A rain gutter system won’t work properly if it’s not regularly maintained – even though some homeowners and business owners might think that the scheduled rain gutter cleaning can continually be put off without a problem. When gutters aren’t maintained after a long period of time, leaves and pine needles from nearby trees and debris from the roof build up, clogging and damaging the system. If this sounds like you, you might need a local gutter cleaning company. Consequently, water might start to seep through the foundations of your home, wall paint might peel off, water stains may appear, mold and mildew can grow on siding – the consequences are many and costly.
When Should You Clean Your Gutters?
So how often should you clean your rain gutter system to prevent such major problems? Professionals agree that maintenance services should be done at least twice a year, more often for properties that are surrounded by tall trees since lots of fallen leaves will clog the system faster than usual. Properties located in rainy cities also need extra care. Regarding what time of the year you should perform these cleaning services, we recommend the following:
- Before the rain or hurricane season: Atlantic hurricane season, which affects the state of South Carolina, starts in June and ends in November. While this does not mean that the area will be hit by continuous storms throughout those six months, there is a possibility that heavy storms and hurricanes may occur and therefore it’s essential that you clean your gutters to protect your property. June is the perfect time to perform one of the regular bi-annual gutter cleanings for this reason. It is also recommended to check for any loose gutters or downspouts before the season begins to prevent flooding and severe water damage.
- After a storm: In case a major storm occurs near your area, remember to inspect your gutters afterwards to check whether there is any damage that might need urgent repair. Heavy rains and strong winds can sag or dent gutters, the joints in seamed gutters can become loose too. If you fail to check, the next storm might catch you off guard.
- Before putting your property up for sale: Aside from the standard maintenance, there will be special occasions when it is advised to perform an extra rain gutter cleaning. Hiring a professional rain gutter maintenance company to refresh your gutters before putting your house on the market will surprisingly increase its value. Many buyers expect to find properties that have gutters already installed so they don’t have to worry about it later on. Besides, real estate agents usually advise sellers to repair gutters if they make the house look unattractive or unappealing.
Is Gutter Cleaning a DIY Job for You?
Once you’ve decided to clean your gutters, is it a DIY job? Maybe for some people, but most people ignore how dangerous cleaning your gutters can be and overestimate their ability to come out unharmed from a safety oversight. However, many people end up in the emergency room due to injuries caused by home improvement projects because they don’t take sufficient safety measures. Rain gutter cleaning is one of those activities that carries a high risk of injury. Heights, loose wires, tiny animals that live in debris, and defective ladders are some of the things to watch out for.
If you are determined to go through with your rain gutter cleaning by yourself, make sure to take precautions against these 4 common dangers:
Ladder falls: This is by far the most frequent accident that happens when cleaning rain gutters and other activities that involve ladders. In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 90,000 people every year are critically injured and have required emergency medical care after falling off a ladder. What makes this number more worrisome is that, as the Board of Labor Statistics has revealed, more than half of these accidents could have been prevented with proper inspection and usage of equipment. Make sure that your ladder isn’t showing signs of deterioration or damage before heading outside to clean your rain gutters. Also, take all the necessary precautions when placing the ladder, be sure to have the proper ladder for the height you need for the job and have someone help you by passing the tools to you, holding your ladder steady at the base, and watching for potential hazards.
Dizziness: After confirming your ladder is safe to work with and you have the supplies to clean your gutter, you may look up towards your roof and think that everything will be fine….and then you go up the ladder. Some people can be acutely affected by heights and losing balance on a high ladder is a very dangerous situation. Do NOT attempt to clean your rain gutters if you have ever experienced vertigo, dizziness or other conditions that could affect you while working at high heights – your life could depend on it. Call in a professional.
Electrical wires: Heavy rain can be disruptive and after a storm, some wiring and power lines can get damaged. It is especially dangerous to work on a wet roof with aluminum or steel gutters filled with damp debris and suddenly see a loose wire hanging over your shingles. Both water and metals are great conductors of electricity, so, while getting ready to clean your gutters, be sure to check for loose electrical wires near your roof that could compromise your safety.
Vermin and Mold Spores: Dark, humid spaces filled with leaves, branches, etc., usually attract animals like rats and birds and foster the growth of mold and other fungi. If your gutters are infested, there are many diseases you could expose yourself to just by picking up debris with your bare hands. That’s why it’s crucial to never forget to use gloves while cleaning your gutters to prevent coming in contact with harmful bacteria, mold, and diseased rodents. We recommend using suede gloves which are more resistant to sharp objects.
Should You Call in a Professional?
Since cleaning your rain gutter can entail such risks, it’s best to be as well equipped as possible to accomplish the task. If you think you may be ill equipped, consider hiring a professional to avoid the dangers entirely. There are many advantages to hiring a professional rain gutter cleaning company.
1. Prevention of home injuries. Don’t put yourself at risk, avoid any exposure to injuries. You need not worry about the professional’s safety. They are insured, experienced, and have all the equipment they need to get the job done in a swift and efficient manner, reaching places you might overlook.
2. Timesaver. Time is money and rain gutter cleaning can take a chunk of time. Some homeowners delay rain gutter cleaning because of their tight schedule, and others just prefer spending their spare time with family instead of on a ladder. If you value your time, you can hire experts that can do the job for you. Reputable rain gutter cleaning companies also offer periodical maintenance so you don’t have to worry ever again about your gutters or downspouts being clogged.
3. No need to buy cleaning supplies. Rain gutter cleaning goes beyond using a ladder and removing dirt. To get the job done efficiently and safely some special implements are needed: gutter scoops to ease the removal of debris, special gloves to protect the hands against rotting materials, proper eyewear to prevent injury. These are some tool purchases that homeowners may need to make because they don’t generally have them in their garage.
4. Better Outcome. Rain gutter experts know how the water collection system works. Therefore, while cleaning your gutters, they perform an inspection to let you know if there is any damage or repairs you might need to make in order to avoid future problems in your house. Rain gutters are made to keep water away from the foundations of your home. When this system stops working correctly due to clogged channels or loose gutter hangers, water starts to seep through the windows, walls, doors, or your home’s foundation. These are all costly repairs that can be avoided with a simple, professional, rain gutter cleaning and inspection.
Now you know that if you don’t feel confident cleaning your rain gutters on your own or you just don’t have the time, you can hire rain gutter experts that can help you maintain your water collection system in perfect working condition. At Jimmy’s Gutter Service we offer top quality rain gutter cleaning services, as well as gutter installation and repair. You can call us for an appointment for a free estimate or fill out the contact form.