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CLEANING YOUR GUTTERS

Keeping your gutters clean is part of regular home maintenance. If you are renting a home then you will be responsible for cleaning your gutters as often as necessary. Like crating your dog to avoid messes, cleaning your gutters will help keep your home looking nice and also prevent any clogging and future flooding to your home.

Keeping your Gutters Clean

Cleaning the gutters in your home is something we all need to do once or twice a year. The best time to clean your gutters is during the late fall or early winter, before any snow has formed but after all the leaves have fallen. You want to clean your gutters when your roof is not yet slippery with ice and frost but not before the trees have lost their leaves or else all your work will have been pointless. After all, most of the debris in your gutters will be loose and fallen leaves from nearby trees. You may also want to clean your gutters again in the late spring after winter.

You will need a number of items to clean your gutters properly. It is also important to have someone spot you (a partner or neighbor) in case you fall. Choose a time when the ground is dry and it is not raining as you will need to use a ladder. You will also need work gloves, a hand spade and a garbage bag for the debris. You may also want to use a garden hose with a sprayer at the end.

Once you have all your tools in place you will need to set up the ladder in a corner and make your way across, cleaning the gutters as you go. Use the hand spade to unclog the gutters and have a bucket or garbage bag handy and attached to the ladder to put the debris. You can dispose of the waste by composting the debris or throwing it directly in the trash.

After you have done all the gutters and have removed the bulk of the debris you can give your gutters a slight soak with the garden hose to fully clear them up. It is important to use the hand spade, first, however, before you soak your gutters. If your gutters are too clogged the water will not go through and you could end up damaging your gutters and flooding the foundation.

Gutter Damage and Repair

When you are cleaning your gutters you might come across minor damage. After all, your gutters will not stay perfect forever. Look for cracks, mould build-up and other damage that could result in a problem. If this is the case, discuss the problem with your landlord. Your landlord’s insurance will usually cover the costs to repair your gutters, especially if the damage is due to a storm, hail, snow or ice build-up. Your landlord may want to replace the entire gutter system with something a little more updated and easy to maintain such as seamless gutters. If your rental home is surrounded by trees or if you live in an area that is prone to storms then it might be worth your while to invest in leaf guard gutters which form a protected layer on your gutters to stop them from clogging up.

It is your responsibility to keep clean your gutters to prevent any damage or clogs from occurring; however, if there is serious damage it is important that you discuss it and show the problem to your landlord. Work together as a team to determine the best plan of action. A quick repair is often the easiest way to prevent major damage and flooding down the road.

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