A Complete Guide to Gutter Cleaning
July 10, 2021
Protecting our assets comes with a price; sometimes, it is something as small as gutter cleaning to keep the water flowing in the right direction of our roof. A roof gutter cleaning can save thousands of dollars in roof repairs when conducted at regular intervals. Many homeowners engage in gutter cleaning in Toronto as an ounce of prevention that yields a pound of cure when assessing potential roofing problems. Suppose you don’t unclog your rain gutters. In that case, you can expect significant issues on the roof – from ice dams to water spilling over the gutters to unwanted areas, and that leads to many unforeseen consequences like damage to walls and insulation. Once the ice dam has weakened the gutters and they start to pull away from your home, injuries can ensue if someone is caught under the avalanche of ice and material when the gutter gives way. Once the water has been allowed to enter your roofing system, mould will grow as sure as the sun rises in the East, presenting significant problems. When reviewing your home’s maintenance schedule, add a gutter cleaning to the list to prevent unwanted eventualities from visiting your home. Call the experts in gutter repair and cleaning at Integrity Roofers for all the help you need to keep your gutter free of impediments. Our institutional knowledge is founded on our many years of experience maintaining roofing systems, and our staff will recognize problems that other roofing companies don’t see.
What is Included in Gutter Cleaning?
First, gutter cleaning is a form of maintenance you perform on your building to keep it functioning as it was designed to do. Remember, gutters are troughs that catch water and channel it away from the building to keep it from seeping into cracks and openings in the structure. The way the system is designed is that gutters trap water and move it along a trough to a drainpipe and the ground. Keeping the channels open moves water freely, while clogged gutters tend to see water overflow over the channels, causing problems around foundations and leaks at basement windows. Leaves, branches, bark, and other impediments will build up and create bottlenecks in the system, not to mention bird nests that seem to proliferate in rain gutter systems. Insects and other vermin can take up residence in the gutters, and they need to be removed periodically to maintain the integrity of the gutter system. If the work isn’t done regularly, the build-up will be more challenging to remove. A professional who has the tools and experience to make short work of the blocked gutters should do the work. You could spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on home repairs if you don’t keep your rain gutters clear, and that is money down the drain.
What Are the Different Types Of Gutters?
Rain gutters are as different as the buildings they are installed on. If the building is of an older vintage, it could see a different shape than a new style of gutter. Also, the materials will be entirely different – an older gutter might be made of aluminum, while a newer gutter might be made from PVC/plastic. Traditional gutters run from the square line, half-round, mini line, valley guttering and downspouts. Roofing and building structures will determine the style of guttering you have, and a qualified contractor will know exactly what to do when they see any of these styles of gutters.
How Frequently Should Your Gutters Be Cleaned?
At a minimum, gutters should be cleaned at least once a year, but better yet twice per year – generally in the late spring and late fall as a way to protect your roof during summer and fall. Too, your environment will dictate when you need to clean your gutters. If you live in an area populated by lots of trees, cleaning your gutters could be more than twice per year as the accumulation of leaves in the gutter will determine the frequency of the gutter cleaning. Remember that we see more rain in the fall, and that combined with debris in the gutters is a recipe for disaster.
Safety and Gutter Cleaning
Working At High Altitude
When working high up in the air, many gutter cleaning companies will employ a vacuum system to remove debris from gutters to mitigate safety hazards. Some companies will have their employees wear a safety harness when working high up, and they will have been trained on the nuances of working at heights.
Wear the proper footwear and use the right size of the ladder (one that will accommodate the climber’s weight and tools needed to do the job). The ladder must be on firm level ground and shouldn’t be placed in front of a closed door. There is a rule of thumb, three points of contact. This means that you should have one foot on the ladder with two hands holding on or two feet on the ladder with one hand holding on. Facing the ladder increases safety, and never move a ladder when standing on it. If you need tools, wear a tool belt to allow you to hold onto the ladder and never rush up or down the ladder.
Check the Weather
Before placing the ladder against the house, check the weather for any impending bad weather that may be on the way. If it is windy or you see dark clouds, postpone your gutter cleaning for a better day.
When you have damaged rain gutters, you can anticipate four problems arising from the situation. Leaks, sags, overflow and pooling around the roof come from damaged rain gutters. If sags are prevalent, a hanger can be added to remove the dip in the gutter. If cracks are the problem, a sealant can be used to seal the crack, or in some cases, a patch will need to be placed over a hole when trouble comes your way.
Dangerous Debris in Gutters
This can encompass any material that can be lodged in your rain gutters. Predominantly, leaves and other material will take up space in the gutter, leaving it clogged. When water freezes in winter, it puts extra stress on the gutter, and it could drop off the side of your home, causing injury and harm.
Using Protective Measures for Gutter Cleaning
- Wear safety glasses and a mask where necessary to keep materials from getting in your eyes or inhaling them.
- Wearing gloves prevents injuries that happen when dealing with sharp materials found in the gutters.
- Use a scoop when removing sediment from the gutter.
- Clearing the roof off before you begin means that you won’t have a material build-up in short order after a gutter cleaning.
- When looking at the work you need to do, be aware of power lines – it could be the difference between life and death should you or the ladder contact a live power line.
DIY vs. Professional Gutter Cleaning
The Cons of DIY
Safety is job one on any worksite, and without proper safety training, you could be setting yourself for a fall – no pun intended. The time it takes a novice to clean a gutter far and away outstrips what it would take a professional to clean your gutters. Without the proper equipment, you are setting yourself up to fail when clean your gutters yourself. If you don’t clean gutters for a living, do you know what you are doing? The answer is probably not, as you can run into all kinds of scenarios that aren’t covered in YouTube videos.
The Advantages of Professional Cleaning Services
The risk factor is dramatically reduced when hiring a contractor, and the best part is that take on any liability for accidents on-site. A professional exudes experience and expertise, and that is why you hire contractors in the first place. Gutter cleaning requires a unique skill set combined with years on the job, and let’s not forget safety training that every gutter cleaner is exposed to.
Integrity Roofers Provides Complete Gutter Cleaning
Gutter cleaning is essential for any building, no matter the application. When you decide to have your gutter professionally cleaned, look no further than the Greater Toronto Area’s premier roofing company, Integrity Roofers. Cleaning your gutters is a form of roofing maintenance, as cleaning the gutters can reveal potential damage in the roofing system and allow for a quick prosecution of the problem. When we take on the work, we will get on the roof, remove the debris and inspect the gutter system for structural integrity and damage. Once we have cleared the gutters, we will turn our attention to the downspouts to ensure they move water to the right places and are entirely flushed out before saying that the gutters and downspouts are clear. For a comprehensive, no-cost estimate that comes with our recommendations, contact our office today at Integrity Roofers at 647.953.9365.