keep-leaves-out-of-your-gutters

Gutter Protection – Keep Those Leaves Out of Your Gutters!

Cleaning out your gutters can be a hassle. Wouldn’t it be great if there were ways to prevent the organic buildup in your gutters to reduce or completely eliminate the need to clean them out? Oh wait, there is!

Installing a gutter guard is quick, easy, and will make it a heck of a lot easier to keep your gutters clean than having to go in there every few months and clean it out by hand. Let’s get to it!

Step 1 – Clean Your Gutters

The first step is going to be removing any debris currently in the gutters. For a full breakdown, read our blog on Inspecting and Cleaning Out Your Home’s Gutters.

To clean your gutters, follow these steps

  • Grab a ladder and place it on level ground.
  • Using a gloved hand, remove any debris you can. Use a trowel for any compact or caked on material.
  • Wash the gutters with a garden hose and high-pressure cleaning nozzle.
  • Check the downspouts for blockage. If there is a block, use the same nozzle to clear if possible.
  • If a nozzle doesn’t clear the downspout, you will have to disconnect the downspout, take it apart, and clear it by hand.

Step 2 – Prevent Future Gutter Debris

Now that your gutters and downspouts are nice and clean, it’s time to take some preventive steps to prevent debris from building up in the future.

The first thing to do is to install a gutter guard. There are 3 options available; roll-out plastic mesh,  snap-in, 3-foot plastic sections, and 4-foot sections of the WaterFall® system.

The roll-out plastic mesh is a 6″ wide, 20 foot long that is colored black. Because it is plastic, the gutter guard will never rust.

Installing it is quite simple. Simply cut the product into 4-5 foot strips, then make notches where it will intersect with gutter hangers. Then arch the edges of the mesh into the lips on the front and back edges of the gutter. To dead-end the product at the end of your gutter, cut and bend to fit.

The snap-in, 3-foot plastic sections offer a white mesh design that helps to catch both large and small debris. Because it is made of rugged PVC, it won’t rust and won’t collapse under the weight of any debris that accumulates on top of it. To install them, one edge needs to be slid under the first course of roof shingles.  Then the other edge hooks to the front end of the gutter.

The WaterFall® system is similar to the snap-in plastic option. Made from the same tough material used in premium vinyl siding, it comes in 4 foot white sections. WaterFall® has the additional benefit of downward steps that channel water into the gutter while deflecting debris and twigs over the steps to fall to the ground below.

The WaterFall® system installs by sliding under any shingled roof surface, adjusts to any pitch or roof or gutter, and clips firmly to the front edge of the gutter. Be sure to leave a 1/2″ gap to allow for product expansion and contraction.

Additionally, you can install an aluminum gutter strainer into the downspout openings in your gutters. These expandable protectors fit snuggly and help to prevent downspouts from clogging.

Step 3 – Maintain Bi-Annually

With your new guards installed you should begin to experience a massive drop off in debris in your gutters. In mid-spring and late-fall (after the leaves have come down) grab a ladder and climb up to your gutters to give them a quick inspection. If there is any debris in there at this point then it should take you almost no time to clean it out. Run a hose across the top of your gutter guards if they’re dirty to clean them off, gives your gutters another once-over with the hose and you’re done!

Wrap Up

Gutter Guards make it easy to be a home-owner. If you have any questions about installation or maintenance of your gutter guards or need and other home or gutter related advice, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below or over at koopmanlumber.com. Thanks for reading!