- The team at Gutter Guyz recommends cleaning your gutters at least twice a year.
- They say it’s important to be proactive about gutter cleaning to prevent serious damage to a home.
- The busiest gutter-cleaning season is the fall.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Broden Hill: I’m Broden, and I own a business in Connecticut called The Gutter Guyz. Today I’m going to show you how to clean gutters with wet and dry debris. So, when we clean a gutter with wet debris, nine times out of 10, we want to clean it by hand. The reason why is when it’s wet, it typically is very muddy and there’s a lot of what we call shingle dust or grit in the gutters, and it’s literally a mud. And when we blow them when they’re wet, it makes a muddy mess all over the house. We want to clean them by hand for that reason. So, that is a gutter that is completely jammed with leaves and debris, and the downspout was completely covered. When we released the debris out of the downspout and got that gutter cleaned, all of that rainwater that was in the gutter just started to flow very heavily right down the downspout, as it should.
So, oftentimes when we do a gutter cleaning, not only do we find leaves, but we find plants so big that we actually call them trees, sometimes, growing right out of a gutter. We’re actually pulling out a big plant, and you can see the whole root system come right out with it. Certain types of trees give off these little things that come off the tree and will grow another tree, and when those land in the gutter, it’s a perfect environment for that to grow. It’s a classic sign that your gutters have not been cleaned in years. It also puts a significant amount of weight from the whole root system growing in the gutter on the gutter, which in turn will pull that gutter off of the fascia board, which is actually the board behind the gutter that the gutter is mounted to. Wet debris is usually just saturated with water. Water will overflow at the gutter and get into your basement and create cracks in your foundation. Once water does find its way into your basement, it wreaks havoc.
Here, the water that’s flowing out of the downspout at the bottom is the end result that we are looking for. So that water will flow down and out, as it properly should. When we see dry debris, the reason why that debris is dry is because there has not been any rain in the past, I would say, week or so. So when we clean a gutter that has dry debris, oftentimes we will use a hand blower and blow those gutters out, because it does a really good job of just getting everything out of the gutter, whether it be leaves or sticks or curly stuff that comes off in the spring. Depending on the pitch of the roof, we will get on that roof, start our hand blower, and walk across that roofline hand-blowing out all of the debris out of that gutter. Sometimes the debris is very compact and it’s thick. That’s a classic sign of maybe a couple of years that somebody had not had their gutters cleaned.
We stick to one type of ladder, and that’s an aluminum ladder. The aluminum ladder does conduct electricity, so it’s very important we stay away from power lines when we are moving aluminum ladders. We could get severely electrocuted. It’s certainly deadly, which is why we mark the power-line areas with flags before we start a gutter cleaning. Because you’re looking where you’re walking, so you don’t look up to see the power lines. So it’s very important for us to have the reminder that power lines are there. We will often drop a penny down the downspout just to know that that downspout’s free and clear, because we can see and hear it go all the way through and back out at the bottom and we know that we’re in good shape.
The best advice I can give a homeowner is to be proactive, not reactive. Typically when you’re reactive, it’s too late. Damage has been done, the water may already be in your basement, it may already be in your home, and it’s just not a good way to maintain your house. Water is seriously detrimental to your house, and the main cause of water is from your gutters. So if you keep the gutters free and clear and you do consistent cleaning, whether it be two or three times per year, which we recommend, you will never have any issues with water in your basement or ruining your flower beds or rotting out the fascia and soffits of your home. Just stay on top of gutter cleaning.