Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters in Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati experiences rain, snow, wind and fallen leaves from season to season, and these elements can impact your gutters. Gutters protect your home during the rainy season, but when you don’t clean them, debris and leaves can clog and cause issues like roof damage and mold.

We’ll review some tips for keeping your gutters clean and explain the signs it’s time for a gutter replacement. When the time comes, trust the experts at Coldstream Exteriors. As a top-rated exterior construction company in the Greater Cincinnati area, we provide the highest quality materials and service. 

The Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters

How does not cleaning your gutters possibly lead to damage? Let’s take a look:

  • Foundation problems: Gutters redirect rain and melting snow and ice so that water doesn’t accumulate around the base of your home. When your gutters are clogged or not working correctly, water could pool around your home’s foundation, weakening it and possibly causing cracks or shifting. 
  • Basement flooding: Most Greater Cincinnati area homes have basements, and when water pools around your home’s foundation, it could also seep into your basement. Basement flooding can lead to property damage, and the longer surfaces remain wet, the more likely mold is to develop. 
  • Roof damage: If your gutters get clogged with leaves and debris, water could pool on your roof and turn into standing water. Standing water can rot the roof sheath and framing in the long term.
  • Ice dam: During cold Cincinnati winters, clogged gutters can lead to ice dam formations on the roof.

How to Clean Your Gutters in Cincinnati

Here are the basics regarding the best way to clean your gutters in Cincinnati:

  1. Safety first: Use a sturdy ladder and ensure it is set up on a level ground surface. Gutters may not seem high, but many people are treated for ladder-related injuries every year, so you’ll want to be cautious. Additionally, wear gloves and protective eye gear to protect yourself while working.
  2. Gather tools: Aside from a ladder, gloves and eye gear, you’ll need a gutter scoop, a small plastic shovel and a bucket to put all the debris in. You may want an additional bucket to keep your tools in. A garden hose with a nozzle, a gutter wand or a plumbing snake is also helpful. For the stubborn areas, a trowel will work perfectly. 
  3. Remove debris: Starting near a downspout, remove the debris with the tools. You can remove larger pieces of debris by hand if it’s easier. If you find yourself overreaching, climb down, move the ladder and climb up again.
  4. Downspouts: Once the large clumps of debris are taken care of, it is time to look at the downspout itself. You can use a plumbing snake to clear downspouts if they are badly clogged up, or you can try flushing them out with the hose or gutter wand. You will know the downspout is clean once the water flows out freely.
  5. Repair: While you clean, check for any damage or sagging. If you notice extensive damage, it may be time to contact a professional
  6. Tree protection: If your gutters get clogged often because of nearby trees, consider installing gutter guards. You can place these small metal grates over the gutter to prevent leaves and debris from getting through.

Tips for Cleaning Your Gutters in Cincinnati

These tips can make cleaning your gutters easier and more approachable. 

Clean Your Gutters Between Seasons 

Early spring or early fall are great times to check that everything is in working order. You can prepare your gutters for springtime showers and summer rain and collect the debris that accumulates during summer and early autumn. Ensure everything is in tip-top shape before summer and winter arrive. 

Wait Until the Debris Is Dry

 It’ll be more challenging to remove wet debris than dry debris, so wait a few days after a rainstorm to clean your gutters. 

Know How Often to Clean Your Gutters

Know How Often to Clean Your Gutters

If you have trees, bushes or anything else that causes excessive debris, you’ll have to clean your gutters more often. For example, if maple trees surround your home, the overhanging branches could cause debris to accumulate. Nearby pine trees also indicate you’ll need to clean more often to remove pine needles. Plus, trees and bushes are home to pests and critters that could make a home in gutters or use a tree’s branches to explore your roof. Otherwise, twice a year is enough to keep your gutters in check.

Clean According to Your Gutter Material

Your gutters may be made of aluminum, vinyl, steel, copper, galvanized steel or another material. These materials affect the damage your gutters might experience and how often you must evaluate them. Lighter materials, like aluminum, can get dented easily from falling branches, while materials like vinyl could crack in high heat. Certain materials require specialized cleaning, and it is best to talk to a professional about your gutters if you have any concerns. Here are some material-specific things to look out for: 

  • Smooth vs. textured: Debris is less likely to snag and get stuck in gutters with a smooth surface, such as vinyl gutters. Textured gutters have a higher chance of clogging.
  • Rust and corrosion: Steel is prone to rust, and aluminum is susceptible to corrosion, so if your gutters are made of one of these materials, you’ll need to be diligent about taking care of them. You can apply a sealant to protect your gutters from rust and corrosion, but the most effective way to prevent rust is to keep your gutters clean. 
  • Rot: Wooden gutters are more common in older homes. While they can effectively redirect water, they could start to rot if they remain wet for too long. Make sure you clean them regularly and seal them properly.
  • Chemical use: If you use chemicals while you clean, go for environmentally friendly options. Harsher chemicals can also damage materials like copper and wood.

Understand the Signs It’s Time to Get New Gutters

While you clean, you might notice that your gutters require professional evaluation. Here are a few signs that you should contact Coldstream Exteriors rather than reach for a toolbox:

  • Your gutter is cracked, split or separated.
  • You notice peeling paint or extensive rust. 
  • Your gutters are sagging or pulling away from the roof. 
  • There are sections of pooled water around your gutter system. 
  • You are experiencing flooding in your basement or ground level.

Contact Coldstream Exteriors for Gutter Replacement 

Contact Coldstream Exteriors for Gutter Replacement

Coldstream Exteriors has more than 25 years of experience in the home exterior construction field, and our gutter installation and replacement services can keep your gutters functional and protect your home from water damage. We’ll assess your roof’s area and pitch to determine the ideal gutter size and style, plan the installation and follow through with top-notch service. You’ll work with a single project manager from start to finish, and there’s no money due until project completion.

Get started with a free estimate, or schedule a free inspection from Coldstream Exteriors!