Let’s face it…no one likes cleaning gutters. While it is a simple task, it can be messy and even a little frustrating, especially in the colder months. But neglecting this chore can lead to more than just a little pooling of water along the edge of your house. In fact, clogged gutters can cost you a small fortune in repairs if they’re left unattended for too long.
The Risks of Clogged Gutters
You may think that clogged gutters simply result in poor drainage. While this is true, improper drainage can have a much bigger impact than most people realize. Allowing water to pool near the edge of your house can result in damage to your home’s foundation.
Over time, shifting of your foundation can take place as a result of the water-soaked soil. This can cause cracks in your foundation that can make your home uninhabitable.
If you have a basement, you are also at risk of flooding when cracks appear, which can cause even more expensive damage. However, the trouble does not stop there. Clogged gutters can cause water to flow onto your sidewalk or driveway, resulting in damaged concrete.
The risks of clogged gutters only get worse in the winter months, when heavy snow can build up and place extra strain on your gutter systems. The moisture from the snow can seep into the fascia and frame of your house when your gutters are damaged, causing rot and mold to develop. The rot can even spread to your roof.
How Do I Unclog My Gutters?
Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid these serious consequences by properly cleaning your gutters. First, you’ll need to clean along the entire length of your gutters. You need to ensure that you have removed all leaves, pine needles, and other debris. You can complete this process by hand or you can sometimes use a leaf blower to make the process a little easier.
Once you have cleared the gutter out completely, it is time to turn your attention to the downspout. The downspout is the name for the place where the vertical drainpipe meets the horizontal gutter. This juncture is the most common location of clogs in your gutters.
You should remove all visible obstructions from the downspout hole. Your next step should be to check the function of your downspout by running a water hose through it. If the water flow seems interrupted, there is likely a clog somewhere along the length of the downspout
If this happens, it means that you will need to clear the obstruction with a plumbing snake or with the garden hose. Repeat the above steps until the water begins flowing properly. If you cannot unclog the downspout this way, the last resort is to remove the downspout entirely to unclog it. Once water flows freely through the downspout, carefully reattach it to your gutter.
Keeping your gutters clean is a simple way to protect your investment for many years to come.