Protecting our assets has a cost; sometimes, it is as simple as gutter cleaning to keep water flowing in the right direction of our roof. When performed regularly, roof gutter cleaning can save thousands of dollars in roof repairs. When assessing potential roofing problems, many homeowners use gutter cleaning in Toronto as an ounce of prevention that yields a pound of cure. For example, assume you need to clean out your rain gutters. In that case, you can expect significant problems on the roof, ranging from ice dams to water spilling over the gutters into undesirable areas, resulting in a slew of unanticipated consequences such as wall and insulation damage. When the ice dam weakens the channels, and they begin to pull away from your home, injuries can occur if someone becomes entangled in the avalanche of ice and material when the gutter gives way. Once the water has entered your roofing system, mold will grow as sure as the sun rises in the East, posing serious problems. When reviewing your home’s maintenance schedule, include gutter cleaning on the list to keep unwanted visitors away. Call the gutter repair and cleaning experts at Integrity Roofers for all the assistance you require to keep your gutter free of obstructions. Our institutional knowledge is based on our many years of experience maintaining roofing systems, and our staff will identify problems that other roofing companies will miss.
What is Included in Gutter Cleaning?
To begin, gutter cleaning is a type of maintenance you perform on your building to keep it functioning correctly. Remember that gutters are troughs that collect water and channel it away from the building to prevent it from seeping into cracks and openings. The gutters in the system 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 media, 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 increase in rain gutter systems. In addition, 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. The buildup will be easier to remove if the work is done regularly. A professional with the tools and experience to make the quick result of the blocked gutters should do the job. 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 older, it may have a different shape than a new channel style. Furthermore, the materials will be completely other: an older gutter may be made of aluminum, whereas a unique channel may be made of PVC/plastic. Traditional gutters come in square, half-round, mini, valley, and downspout styles. The style of guttering you have will be determined by your roofing and building structures, and a qualified contractor will know exactly what to do if they see any of these gutter styles.
How Frequently Should Your Gutters Be Cleaned?
Gutter cleaning should be done at least once a year, preferably twice a year, in the late spring and late fall, to protect your roof during the summer and fall. Your environment will also dictate when you should clean your gutters. For example, if you live in a densely forested area, you may need to clean your gutters more than twice a year because the accumulation of leaves in the channel determines the frequency of cleaning. Remember that the fall brings more rain, which, when combined with debris in the gutters, is a recipe for disaster.
Safety and Gutter Cleaning
Working At High Altitude
Many gutter cleaning companies use a vacuum system to remove debris from gutters when working high up in the air to reduce safety hazards. When working at heights, some companies require their employees to wear a safety harness and have been trained on the nuances of working at heights.
Wear appropriate footwear and use the proper size ladder (one that can accommodate the climber’s weight and the tools required for the job). The ladder must be placed on level ground and not in front of a closed door. Three points of contact is a good rule of thumb. This means you should have one foot on the ladder and two hands on it, or two feet on the ladder and one hand on it. Keep your back to it when standing on a ladder, and never move it. Wear a tool belt if you need to climb the ladder, and never rush up or down the ladder.
Check the Weather
Check the weather forecast for any impending bad weather before placing the ladder against the house. If windy or dark clouds are in the sky, postpone your gutter cleaning for another day.
When your rain gutters are damaged, you can expect four problems to arise due to the situation. First, damaged rain gutters cause leaks, sags, overflow, and pooling around the roof. If sags are expected, a hanger can be installed to eliminate the dip in the gutter. If cracks are the issue, a sealant can be used to seal the crack, or a patch will need to be placed over a hole when trouble arises.
Dangerous Debris in Gutters
This includes any material that may become lodged in your rain gutters. Typically, leaves and other debris will take up space in the channel, clogging it. In addition, when water freezes in the winter, it puts additional strain on the gutter and may fall off the side of your house, causing injury and damage.
Using Protective Measures for Gutter Cleaning
- Wear safety glasses and a mask to avoid getting materials in your eyes or inhaling them.
- Wearing gloves protects against injuries caused by sharp materials found in gutters.
- When removing sediment from the channel, use a scoop.
- Clearing the roof before you begin ensures that there will be no material buildup after a gutter cleaning.
- When assessing the work to be done, keep an eye out for power lines – it could mean the difference between life and death if you or the ladder come into contact with a live power line.
DIY vs. Professional Gutter Cleaning
The Cons of DIY
Safety is priority number one on any job site, and without proper safety training, you could be setting yourself up for a fall – no pun intended. The time it takes a novice to clean a gutter far outweighs the time it takes a professional to clean your gutters. You are setting yourself up for failure when you clean your gutters without the proper equipment. Do you know what you’re doing if you don’t clean gutters for a living? The answer is probably not because there are a variety of scenarios that need to be covered in YouTube videos.
The Advantages of Professional Cleaning Services
Hiring a contractor significantly reduces the risk factor; the best part is that they assume any liability for on-site accidents. That is why you hire contractors in the first place: they exude experience and expertise. Gutter cleaning requires a distinct skill set combined with years of experience, not to mention the safety training every gutter cleaner receives.
Learn more: What are the Qualities of an Excellent Roofing Contractor?