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Squirrel hanging outside of a gutter

Cleaning Your Gutters: Do it yourself or Call a Professional?

When you think about home maintenance, cleaning your gutters may not be the first thing on your mind. In fact, they are often forgotten by many homeowners until it’s too late. Gutters are often out of sight, out of mind, but not cleaning your gutters can lead to severe problems you cannot ignore. Mold, holes, sagging, and even animals making a home for themselves are some of the issues you may encounter should you ignore gutter upkeep. 

Your gutters should be cleaned twice a year, in the spring and the fall. A good rule of thumb is to clean them every time you change the batteries in your smoke detectors and just before snow might start. Letting debris build-up through the year only causes the problems to exacerbate and eventually causes you more headaches and more money. 

Every fall and spring, assess your situation. Take a look at your gutters. Check for:

  • Cracks
  • Paint chipping or rust 
  • Splits
  • Sagging
  • Standing water
  • Plants growing
  • Mold or mildew
  • Animal noises or visual clues of animals hanging out in your gutters
Leaves in a silver gutter of a house

All of these things, and more, can cause you headaches if not taken care of. While easy to forget, cleaning your gutters should be a priority when it comes to maintaining your house. The question then becomes, should you do it yourself, or should you hire a gutter cleaning service? There are pros and cons to each choice. 

 Choosing to clean gutters yourself saves you money. This is the biggest pro of doing this yourself. Hiring a professional to clean your gutters can cost you upwards of $350. According to Google, the average cost of a gutter cleaning service is $157. Typically you will see between $125 and $175, but that price can go up depending on multiple factors. Besides money, there are two significant factors to consider. First, do you have all of the tools you need? And are you afraid of heights?

 There are some necessary tools you will need to tackle your dirty gutters.

  •   A bucket,
  •   A scooper
  •   Good quality gloves
  •   A ladder

 Unless you are cleaning your gutters through one of the upstairs windows (which is very unsafe; please don’t do this), a ladder will be the essential tool to have. Ensure you have the right type of ladder that will not lean against your gutters as this will damage them. Also, make sure the ladder reaches all corners of your roof and gutters. Even if you have the perfect ladder to get the job done, are you willing to get on the said ladder? If you are acrophobic and nervous about heights, you should call a professional. Fear of heights is a perfectly reasonable fear since falls can be very dangerous.

In today’s world, time is precious. Each hour of our day seems planned out; even when we take breaks, they are scheduled into our duties for the day. Depending on how much gutter you have to clean and how much experience you have, it could take up to 3-4 hours to complete this chore. Hiring a professional to clean your dirty gutters only takes a phone call. 

There are multiple reasons to use a gutter cleaning service, besides money, fear of heights, and time. When you assessed your gutter situation, did it look like they needed more TLC than you have to offer? Do you see large holes, mold, and rust? Call a professional. You may find that when you try to do this yourself, there are large clogs you cannot get out. If this is the case, you really should consider a gutter cleaning service. The gutter’s downspout needs to be clear; having a clog here will cause all the previously mentioned issues to happen. 

Animals living in gutters are also a problem people may come across. When gutters are not regularly cleaned, critters find it a perfect place to take up residence. So, unless you want to give your local birds a place to call home, clean them routinely. If you find yourself in a situation where some animal is living in your gutters, then definitely call a professional. They will know how to handle them. The last thing you need is a bird defending its home, your gutter. 

Finally, if your entire gutter system needs to be replaced, please call a professional. Cleaning gutters on your own is one thing; replacing your gutters is a whole separate monster. Even deciding if you need to replace your gutters is better suited for a professional. You may assess them and miss issues that a gutter cleaning company would not.

In the end, calling a professional gutter cleaning company is your best bet. You will have peace of mind that your gutters are attended to correctly. If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, make sure you take all the necessary precautions. Use proper ladder safety, gather the correct tools, and do it in the right weather.

Not willing to get on a ladder? Want the peace of mind that your gutters have been cleaned properly? Call Transblue. 

 

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