Gutter Cleaning Tips for Fall

Why is gutter cleaning important?

Keeping your home’s gutters clean may not be fun, but it’s necessary. Gutters divert water from your roof, but when debris accumulates in them, it can block the water from draining. If the water begins to pool and overflow from your gutters, you may experience problems like rot, rust, leaks or even a weakened foundation. Keeping gutters clean is important to the overall safety of your home, especially during fall when trees are dropping their leaves and therefore foliage and twigs will accumulate faster.

Does homeowners insurance cover gutter damage?

Gutter damage might be covered by your homeowners insurance, but only if the damage happens during a covered event, like a windstorm, hail damage, lightning strike or fire. An insurance adjuster will come inspect the damage, or have you send photos, to determine if all or part of your guttering needs to be replaced. Damage due to negligence or neglect will not be covered, so it’s important to inspect and clean your home’s gutters on a regular basis.

Gutter Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your gutters is important, but can get dangerous without a helping hand and the correct tools. If you’re ready to tackle your gutters this fall, these are a few cleaning tips to make your life a little easier. Just remember, if you aren’t comfortable cleaning your own gutters, or if you live in a house where the gutters are difficult for you to access, you can always reach out to a professional.

  • Clean gutters on a schedule. You’ll probably need to clean your gutters at least twice per year, but that can go up to six times per year if you live around a lot of tall, mature trees. Inspect your gutters on a regular basis to determine if they need to be cleaned.
  • Practice ladder safety. Don’t climb to the very top of the ladder and don’t extend your reach an unsafe distance. If your house has multiple stories, use an extension ladder with ladder stabilizers. Only use a ladder on solid, level ground.
  • Have the correct tools. Use a stable ladder (and have someone there to help with ladder safety), wear protective gear like gloves and safety glasses and prepare your tools before you climb the ladder. A bucket can be a helpful place to store tools like a gutter scoop or trowel while climbing and can provide a place to dump cleared debris.
  • Begin cleaning near the downspout. Start by cleaning the downspout strainer. You can remove large debris by hand, but use your scoop or trowel for impacted debris.
  • Flush gutters. Use a hose to flush gutters and downspouts after removing debris. If the downspout is clogged, try using your garden hose or a plumbing snake to clear the clog.
  • Check for damage. Look for potential leaks, sagging and damage. Make sure all guttering is securely attached to the house. Your gutters should slope slightly toward the downspout; if there is any standing water in your gutter, the slope probably isn’t correct.

SelectQuote Can Help You Find the Right Homeowners Insurance for Any Season

Cleaning your gutters just twice a year can keep your home safe from leaks and damage, and homeowners insurance can help keep it safe year-round. SelectQuote’s licensed insurance agents have the experience and knowledge to answer your questions and help you find the right home insurance plan. We search multiple insurance carriers in just minutes, comparing quotes and plans to save you time and money.

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