Gutter Repair and Cleaning: Simple DIY Tips to Prepare for Winter

Cleaning your gutters might seem like a meaningless or avoidable chore. But in all actuality, not keeping up with this task can cost you thousands of dollars in damages to your home.

From water damage on your walls and ceiling to flooding and cracked foundations. To keep your clogged gutters from wreaking havoc on your wallet and your home, we put this guide together to help you with gutter repair and cleaning.

Just follow along. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

The Importance of Gutter Cleaning

You may not know, but keeping your roof gutters clean is an important part of keeping a well-maintained home. If your gutters are clogged, you can end up with still water sitting on your roof.

A roof that’s too wet, doesn’t only provide a breeding ground for termites. It increases your risks for having a leak too.

But there’s a lot more to it. Unmaintained gutters and cause even more problems inside of your home like damage to the:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Siding
  • Foundation
  • Walls

With that said, using gutter guards can help keep some of the leaves and debris out, but they aren’t perfect inventions. With these devices, you will need to clean your gutters less often, but they will still need some attention.

It’s best to schedule time here you will regularly clean the gutters. How often you do it depends on your home and environment.

For instance, if you have oak trees nearby, you can most likely get away with cleaning them twice a year. But if you have pine trees on your property, you should clean them quarterly.

Gutter Repair and Cleaning Tips

Cleaning and repairing the gutters can be a daunting and difficult task. But if you’re a homeowner, it simply comes with the territory. We collected some tips to help you clean your gutters as safe and easy as possible.

If you just don’t have the time or feel overwhelmed by this, you can always hire a handyman service to get the job done.

Clean the Roof

Cleaning the gutters? Clean the roof first! Otherwise, the wind or rain will push any leaves or debris that’s on the roof directly into your gutters.

And of course, you know this will clog them again.

That isn’t all though. Any debris that’s left on your roof can cause water to dam up around your chimney, air conditioning equipment, or near the heating units.

Wear Rubber Shoes

It’s best to wear shoes with rubber soles when you’re cleaning the gutters or having to walk on the roof. The reason is rubber soles prevent slips and galls because they adhere to surfaces better.

Also, keep in mind roofs are often moister early in the morning. So, if you are going up there, go later in the afternoon when the sun has been up for a while.

Realigning Your Gutter

If water isn’t draining toward the downspouts and the gutter isn’t clogged, your gutter probably isn’t aligned properly. Luckily, realigning the gutter is fairly straightforward and only consists of a few steps.

First, place some long nails in the fascia board behind the gutter in order to support the area that needs realignment.

Then, remove the support brackets.

Afterward, tie some string from one fascia to the next. When you do this, make sure it will align toward the downspout.

Lastly, reinstall the brackets, making sure they align with the string.

Watch Out for Power Lines

If your gutters are near power line cables, take a look at them before going up to clean your gutters. It’s possible that the protective wire insulation could have worn off, as it’s part of the natural wear and tear from the elements.

If you see any damage, call a professional electrician to fix it. If it rains or there are strong winds when you choose to clean your gutters, this chore can turn into a very dangerous situation.

Use Gutter Guards

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your gutters, you should invest in some gutter guards. A nice quality gutter guard can keep you from having to clean your gutters in the future.

Remove Rust

If your gutters are metal and you see rust, you need to remove the rust right away. Otherwise, a little rust can lead to even bigger problems.

To remove rust, you always need to make sure you are wearing safety goggles. If there are just small patches, you can use sandpaper. But if the rust covers larger areas, you’ll need a wire brush.

Once it’s all up, apply a rust-resisting primer to the areas you cleaned. And if there are any cracks, fill them.

When you’re all done, apply a coat of gloss paint or bitumen for an extra layer of protection.

Get a Gutter Scoop

Scooping is the best way to get leaves, pine, and other debris out of your gutters. In order to scoop all of the gunk out, a gutter scoop is a tool you’re going to need.

When shopping for a tool, make sure your gutter scoop is plastic. Scooping your gutter with a metal device can cause rusting, scratches, and other damage to your gutters. And if the gutters are already rusting, you’ll speed up the rusting process.

Use Your Garden Hose

If you purchase a garden hose that has a pistol grip trigger spray nozzle, you can change the water pressure with just one of your hands while you’re up on your ladder. This will help you balance.

Also, because of the shape of the nozzle, you can easily hang this type of hose on the edge of the gutter while you’re doing other things like using your gutter scoop or moving your ladder.

There’s Always More!

Gutter repair is only the beginning. If you need more DIY home care tips, follow our blog!