When Gutter Cleaning Is Necessary
Gutters control the flow of rainwater from a roof and down a drain away from a home’s foundation, walls, and exterior siding. When they’re clogged, debris can cause roof leaks and other problems.
Gutter Cleaning Charleston SC isn’t a job for the faint of heart. Teetering on a ladder to scoop out gunk is dangerous and tedious work.
Gutters play an important role in protecting a home from costly water damage. When they are clogged, however, they can no longer carry rainwater away from the house. This can lead to roof leaks and other problems that are expensive to fix. Knowing when your gutters need cleaning can help you avoid these problems.
One of the most common signs that your gutters are overdue for a cleaning is water spilling over the sides. If you notice this happening, it’s important to schedule a professional cleaning as soon as possible.
Another sign that your gutters are overdue for cleaning is if you see black streaks or spots on the side of your house. These streaks are caused by organic growth, which is usually a result of dirty gutters. If you don’t get your gutters cleaned in time, the debris may begin to eat through the wood and cause damage.
Gutters can also become clogged with shingle grit and pine needles, which causes them to bend and sag. Over time, this can lead to the gutters pulling away from the house.
A clogged gutter can be a great place for animals to make their homes. Birds, squirrels, lizards, and other animals love making nests out of the leaves and sticks that are in the clogged gutters. These critters can cause a lot of damage to the gutters, and they can even be a health risk for homeowners. If you decide to clean the gutters yourself, make sure to take proper safety measures. Always use a ladder that is sturdy and has secure footing, and always have someone hold the base of the ladder in case you fall. You should also wear thick gloves to protect your hands from dirt, sharp objects, and animal excrement.
Water Stains on Your Home’s Siding
If you notice water spots on your siding, it’s important to take care of them right away. If left untreated, water stains can lead to mildew, mold, or fungus growth. This can deteriorate the integrity of your siding and lead to leaks or other problems. Luckily, most stains are easily cleaned with a simple bleach solution and a power washer. Start by hosing down the area with a garden hose and removing any loose dirt. Mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar with 1 part water and apply it to the stained areas. Scrub the stains and rinse with clean water.
If your siding is made from vinyl, a commercial cleaner designed for use on this material should be used to break down and remove the hard water stains. This type of cleaner usually contains acids that can easily dissolve rust and other mineral deposits. Be sure to read the label carefully and follow all directions. If you prefer, a store-bought product designed to remove rust and hard water stains from showers, fixtures, and bathtub surfaces should also work well on vinyl siding.
Dark stains that appear to be in the shape of teardrops are often caused by moisture that has soaked into the wood and wall sheathing. This moisture then picks up tannins, which cause the dark stains. Water-based stains can be prevented by cleaning your siding regularly and by sealing the wood and wall sheathing with a good-quality sealant.
Stains on building siding can be caused by many things, including dirt from rain splash-up, mildew, algae, mold, lichens, and moss. Different types of stains require different solutions, but all can be prevented with regular cleaning and preventative measures. Stains on the surface of a building wall may also be indicative of other problems, such as damaged insulation or deteriorating sheathing behind the siding.
Unexplained Leaks in Your Roof or Basement
Gutters are designed to redirect rainwater away from the house, but if they’re clogged with debris, water can flow down into the walls and cause structural damage. The water can also pool on the roof and seep under the shingles, causing roof leaks. The best way to avoid this is by keeping your gutters clean and removing debris as often as possible.
Clogged gutters can lead to a host of problems, including rotted fascia, foundation damage, and basement flooding. A professional gutter cleaning service can remove the debris and ensure that rainwater is flowing properly through downspouts and into a drainage system. The cost of repairing these issues can be quite expensive, so it’s important to keep your gutters clear and free of debris as often as possible.
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when it comes to gutter maintenance is not cleaning them regularly enough. Experts recommend that you clean your gutters at least twice a year, especially in the spring and autumn.
It’s best to hire a gutter cleaning specialist for this job, as it can be dangerous to work on a ladder with heavy debris or if you have a sloping property. Gutter specialists can use high-reach carbon fiber suction poles to safely and quickly remove blockages from your gutters, downpipes, and downspouts.
These powerful poles can clear a wide range of debris, including leaves, twigs, moss, and roof tile sediment, as well as unwelcome plants. They can also check for additional damage, such as sagging gutters and rusty fasteners, and replace missing or broken-down sections of your guttering. They can even provide a video inspection of your roof and gutters from the safety of the ground, using a special camera monitor attached to their telescopic poles.
Bird Nests in Your Gutters
Many bird species consider gutters and roofs perfect places to build a nest and raise their young. Unfortunately, this is not a good thing. The feathers, twigs, branches, and other debris that comprise birds’ nests can quickly clog gutters and cause overflow. The clogged materials also make the gutter less effective, as it is impossible for water to flow through and out of the downspouts.
Thankfully, there are several ways you can prevent birds from nesting in your gutters. The first is to install gutter guards, which effectively block birds from accessing the gutters. Other options include using deterrents such as stainless steel spikes and foil tape that create noise and reflect light to discourage birds from landing on the gutters.
If you spot a bird’s nest in your gutters, don’t try to remove it yourself, especially if it is during the breeding season (typically from spring through early fall). This may hurt the birds inside and could also be hazardous for you, as you would need a ladder to reach it.
Instead, hire a professional to safely and humanely remove the nest and its contents, as well as clean up the debris that has already clogged your gutters. You can also discourage birds from choosing your gutters as a nesting site by trimming nearby trees and bushes to limit their access to the house.
Keep in mind that it is illegal to kill, trap, or disturb birds and their nests unless you have a valid permit. If you are unable to hire a professional, contact your local wildlife group for advice on how to remove bird nests from the gutters without harming them. You can also install birdhouses or feeders on your property to provide alternative nesting sites for pesky birds.
Animals Flock to Your Gutters
When the leaves turn, the gutters become homes for a number of animals. Birds and squirrels will roost in your gutters for protection, warmth, food, and nesting materials. These creatures can cause a lot of damage to your roof and fascia boards, so if you see them in your gutters, call a professional right away.
Clogged gutters also attract mice and rats, who use the decaying organic material for shelter. Rodents can also chew through the rotting wood in your gutters and enter your home. If you have a rodent problem, prune trees and shrubs to prevent them from getting access to your gutters.
Snakes may sneak into your gutters as well, slithering along overhanging branches or climbing dry downspouts. If you notice snakes in your gutters, they are probably looking for a warm, dry place to spend the winter and a steady supply of insects and small animals. Snakes can bite, so be very careful if you spot them.
A clogged gutter can also serve as an incubator for mosquito eggs, which can then be carried into your house by mice or rats. The resulting mosquito infestation can lead to a variety of health problems, including rashes and itchy skin.
Another animal that can be found in your gutters is the opossum. This nocturnal creature loves the safety of being high up and protected from predators, and it can even give birth in your gutters! They can also make a lot of noise as they scratch and play during the night and can cause water damage when they clog your gutters with their droppings. You can deter these animals by keeping overhanging limbs pruned and using fright-inducing owl and eagle decoys to scare them away.