In cases where gutters have become infested with rodents, wasp nests, or other critters, it’s best to let an expert do the job for you. They will be able to safely and effectively take care of the issues and get your gutters and downspouts back into optimal condition. Hiring a professional is also a much more convenient way to get all of the dirt, debris, and grime out of your gutter system so that you can relax and enjoy your time with family and loved ones. As a general rule of thumb, you should hire a pro to clean your gutters if:
- You don’t feel comfortable or safe using a ladder
- Your ladder is not in good, safe condition
- Your gutters and downspouts have not been cleaned in so long that they are overflowing with debris
- It is obvious that critters, insects, or other pests have built nests in your gutters
- You cannot commit the time to clean your gutters and downspouts at least twice per year
Could your gutters and downspouts use a good cleaning? Has your home experienced damages from clogged downspouts? Let the pros at Abbotts Fire & Flood come to the rescue today.