National Clean Your Gutters Week

National Maintenance Week ~ National Gutters Day!

The second full week of November has been declared “National Clean Out Your Gutters Week” by the American Association of Rain Carrying System Installation Specialists, the national rain gutter industry group. Although winter hits the nation in stages, mid-November is a good time to remind homeowners of this necessary task, and is when many of the trees have shed their leaves.

Dig Out Your Ladder on National Clean Your Gutters Week

Whether they are called rain gutters or eaves troughs, the entire system including downspouts need to be cleaned and inspected annually.

Most homeowners have the ability, if not the time, to perform this simple task. Care should be taken to assure that ladders used are on level surfaces and gloves are worn during the process. Gutters can be the home of biting animals and stinging insects. After the gutters are clean of all debris, the pitch should be tested using rinse water and making sure that the water runs toward the downspouts. Any adjustments should be made to correct flow problems. If a homeowner is unable to take on this task, a qualified rain gutter company should be called. The company should have all licenses and insurance coverage required for the area.

Clean gutters will function better than clogged gutters and will last longer. Although most gutters are made of metal, they are almost all attached to wooden fascia boards that can be adversely affected with non-functioning gutters. If water runs behind the gutters, the wood can rot and lose its grip on the gutter fasteners causing more damage. In freezing temperatures, standing water in the gutters can freeze adding even more problems. Clogged gutters also hold water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and the West Nile Virus that they can carry.  If your home has many trees or other sources of debris, consider installing gutter guards or hoods that prevent leaves and branches from getting into your gutter system. Since tennis balls from neighborhood children are often the culprit in clogged gutters, a downspout strainer should be used if there are no other screens or hoods.

This is also a good time to attach Christmas light hangers for the annual ritual that many Minnesota homeowners enjoy.

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