Professional Gutter Cleaning

Proper Gutter Cleaning By Professionals

Gutter Cleaning (1)The fall season is here and the annual ritual of raking up those colorful leaves begins. Part of that fall ritual should include cleaning your gutters. Once the leaves have stopped falling, it’s time to check the gutters. Gutters are an important function for your home, collecting rainwater from the roof and directing it, through downspouts, away from the foundation. A one-inch rainstorm can produce 1,000 gallons of water runoff from an average roof.

Leaves not only cover your landscape, they land in gutters and downspouts, clogging them, and can result in costly repairs. Clogged gutters and downspouts result in water overflowing, causing fascia boards to rot, damaging siding and even leaking into the house.

If rainwater or water from melting ice and snow can’t drain properly from the gutters, it will back up and leak into eaves, ceilings and walls. Additionally, water overflowing from a gutter can damage the foundation of a home and leak into the basement. Last winter’s record breaking snowfall caused ice dams that affected thousands of homeowners and businesses. Keeping gutters and downspouts clear will help reduce damage from melting ice dams.

Cleaning gutters can be dangerous and its best left to professionals. There are overhead powers lines to be aware of, dangers of falls from ladders and the risk of cuts from sharp gutter edges. Professionals have the proper equipment and knowledge to clean and repair downspouts and gutters.

They can assess potential problems, heading off what could be a costly repair. Proper tools must be used to clean downspouts and gutters. Sharp tools can scratch metal or damage wood. A leaf blower can be used to blow leaves out of a gutter and a scoop or trowel is utilized to remove grit and sediment.

Once the gutter is cleaned, it should be filled with water to check for leaks and proper drainage. Downspouts can clog and cause water to backup. If a downspout is heavily clogged, a hose should be used to blast out the debris. If that doesn’t work, a plumber’s snake should do the trick.

Devices such as guards or screens that are designed to keep debris out of gutters are not a 100 percent solution to keeping gutters clean. Pine needles, small leaves, twigs and grit can work their way through the device. The device must be removed in order to access the gutter and then properly be put back in place.

The pitch of a gutter is also important to have checked. Water cannot properly drain if a gutter is level and must be properly pitched toward the downspout drain hole. A gutter should have a one quarter-inch pitch for every 10 feet.

Wet leaves and muddy sediment in a gutter can add weight, causing it to pull away from the fascia. Also, a weighted gutter affects the pitch. Underground drainpipes can also clog and should be assessed. Leaves and sediment can make their way into an underground drain or dry well. If the dry well or drain or are clogged, it will cause water to back up.

Leaving grit and wet leaves in a gutter can hasten rust in a metal gutter and rot in a wooden one. Keeping them clean can extend their life. Gutters and downspouts should also be checked for leaks. There are sealants specifically designed for gutters. The gutter fasteners should also be checked to make sure they are properly attached to the fascia boards.

If water is pooling from the downspout onto a planting bed or near the foundation, extenders can be used to direct water away. The extenders attach to the end of the downspout and are flexible. The gutter system should be inspected from time to time to make sure it is in proper working order.

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J.W. Graham Painting, Inc.

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Holbrook, MA 02343
Phone: 781-337-4889
Fax: 781-767-3660
Email: info@jwgrahampainting.com

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