Why Spring Is a Great Time for Gutter Cleaning
Gutters are key features of any house exterior. These sloped troughs that rest beneath roofing catch water from above and, with the help of gravity, divert it through downspouts away from your home. When functioning properly, gutters prevent water from pooling around the foundation, keep mold, mildew, and rot at bay, mitigate staining and streaking, maintain a home’s curb appeal, limit the need for expensive repairs, and more. Of course, various elements can interfere with a gutter’s efficiency. Debris such as fallen leaves and windswept twigs can clog your gutters, making it harder for water to pass through them (especially during autumn). And when things get cold enough during winter, moisture can freeze inside your gutters and downspouts, damaging your gutters from the inside and weighing them down. As such, performing gutter maintenance at key intervals is essential.
Let’s go over the proper process for cleaning your gutters and explain why spring is a great time to perform this task.
What to Know About Spring Gutter Cleaning
What Does Gutter Cleaning Entail?
Gutter cleaning begins with an examination of the current condition of your gutters. Some visual cues may suggest that you need to repair or potentially replace your gutters. These problems include fractures, damaged paint, oxidation (rust), pooling water, mold, and warped/bent/sagging gutters. If your gutters suffer from one or more of these issues, your first course of action should be to make necessary repairs. Otherwise, you can move on to the clearing process, which simply involves manually removing leaves and other debris that have accumulated inside your gutters -- do this on a dry day, as wet debris is more difficult to clear away. You’ll want to stand on a secure ladder for this job so you can clearly see what you’re doing and don’t miss any spots.
The small bits of debris that you can’t remove by hand can be washed away via garden hose or residential pressure washing (depending on how much power you desire). Aim the spout or gutter cleaning attachment toward the downspout to flush the grime out, and do your best to avoid spraying the areas underneath your roof. As you clean and flush your gutters, you may notice that less water is coming out through the downspouts. If so, there is likely an unseen blockage. To remove any additional clogs, feed the hose upward through the downspout and try to force out the remaining debris with maximum water pressure. A plumber’s snake may be required to dismantle a more stubborn obstruction.
After you’ve successfully cleared and cleaned your gutters and downspouts, make sure your gutters are properly secured and sloped (¼ inch for every 10-feet toward the downspout) to prevent future pooling. From there, use gutter sealant to close up and seams, pressure wash any remaining grime and dirt, and paint the outside of your gutters and surrounding areas if necessary.
Now that we’ve outlined the gutter cleaning process, here’s why you should get it done during spring.
Take Advantage of the Temperate Weather
The first and most obvious reason to tackle this project during spring is that this time of year offers mild weather that’s often perfect for outdoor work. Summer heat can be oppressive in many regions, and winter is the worst time to attempt this task if you live in a colder environment. Spring offers that goldilocks zone for gutter cleaning, but there are far more reasons to choose this time of year for such a task as well.
Assess and Repair Any Winter Damage
As mentioned earlier, the cold temperatures found in winter can cause water to freeze in your gutters and downspouts, making it impractical (if not impossible) to flush away debris. Ideally, you’ll have cleared your gutters sometime during autumn to minimize the risk of ice dams and other winter-related issues. Even so, winter can hit your gutters particularly hard, bending, dislodging, and damaging them before the season comes to a close. In some cases, the weight of winter ice can lead to a partial or complete gutter collapse. You don’t want to leave your home gutterless for an extended period of time, so the sooner you address winter damage, the better. It only makes sense, then, that the beginning of spring is a crucial time to inspect, repair, and clean your gutters.
Prepare Your Home for Spring and Summer Rains
The main purpose of your gutters is to collect rainwater and carry it away from your home, and if any season brings forth the rain, it’s spring. Summer and fall feature their fair share of rain, too. The bottom line is this: you want your gutters to be in prime operational condition starting in spring, so those incoming heavy rains don’t do damage to your home. Leaving your gutters loose, clogged, and/or bent after winter will set you up for a rude awakening after that first major storm, and the longer you put it off, the worse things may get. Indeed, moisture accumulation in your gutters and on your home’s exterior can quickly lead to mold, mildew, and rot. While pressure washing services can help remove these fungal foes, you’ll continue running into these issues until you address the root problem: your gutters.
Discourage Animals from Making a Home in Your Gutters
Spring isn’t the rain season -- it’s also mating season for a wide variety of critters. The shape, moisture accumulation, and off-ground location of your gutters can make them prime spots for birds and squirrels to nest and, in turn, cause obstructions. The sooner you can nip this potential problem in the bud, the better. If you notice certain animals or pests getting comfortable inside your gutters, remove their nests (and continue doing so, if necessary) to discourage them from returning.
Gutter Cleaning Often Coincides with Other Exterior Improvements
Finally, spring is a great time for gutter cleaning because there’s a good chance you’ll also be thinking about other home renovations around the same time. If you’re already planning to invest in residential exterior painting and repairs, for instance, why not include gutter maintenance in these springtime renovations? Every part of your home’s exterior is interconnected, after all. A damaged roof can render your gutters useless, and damaged gutters can defeat the partial purpose of a sturdy roof. If you’re going to fortify and enhance your home this spring, then you’ll want to address each exterior component to ensure that every piece is functioning as it should.
Get Your Mind on Your Gutters
As long as the conditions are right, you can clean your gutters any time of the year. That said, it simply makes more sense to perform this task during certain seasons. Generally speaking, professionals recommend that you clean your gutters twice yearly: once near the end of autumn to prepare for winter and once at the start of spring to make post-winter repairs and prepare for ensuing rainfall. If you haven’t checked up on your gutters yet and you live in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, now’s the perfect time to hire the exterior power washing and painting professionals at Nash Painting. We’ll make sure your home is in good shape for every season. To learn more about us, our hassle free painting services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!