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DIY Gutter Cleaning vs. Hiring a Professional

DIY Gutter Cleaning vs Hiring a Professional

Living in the Midwest means that your home is exposed to nearly every weather pattern possible throughout the year, with high winds and tornados in the spring, hail and thunderstorms in the summer and fall, and snowstorms and blizzards throughout the winter. As a homeowner, it’s important to stay on top of your home’s exterior installations—from your rooftop, to your siding, your windows, and doors—to ensure your family’s safety and to prevent expensive repairs and replacements where possible.

One of the most important maintenance tasks to complete throughout the year is gutter cleaning. This is especially important after heavy storms and wet weather, as leaves and other debris can become trapped in your gutters causing water to overflow.

How often you clean your gutters depends on the system you have installed. While there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free gutter guard system, stainless steel mesh gutter guard installations can reduce the number of times you have to clean your gutters to just once every couple of years or so. For homeowners without high-quality, stainless steel gutter guards in place, cleaning should be done anywhere from every two or three months to twice a year.

To make things more complicated, DIY gutter cleaning isn’t a job that’s recommended for homeowners. While it is possible to clean your gutters yourself, professional gutter cleaning is a far better option. Keep reading to learn why it’s best to leave the cleaning to the experts in this article from our team at Smart Exteriors.

Why Gutter Cleaning is Important

Before we dive into who should clean your gutters, we first need to investigate why regular gutter cleaning is important to the wellbeing of your house. This task should be done at least once a year for homeowners without premium-quality gutter guards, but ideally it should be done once in the fall and once in the spring as well. One of the biggest reasons why gutters should be cleaned is that it prevents water damage from occurring.

A clogged gutter system prevents water from properly draining down and away from the house, which leads to pooling water. In time, this can result in loose caulking in your gutter system, rotted soffits, and roof damage. In addition to the exterior damage to your home, water can seep into the roofline and slip under the walls to damage your home’s interior.

Another issue that can become a big problem is when debris, ice, or other materials weigh down the gutter system. The gutter system is not meant to hold significant weight, and when this occurs the gutters can be ripped off. When this occurs, the roof can become damaged and you can even suffer from foundation issues due to the water not draining away properly.

Now that we’ve examined some of the big reasons why gutters need proper cleaning and maintenance let’s explore which option is better. Should you handle the cleaning yourself or should you hire a professional?

DIY Gutter Cleaning

Cleaning your own gutters—no matter the kind of system you have—is no easy task. While some homeowners do perform their own gutter cleaning, it’s generally not considered a job that can be done safely or effectively without the proper training and experience.

If you’re considering DIY gutter cleaning, take a look at the pros and cons of doing-it-yourself before making a decision.

The Pros:

  • Work According to Your Schedule: When you do it yourself, you get to choose when the job gets done instead of being required to stick to a schedule or be subject to someone else’s time.
  • Save Money: Even the most affordable professionals still cost money. Doing-it-yourself can save you money on professional gutter guard cleaning if you’re able to do a thorough and effective job.

The Cons:

  • Safety Hazards: Falls of any kind account for almost 9 million ER visits a year. Your personal risk of contributing to one of these statistics goes up significantly when you climb a ladder—especially if you’re not trained or experienced in doing so. In addition, the risk goes up significantly the higher your home is. In other words, the farther up you climb to reach your rooftop, the more danger you’re putting yourself in each time you clean your gutters.
  • Time Investment: While you might save money by doing it yourself, you will have to sacrifice your time. If time is a precious commodity for you, it may be worth hiring a professional instead of giving up a free day.
  • Requires Equipment: To properly perform this task, you’ll need equipment. It’s recommended that items like ladder supports, washers, and other tools be used. Not everyone has this equipment, which means you either have to do the job incorrectly or spend additional money that could have gone to a professional.
  • Lack of Expertise: Unless you’re a trained professional, consider the fact that you might not know how to spot problems with your gutter when you’re on the roof. You also might be unaware of how to properly clean gutters, especially if they’re the covered kind that you need to lift up to clear out.

Hiring Professionals for Top-Quality Gutter Cleaning

Professional gutter guard cleaners have the training, skills, and equipment to get the job done correctly and efficiently. Here is a list of pros and cons you can expect when you consider hiring a professional to clean your gutter system.

Pros

  • Less Risk: A reputable roofing company will assume all liability for accidents that happen on the job—and this is unlikely to the case if you attempt your own gutter cleaning or hire an untrained person to do it for you. Not everyone is comfortable climbing a ladder or operating a pressure washer at the same time. For sheer safety reasons, hire a professional and skip the risk of injury or worse.
  • Quality: Possibly the biggest benefit of hiring a professional for any task is being confident that the job will be done correctly. When it comes to your gutter system, having the job done right the first time can prevent you from having worse problems in the future that require extensive repairs.

Cons

  • More Expensive: While there are truly affordable options available, on average you’ll spend more hiring a professional than you would by doing the task your self. However, keep in mind that the expense of hiring professional services can work out to be less expensive in the long run should something go wrong during your DIY gutter cleaning project.
  • Availability: Professionals are busier during the fall and spring, which are the times you want the job done. This means you’ll need to schedule the cleaning well in advance and be prepared to give up one of your free days to accommodate them.

Reducing Your Gutter’s Maintenance Needs

Remember, the cleaning of your gutters is a task that should never be postponed or forgotten. Fortunately, you can keep the cleaning of your gutters simple by making sure cursory inspections are done prior to the seasonal cleanings that should be done.

While cleaning is a constant concern, you can lower your cleaning and maintenance needs by investing in stainless steel mesh gutter guards. These guards protect against the accumulation of debris, which allows water to flow more easily down and away from the home.

Superior-Quality Gutter Guard Systems from Smart Exteriors

At Smart Exteriors, we are proud to provide our customers in Kansas City with strong and durable stainless steel mesh gutter guards. We’ve seen first-hand how much time and stress this simple installation can save for homeowners in the Midwest, which is why we always encourage our customers to consider enhancing their homes with this important addition.

Our goal as one of Kansas City’s most highly rated exterior remodeling teams is to make owning a home in the Midwest easier and more enjoyable throughout each and every season of the year. If you’re ready to reduce your home’s maintenance needs while dramatically enhancing its gutter protection, contact us to speak with one of our agents about surgical-grade, stainless steel mesh gutter guard installation services now. Or, if you prefer, fill out our online form to schedule your free pricing estimate and consultation with Smart Exteriors.