Gutters hero

It’s a messy job – and someone needs to do it

Have you been ignoring the aging leaves and muck winter left in your gutters? The debris can lead to serious problems as it decays, degrading the gutters and aging your house as moisture accumulates.

Clogged gutters can force water to leak through the roof and damage your house. The dampness can encourage mold spores to grow and spread.

Home improvement experts have tips for making gutter cleaning simple and effective.

Make sure to clean the gutters at least twice a year, in the spring and the fall, which will help you avoid expensive home repairs later.

Watch those leaves

Robert Weitz, certified microbial investigator and principal of RTK Environmental Group, a Stamford, Connecticut environmental testing service company, warns that you should never throw the leaves you’ve dug out of your gutters next to your home. The debris will eventually rot and could encourage mold to make its way into your residence.

Remember the downspouts

Don’t just clean your gutters. Weitz says that downspouts are just as important. If they’re not cleaned of leaves and debris, they can back up, causing water to pour from the rooftop along the foundation of your home. Too much of this water, and you could end up with a damp basement.

Be careful with that ladder

Set up your ladder about an arm’s length from your home’s corner downspout. Never rest your ladder directly against the gutters; you could end up in the hospital after a nasty fall.

A final rinse

After the gutters are clear of debris, the work isn’t done. Weitz recommends using a garden hose to rinse the gutters. This will remove any lingering debris.

Hire help

Hire help if height is too much for you to handle. Or, you can invest in a gutter-cleaning robot.