Tips for gutters from a general contractor – Forbes Advisor
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Your roof has a tough job to do. Sometimes he needs help lifting heavy objects. Directing the precipitation that your roof has accumulated away from your home’s foundation is the job of your gutter system. It is also hard work. Here’s what you need to know about your gutters and our expert’s helpful information to keep them up to the task.
Q: How do professionals clean gutters?
A: Professional gutter cleaners often start the job by removing all debris from the roof. Then they suck up the debris along the entire length of the gutter. The downspouts are flushed with water pressure tools and the rest of the system is cleaned with similar tools.
Finally, they rinse the gutters to remove any remaining dirt and clean the exterior of the gutter system. All stubborn stains are brushed off by hand, usually with specially designed extension tools. Most companies will then take the removed debris away for disposal.
Q: What are gutter guards and are they worth it?
A: A gutter protection system is a physical barrier that allows water to enter your gutters, but keeps debris out. If you live in a house surrounded by trees that throw debris, the professionally installed high quality gutter guards are worth the money. They will help minimize gutter problems. Regular cleaning is still necessary, however.
On the flip side, inexpensive store-bought gutter guards can do more harm than good, especially if not installed properly. The saying “You get what you pay for” actually applies to DIY gutter guards. Many DIY gutter guards are very effective. Just make sure you buy some decent quality guards and follow the installation instructions closely.
Q: Do you have to walk on a roof to clean the gutters?
A: Stepping on a residential roof should be avoided for any reason other than an emergency. That said, to clean a hard-to-reach gutter where ladders or extension tools won’t work, you may have to walk on your roof. Keep in mind, however, that most home injuries are the result of ladder and roof accidents. Be extremely careful if you have to walk on the roof.
Q: How often do gutters need to be cleaned / maintained?
A: Homeowners are often told that gutter cleaning is absolutely necessary at least twice a year. This is a good rule of thumb for most situations. The truth is, it completely depends on the type and amount of debris your gutters have to deal with.
If your house is surrounded by tall pines or trees that throw a lot of seeds (like my house), you may need to clean your gutters every month during the summer. If there are no trees nearby, once a year is probably sufficient. New asphalt shingles remove debris that can cause gutter problems. Check your gutters often if you’ve recently had a roof installed.
Q: What mistakes do people make that damage their gutters?
A: Improper installation of gutter guards can be a very costly mistake. The problem is twofold. Having the misconception that your gutters no longer need cleaning because they are protected will eventually lead to system failure. Worse, if this failure occurs during freezing temperatures, an ice dam can pierce a hole in the roof, potentially causing extreme damage.
Q: Can you use a pressure washer to clean your gutters and gutter guards?
A: Pressure washer accessories are widely available for cleaning gutters. They are very effective, especially when used in conjunction with wet / dry vacuum accessories or leaf blower attachments. They are simply rigid pressure washer hose attachments that are long or stretch and curved to accommodate working from the ground up.
Q: Who should you call if you are having trouble with your aligners?
A: The first call to make should be addressed to a company specializing in gutters. Most of them perform installation, repair and cleaning services. They will be able to fix any issues one way or another. If your gutter issues have caused water damage, you may need to call a contractor or roofing company for repairs.
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