Why Gutter Gunk is Such a Problem and How to Deal With it

Chores are generally not fun, but gutter cleaning is one that some people find especially tedious. Taking too long to get this done will have you facing the aptly named gutter gunk. This is more than a mess in the gutters. It is a sticky, sometimes smelly reside left behind by rotting leaves. When the gutter gets to this stage it is harder to clean, but it is not impossible. Gunk causes gutters to overflow, and in winter it can cause ice dams which can damage the gutters.

Naturally, ice and water add extra weight that these attachments are not built for. This can cause them to loosen or pull away from the building. With a little care, you can avoid spending money on replacements. Getting rid of it will also help to prevent damage to your home’s foundation or the rest of the structure.

Cleaning Tips

It is easy to remove leaves by hand, but gunk is another matter. You will be able to scoop some of it out, but there will be a bit of it left, and this could cause problems. Even a small amount of water settling in the gutter can eventually lead to problems. The tools you will need for the job are:

  • Garden hose
  • Plastic gloves
  • Ladder
  • Plastic scoop
  • Bucket

Plumber’s snake

Make sure that the ladder stable before going up. Use your hand to scoop up as much of the residue as you can, then use the scoop to finish up. After cleaning the straight areas, deal with the downspout connection, a common clog area. If necessary, use the plumber’s snake to clear this section of the system. If the buildup is not too severe, you should be able to clear it with the hose. Wash out the rest of the system with the hose as well.

If there are any signs of damage to your gutters, cleaning alone will not do you much good. A clean system can still lead to property damage if there are leaks. Gutter cleaning is a popular do-it-yourself home maintenance task, so there is no reason why you can’t do this regularly. It is even easier to do this thanks to products made for this purpose, such as extendable pressure washers. You can choose handyman service providers if you prefer to leave this to professionals.

Fall is the perfect time to clean out the guttering because this is when all of the leaves are falling. You may even want to wait until all of the leaves in the area are on the ground or in bags before you start the gutter cleaning process. Give us a call if you are like many other homeowners who aren’t comfortable with high places or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to cleaning the gutters.

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