Spring-Cleaning Your Gutters

With clean gutters, you don’t have to worry about April showers.

By: Sylvia Slezak

Spring is right around the corner, and that means there are many projects around the home demanding your attention. One thing that often goes overlooked is your gutters. The problem is that many homeowners wait to get their gutters cleaned until they notice a problem, or so much debris has collected that the gutter is tearing from the roof. Unfortunately, this is like waiting to lower your cholesterol until you have a heart attack.

Gutters are mainly responsible for carrying the rainwater from large surfaces such as roofs to the area through which it can be drained out. Usually they protect the walls, basement, windows and flooring from getting damaged due to overflowing rainwater.

Gutter cleaning is an integral part of maintaining your home for an amount that is much cheaper than having to pay for considerable water damage in and around your home. Let’s take a closer look at all the reasons you absolutely can’t ignore your gutters and the importance of gutter cleaning throughout the year. Like your homeowners’ insurance, regular cleaning of your gutters can help protect your home.

Importance of gutter cleaning:
• Prevent water damage to your home
• Cut down on growth and spread of mold and mildew
• Avoid nesting areas for termites, birds, mosquitoes and other insects
• Prevent destruction of expensive landscaping
• Maintain the value and beauty of your home

When gutters become clogged and fail to do their job of properly draining water from the structure, there are many effects that can ultimately lead to very costly home repairs. Here are just a few problems that may arise as a result of unkempt gutters:

1/ Falling or sagging rain gutters
• Debris and water will collect and clog the gutters.
• Weight and pressure of rainwater will cause the gutter to fall off.
• A gallon of rainwater weighs about 8 pounds.

2/ Foundation damage
• Constant water leakage onto the foundation will lead to damage.
• Foundation crack leads to water leakage in the home.

3/ Mold
• Water leaks into the home due to cracked foundation.
• Water not having enough time to evaporate causes mold and mildew to grow.
• Mold is extremely hazardous to your health, and it spreads like wildfire.
• Once mold gets in, drywall and possibly studs have to be replaced.

4/ Pests
• Moist places are a haven for several types of pests such as mosquitoes, ants and termites.
• Mosquitoes use standing water to lay their eggs, which can lead to bigger problems.

Hire a professional or DIY?
There are two options. One option is to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to clean out and inspect your gutters. They do this for a living, day in and day out, they know the risks and they know the best and safest way to de-clog your gutters. Your other option is to do it yourself. But before you take on the task of a DIY project, here are five reasons you might consider gutter cleaning yourself dangerous:

1. Ladder safety
2. Going solo
3. Insects/mold spores
4. Power lines
5. Damage to your home

How often to clean your gutters
Having gutter cleaning performed at least each season would be ideal. However, your gutters need to be cleaned at least one time a year, or you are virtually asking for a flooded lawn and foundation damage.

• Winter: last of leaves dropping from trees and ice storms placing branches in your gutters

Spring: the potential for pollen and limbs making their way into your gutters

• Summer: strong winds linked to thunderstorms blowing debris into your gutters

• Fall: leaves falling from every tree in your area finding themselves in your gutters

A little upkeep goes a long way when it comes to gutters. You will have a clean system that will also save you time and money in the future! Visit www.CityOf.com/CorpusChristi/gutters to take advantage of the top-grade services offered by Premier businesses found in Corpus Christi.

Sylvia Slezak is the director of marketing and social media at CityOf.com. For more information, visit us online at www.cityof.com or give us a call at 361-883-4440.

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