Maintaining your gutters and keeping them clear is a much more significant part of keeping your house dry, well organized, and looking good than most people realize. However, it doesn’t have to be a painful chore if you organize yourself proactively to keep your world and your life in good order.
Maintain your gutters regularly
First, regular maintenance on your gutter in the middle of spring and in the fall will make the job easier every time you do it. To start, you’ll want to get your tools in order, grabbing a leaf blower or a hose to remove your loose debris on a dry day. If you’re doing this, you’ll also want to make sure you have goggles, a dust mask, and some heavy work gloves because it is going to get messy, and debris is not going to stay contained.
You can also pick up an all-in-one gutter cleaning kit that hooks up to your leaf blower to make things easier on yourself. However, no matter your approach, you should always have a trowel or gutter scoop to clean out the muck that simply won’t come out, starting at the outlet and working your way up from there.
Keep trees trimmed for safety
Second, keeping your trees trimmed back from your roof and your gutter will improve your home’s safety and keep their leaves further from your gutter. It’s not a cure-all, but it will reduce your work dramatically in the long run.
Leaf guards for gutters make maintenance easier
Third, there is a whole different set of inserts that you can choose from that can block leaves from getting into your gutters in the first place. These are broadly broken up into screens/meshes, surface-tension guards, and leaf catchers.
Screens and meshes are drop-in plates that debris sit on top of and flow off of. However, depending on how fine they are, they will block more or less leaf litter and will clog more or less frequently. So, depending on what you want in terms of maintenance, they are more or less effective.
Surface-tension guards let big debris fall over the edge of them but let water stick to them and wrap around into the gutter. These are tricky and need to be cleaned when you do your seasonal maintenance to keep them in working order from year to year, but they are incredibly effective at what they do.
Last, a leaf catcher system tosses leaves down the downpipe rather than keeping them elevated. However, properly installing one requires a different outlet than most gutters, requiring a 2¾ in flush mount outlet or K-funnel outlet to allow the leaves to consistently escape the gutter. These are effective but slightly more expensive.
Maintenance and guards reduce future gutter problems
Any of these methods, when combined with regular twice-a-year maintenance, can significantly reduce the chances of problems cropping up with your gutter systems. Just because we have to clean them doesn’t mean that it has to be a huge pain, and there are always ways we can make the job easier.