Gutter guards offer protection for gutters against different types of debris, leaves,twigs, pine needles, bird nests and pests infestations. Their cleaning shouldn’t be neglected because their role is important and without them the building’s structure safety is at a risk.
Even if we have the best quality gutter guards, we still need to clean our gutters regularly no matter what type of property we have. To clean the gutters the right way we need to use professional equipment for this purpose. They should be cleaned in a safe and careful way.
Otherwise as you may know, uncleaned gutters pose a risk to our property. Debris accumulates over time inside the gutters and compromises their main job-to direct water away from the building.
When gutters aren’t cleaned properly and they are clogged, the rain water that runs through them doesn’t have a way out and it enters the property.
This results in:
- mold/mildew damage
- foundation damage in the future
When our gutters don’t have guards, this allows them to attract different pests as birds, rats and bugs often choose gutters as nesting places.
Therefore it’s good to invest in quality gutter guards to offer effective protection for your property against the common types of damage.
It’s recommended to clean your gutters at least twice a year and get the gutter guards checked once a year to avoid any structural damage to your property. We should not neglect the gutter guards too.
Аlthough some may claim that gutter guards don’t need to be cleaned, they still need regular check-ups. What doesn’t go inside the gutter line it remains stuck at the gutter guards and they too need clean-up at one point.
Gutter guards have many advantages besides maintaining our gutters clean for longer.
Benefits of gutter guards
- Protect a building from different types of water damage
- They can be easily attached to all types of gutters
- Prevent the appearance of bugs as they don’t allow for water to pool
- Prolong the life of the gutters
- May be helpful for those of you that harvest rainwater
- Animals cannot build nests inside your gutters
Types of gutter guards
Gutter guards cleaning isn’t a complex process and everyone can do it given they had the necessary equipment and time.
There are different kinds of gutter guard systems that vary by installation methods and materials.
They can be attached to the gutters in a variety of ways, either by clips or snaps or some don’t require attachment elements which makes them easily re-attachable. But they are maintained and cleaned by same methods.
The more complex and expensive a gutter guards system is, the less effort and maintenance it will require, as well as less clean-ups. But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t check it from time to time to see if everything works well. Any type of gutter guard system should be checked from time to time.
Mesh screen gutter guards
These gutter guards have mesh screen that stands over the gutter.They are similar to the perforated gutter guards with the only difference that offer more open space for the water to travel.
Mesh screen guards offer good protection against dirt and their top is easy for cleaning when needed. Gutter guards with plastic mesh don’t require attachment to the gutters.
Gutter guards with brushes
This type of gutter guards is easy for installing and inexpensive. The brushes look pretty much like giant bottle brushes and they work by capturing large debris particles that goes into the gutter line. Gutter brushes aren’t attached in any way to the gutters, they are simply placed inside them.
Reverse-curve gutter guards
These gutters are placed over the gutters by a special attachment to the roof. This type of gutter guard system lets the rainwater go in the gutter and remove the accumulated debris on its way.
When installed right these gutter guards need little or no maintenance at all. It falls in the category of the more expensive types of gutter guard systems.
Gutter guards with foam blocks
These offer great protection against debris build-up and save the need of an entire gutter clean-up. As they are densely set, these require periodical rinsing. They can be installed quickly and easy.
Perforated gutter guards
These are usually placed at the top of the gutter and they are made of metal. They keep any type of debris away from the gutter. Since debris usually gets stuck on the top and after it’s fully dried it becomes very easy to remove it.
When it comes to gutter guards cleaning, preparation is important so make sure you have all the necessary cleaning and safety equipment before starting to work.
If your commercial or residential building is 2 or 3 stories high, then it won’t be a bad idea to contact a professional gutter cleaning company.
One reason for this is because first-it’s risky to clean gutter guards that are located so high even if you are well-equipped and second-professional cleaners will complete the job more quickly and effectively. Choosing professional gutter cleaning services will save you both time and effort.
No matter what kind of gutters you are going to choose, making this investment you are prolonging the life of your gutters and protecting them from the damage that occurs over time.
Easy steps to clean gutters with gutter guards and useful tips
Set the work space
Get a drop cloth and put it on the spot where you plan to clean your gutters. When you start cleaning the gutters, the debris and leaves will land on the cloth instead onto your lawn, brushes or flower beds. Another way to gather the scooped up debris is to carry a bucket with yourself.
Get a ladder
Put a stable ladder against your property. Its base should be on a fully flat surface and it shouldn’t shake.
If you use an extension ladder, its three rungs should be above the roof’s edge. It’s recommended to have someone hold the ladder’s base while you are standing on it during the clean-up process.
If no one is available to help you, then you can use a rope.
One way to be extra safe is to secure the ladder in place by rope tied around its base.
The other end of the rope can be tied to a tree or have a family member or a friend holding it. In this way you can work with both of your hands easily without worrying about falling down during climbing up or cleaning.
Even if you use rope, it’s still recommended to have someone around to have an eye on the ladder and help you in the case of a fall.
Hand and eye protection
Cleaning gutter guards is not only a messy job but also it can be dangerous if you do it with bare hands. Sharp twigs or other sharp objects may hurt you so you should wear gardening gloves when you clean.
It’s also a good idea to get goggles too because there is the risk of debris or pine needles hurting our eyes by accident.
When you are ready to start cleaning your gutter guards, clean with a sweeping motion the collected debris on the gutter guards. Remove all the stuck leaves, twigs, needles and throw them down onto the drop cloth.
You can use either your hand or use a garden spade or other similar tool to scoop up the collected debris on the gutter guards.
If you see that your gutters are blocked with debris inside, then you may need to clean the gutters inside too.
Although gutter guards offer protection against dirt build-up, some leftover dirt which the rain water didn’t manage to rinse may still appear on the guard openings.
If your gutter guards are a removable type or hinged then you can remove them after you clean all the debris on top of it. You can do this only by using your hands.
Cleaning with a hose/pressure cleaner
If your guards aren’t removable, then the best way to clean the dirt in the gutters is by using a hose. It allows you to clean thoroughly all the dirt and debris from the gutters.
Find one that reaches easily the location of your gutter guards and has pistol-grip nozzle. A pressure cleaner is also an option if you have one. It will help you remove stubborn debris build-ups even more quickly.
By this way you can control easily the water pressure. Remember that if you choose to use a hose, you should ask someone to help you while you are bringing it with you on the ladder.
Use it to rinse the dirt and debris build-up inside easily and quickly. Check after the rinsing whether there is any debris left uncleaned. Sometimes debris particles can be too stuck to be removed with water power only.
When you are finished with the cleaning and you have checked that all the debris is gone, put your gutter guards back into place and you are done.
When to clean our gutter guards?
Cleaning experts recommend to clean gutter guards in the spring and fall season since most debris accumulates mainly during the winter months.