There’s a good chance your gutters are clogged and could cause some serious (and expensive) damage to your home. Here are three reasons to clean your gutters now:
- Prevent water damage. Water that does not drain properly from your gutters can lead to rot on roofing, siding or interior walls. It can also cause water damage in the basement and ultimately damage the foundation.
- Protect your gutter investment. The weight of the debris and standing water can cause your gutters to sag or pull away from your home.
- Reduce pest infestation. Dirty gutters make desirable homes for mosquitos, rodents, birds, wasps and other pests.
Fall and winter debris, like leaves, twigs, nests and seeds, funnel into gutters, aided by spring rainfall or snow melt. They expand into a cement-like wad that plugs downspouts and causes water to run down the sides of the house and even into your basement.
Water damage can be costly. According to Home Advisor, the average amount homeowners will pay in water damage repairs is $2,582 — with a range from $1,074 and $4,090.
Don’t be tempted to do it yourself
Unfortunately, many homeowners think it’s an easy job and they can do it themselves. Statistics say otherwise. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that over 80,000 people fall and get injured annually from gutter cleaning, requiring immediate medical care.
The biggest causes of falls are unstable ladders, power lines and clothing snags. According to the CDC, the average cost for hospitalization from a roof fall is $34,000. Do-it-yourselfers also risk damaging gutters by resting ladders directly on the gutters, cutting hands on sharp pieces of gutter and getting clothes filthy.
Hiring a professional gutter cleaner is immensely cheaper, cleaner, healthier…and less debilitating!
In other words, don’t try gutter cleaning on your own.
When you hire a gutter cleaner, choose carefully
Not all professional gutter cleaners can be trusted to do the right job. Look for companies that:
- Remove debris from inside gutters by hand or blower (not using a power washer)
- Check and clear downspouts, using a blower rather than water if necessary
- Remove debris from your premises
- Carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance
Companies that offer companion services, like house cleaning, carpet cleaning and window cleaning are preferred. This consolidated approach simplifies maintenance, allows the company to take a personal interest in the overall well-being of your home, and enables you to become a priority customer. Many “one call does it all” companies also offer multiple-service discounts.
Look for third-party endorsements for gutter companies from Angi, Better Business Bureau and Home Advisor.
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