Clogged Gutters are Big Business
Clogged gutters can cost homeowners a lot of hard earned cash. Although the gutter is often as neglected as the roof, the same can be said about both; routine maintenance can avoid many problems. Most often, gutters are clogged with debris from trees and wildlife, such as birds and squirrels. It is difficult to see from the ground level, but it accumulates very quickly. To save a lot of money, routine maintenance such as gutter cleaning should be done at least twice a year. You can do this yourself, or hire a professional. If you live in Oregon, and want a clean gutter in Portland, we’re always here to help. In this article, we’ll explain some of the more common symptoms of a clogged gutter.
Photo credit: All Surface Cleaning and/or as noted in each section.
Signs of a Clogged Gutter
Probably one of the most common symptoms of a clogged gutter is water running over the edges of the gutter. Debris can dam up the water either in the gutter, or in the downspout. If the clog is in the gutter, water will naturally just overflow. One can usually spot this during a heavy rain, or when snow is melting in Spring.
Another symptom, and one that indicates the gutter has been clogged a while, is the gutters pulling away from the house. This is due to the water going between the gutter and the house, and also could be caused from the weight of the debris pulling it down and away. If this is noticed, it is best to get help as soon as possible. It indicates a more serious clog, but also can mean there has been damage to the home/roofing as well.
This may seem obvious, but if you see plant life growing in the gutter, or birds and other animals nesting…you’ve got a clogged gutter! Believe it or not, we’ve actually encountered gutter systems that were completely clogged, and absolutely no water was being properly transported though them. We’ve encountered a couple of times where the uninformed homeowner had actually planted flowers in the gutter! Gutters are there for the purpose of safely moving water away from the roof and structure of the home. They must remain clean and clear at all times.
Cleaning the Gutter
For a clean gutter in Portland (or anywhere else!), be sure you have the right tools, including a sturdy ladder, garbage bags, a garden trowel, a garden hose, and some heavy work gloves. Take everything you will need with you when you go up the ladder. Clean each section of the gutter system around the home, and then check the downspouts. While you are up there, check for any obvious damage to the roof or home structure. Some damage may be difficult to see unless you are familiar with what to look for. Make sure the gutters are all secured properly and there is no pulling away from the house.
Please exercise extreme caution while on the ladder and if you go onto the roof. There are thousands of emergency room visits each year due to falls from ladders and rooftops. Gutters should be cleaned in the Spring and Fall for best results.