Gutter cleaning is essential when it comes to maintaining the health of your house and everyone who lives in it. A clogged gutter can cause a lot of harm to the house and can sometimes even lead to them collapsing. So, if you are unsure if your gutters are clogged, look for the following signs.
Increase in Animals
One of the first signs that indicate clogged gutters is the increase in animal activity. If you start noticing that you have way more rodents and birds frequenting your house, it can be an indicator. The best way to check for this is by going to your roof and taking a look. This happens when the clogged gutters stop the rainwater onto the roof. This leads to creating a habitat that suits rodents like squirrels and pests like mosquitoes. You might also find more birds like seagulls and pigeons. If not taken care of, they can also start making their nests on your roof and slowly find their way into your house. You might get a rodent infestation or a pest problem if your gutters remain uncleaned.
Once the rainwater has remained stagnant on your roof for a while, it will start seeping into the structure of your roof, making its way to your ceiling. Apart from leaking ceilings, the water can severely damage your roof’s foundation by causing wood rot or inviting good eating pesticides into your structure that can cause a lot of problems for the overall structure of your house. If you have an attic, you might experience attic flooding as well, and might have to get professional help to fix everything. This might end up costing you way more time and money than you thought as these problems are not visible.
Shift in Foundation
One of the biggest tell-tale signs of your gutters not working properly is the shift in your foundation. This usually happens when the gutter water is being drained too close to the foundation. As a result, the water starts seeping into the soil around your foundation first, causing it to shift and erode. Then It enters your foundation, eroding the soil there and making it move. You can notice your foundation shifting in several ways- one of the most common is cracks in the wall. The second most common sign is when your doors and windows don’t close properly.
Another common sign is if your basement is flooding- this happens when the water in your foundation is so much that it sees into the basement. If the foundation starts shifting, you stand the chance of having your whole house collapse. Moreover, a foundation shift requires professionals to fix it and can often cost a lot of money and time.
When to Clean Your Gutters
The frequency of gutter cleaning as well as how you clean them depends on the place you live and your surroundings. If you live in a place that has frequent and heavy rainfall, you will need to get your gutters cleaned at least twice every year. On the other hand, if you live in a relatively drier area, once a year clean is sufficient. If you live around a lot of vegetation and trees and are frequented by a lot of rainfall, you might need to get them cleaned thrice or sometimes even four times during the year. We would suggest getting them cleaned by professionals at least once a year so that you don’t have to worry about heavy gutter cleaning jobs yourself. If you are unsure about how many times you should get it cleaned up, click here for free advice.
How to Do it Yourself
If you live in a dry area or do not have that much vegetation around you, then you can clean your gutters easily yourself, However, this is a messy job, especially if the gutter waste is wet. This means that it can cause quite a mess if not done properly and needs a proper way of cleaning. The first thing you should do is NOT go onto the roof to clean your gutters. This is not only dangerous but also not a very effective way of cleaning them. Another thing you should keep in mind is that if your house is taller than one story high, you should be hiring professionals and should not be attempting this task yourself.
There are two ways you can clean- using a ladder or by standing on the ground. If you are using a ladder, you will need proper ladder stabilizers that ensure your ladder does not tip or fall when you are working as it can cause injury. You will also need a scooping device along with either a bucket or a plastic bag in which you can throw the gutter waste. If you are cleaning your gutters from the ground, you can use either a water hose or an air hose with a special, gutter cleaning attachment.