Written by: Michael Morris
Having received multiple messages this season about the do's and don'ts of home gutter cleaning, I thought I would address a few of them, such as:
"When do I know it's time for Gutters to be cleaned"
"Can I just pressure wash them?"
First, I'll start by saying, if homeowners in the United States opt for better ways of cleaning roof gutters, then there would be a lot less injury and death related incidents. In Grosse Pointe specifically, we would see less chances of property damage caused by clogged drains and damaged roofs. And as always, if you are in the Grosse Pointe or St Clair Shores communities, please avoid the hassle and give our Pros a call for Premier Done-For-You cleaning services.
FAQ #1: Why Should I Clean My Gutters?
You can’t escape cleaning gutters as it is one of those maintenance chores that could cost heavy repairs upon neglect. Imagine the roof gutters of your home are so choked that it lets the water overflow. Not only this, but accumulated debris can add weight to gutters and cause sagging, if not breakage. Moreover, overflowing water can damage the walls and lead to mold formation in surrounding areas. Most often I see damage to siding, basements, and the landscaping below a neglected gutter system. Avoid disaster and keep your home in top shape- get your gutters cleaned.
FAQ #2: When is the Best Time to Clean Gutters?
This is another question I receive often. If they haven't been cleaned in a year- do it now. But general rule of thumb, you should clean your roof gutters once a year and late autumn is the ideal time.
In Michigan there IS a sweet spot we try to aim for: after the leaves and debris has fallen yet before it freezes over. It’s a good idea to remove the debris before the winter snow freezes as it can add weight to your gutter system and most companies, ours included, seasonally shut down.
However, If you do miss the fall cleaning, opt for ASAP early Spring. The previous season's leaves will clog your drains, and the soon spring rain will be overflowing these choked gutters. Therefore, you would want to get rid of all the debris before the rainwater hits your roof.
I do see a lot of homeowners clean out the gutters more frequently. For instance, neighborhoods like GP Farms that have a lot of trees may opt to wash out gutters more often, especially if they have lots of pine trees. Pine tree needles are notorious at blocking and clogging drains.
FAQ #3: What Is The Most Effective Way Of Cleaning Gutters?
In autumn, leaves do more than change colors ---- they fall and do what we call "choke" or block the gutters. If the idea of climbing up a ladder to clean gutters makes you weary, you can indeed pressure wash them being condition and location are acceptable.
Pressure washing is a safe, quick, and efficient way of removing gunk from your gutters. It may seem unconventional, but the force behind these pressure-washers removes the wet and sticky mess Fall season may leave behind. At Morris Family Window and gutter Cleaning, we like to use a combination of pressure-washing and by hand scoop-and-dumb so that no debris is left behind. If you are going for quick and effective, pressure washing will be just fine. If you are going for max cleanliness and preventative measure, using by hand methods would be preferred.
Some tips if you are going to use a pressure-washer on your gutters:
Remove any furniture or flowery plants placed around the gutter. Steer clear your pathway so that you don’t trip over while pressure washing the gutters.
Always start with the downspout and use the pressure to unclog tough spots
Always wear safety gear like glasses to cover your eyes in order to prevent injury as debris flies off the gutter (at high speeds!)
For quick and easy cleaning, you can indeed use a pressure washer instead of a trowel to clean gutters. All in all, pressure washers are efficient at cleaning the exteriors of your home. At Morris Family Windows, we use a combo approach to make sure all debris is cleared. The best times of the year to clean your gutters are in late Fall (before the freeze) and in early Spring. Homeowners should clean their gutters at least once a year, but many in the Grosse Pointe are opt for twice a year due to our natural surroundings. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask!