Posted on: 26 March 2016Share
As a first-time homeowner, it is important to understand that your new home's residential rain gutter system is a functional necessity. The rain gutter system channels the water from your roof out away from your home's foundation and to the appropriate storm drain system. The rain gutters prevent water from running down the sides of your home and under its foundation which leads to a flooded basement and cracked concrete slab foundation.
To prevent damage to your house from storm water, follow these time-tested do's and don'ts for cleaning and maintaining your new home's rain gutter system:
Do have someone hold the ladder for you while you stand on it to clean out the rain gutters around your home. This is especially important if you use an extension ladder or are cleaning the rain gutters on a second story.
Don't ever work on your roof or rain gutters without help or someone within earshot in case you need to call out for help. For additional safety, you should always carry your cell phone in your pocket while working outdoors on projects. You can use your phone to call or text for help if necessary.
Do plan to clean out the rain gutter system on your new house at lease each spring and fall. When leaves get stuck inside of the rain gutters, they will cause water to sit inside of the gutters. Standing water in the rain gutters is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the excess weight can damage the roof.
Don't try to clean out the rain gutters without taking up a large plastic spoon with you. Just spraying out the gutters with your garden hose often just compacts leaves into the rain gutters and causes clogs. By taking up a spoon, you can use it to remove clogging leaves before you hose out the rain gutters to remove the accumulated dust and dirt.
Do always wear rubber gloves while you are cleaning out your rain gutters. The longer-style gloves that are sold for housecleaning and dish washing work wonderfully for this DIY project because they are longer and will keep the organic muck out of your gloves and shirt sleeves.
Don't assume that if you do not see a problem then your home's gutter system is working as it should be. You need to actively clean and maintain the system to prevent expensive problems down the road. If you have a lot of vegetation in your area that is continually clogging up the gutters, then you can have gutter guards installed over the top of your existing rain gutter system. The gutter guards allow only water into the rain gutter system and prevent leaves from entering and causing clogs.