Many people fail to see the importance of gutter cleaning and neglect to clean them properly for several years at a time. While many of Greater Vancouver’s citizens get away with this neglect with no consequences, the potential exists for extensive and expensive damage to your roof.


Protect your Home, Health and Investment

The benefits of home ownership are many, and I am sure each of you have you own reason for choosing home ownership. Many take pride in ownership; others love the freedom to make their home in any way they choose. Some do it for the investment, some to provide a home for their children, some reach for the “American Dream” – yes even in Canada. I remember my brother deciding to buy instead of rent simply so he could pound his acoustic guitars without a landlord complaining – although I do believe I have caught glimpses of poorly disguised aggravation in the faces of at least one of his neighbours.

The bottom line is that many people simply love owning their own home and quantifying the reasons is rather difficult. Whether you love your home or view it as an investment taking care of maintenance such as this a no-brainer. Save yourself the jolt of a huge bill from damage and clean your gutters.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Of course that question’s answer depends on one’s perspective. In my opinion, the worst possible outcome is water damage that leads to the sickness of a family member from mould. If health won’t sway you, think about the old adage, “Penny wise and dollar foolish.” Saving a few hundred dollars by neglecting your gutter cleaning duties can lead to thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars in water damage to a roof and walls, not to mention furniture, rugs and precious family heirlooms and memorabilia.

Clogged gutters in British Columbia’s wet climate can make for nasty repair bills. All that water has to go somewhere. It can – and does – find its way into your roof, down your walls and can even damage your foundation.

What to look for:

Well, first there is the obvious – clogged gutters But don’t stop there. Make sure all of the hardware attaching the gutter to your facia boards is in good shape. Next, check for standing water and make sure you gutter is angled properly. If you are doing this in the middle of the summer, grab your garden hose to verify you gutter pitch is correct. Make sure they don’t leak and they don’t look physically damaged.

Is it easy to clean them myself?

Yes, as long as you are comfortable on your roof and you take all necessary safety precautions for your particular home, it can be done by a homeowner. Homeowners can be rather ingenious in finding ways to clean their gutters that doesn’t necessitate going onto the roof. The most inventive system I have seen by a homeowner was made of PVC pipe attached to his shop vac. He was able to do a respectable, although time consuming, job without even having to climb a ladder.

Gutter Guards

Although you may might find them a little on the expensive side, gutter guards can really make your life easier. Although your gutters will still need inspection once per year, you can take a lot of comfort in the protection they offer and your days of cleaning them every year will come to a delightful end.

Image courtesy of cursedthing via Flickr – Creative Commons License


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