Though frequently overlooked or avoided, gutter cleaning should be prioritized in your home maintenance regimen. Cluttered gutters are responsible for most people's water leakage, mold and cracked foundation issues. This costs homeowners across America thousands of dollars each year despite the fact that they are easily preventable through regular gutter cleaning and repair.

 

The problem is that gutter cleaning and repair work is dangerous, labor-intensive and time-consuming, especially when done improperly. Furthermore, anybody in the family with a fear of heights or issues with balance should immediately excuse themselves from this chore.

 

If you are like the thousands of people across America who understand the need for clean gutters but can't seem to find the time or energy while balancing your career, family, fitness and finances, know that Window Genie can grant your wish! Window Genie offers scheduled gutters cleaning service programs with year-round customer care discounts, guarding your home from bug-spawns, rotten wood, slippery sidewalks and washed out landscaping caused by clogged gutters.

Looking at the devoted DIYers of the world, we know that not everyone is interested in a year-round cleaning program. Some customers have simply let their gutters go for a few months, and want to call in the GenieMobile to save them a Saturday and take down a super-sized cleaning task.

 

For those looking to do some gutter cleaning of their own, or to have an idea of standard practice to compare their current handyman to, the Window Genie experts have assembled some basic guidelines and safety tips for you. Read on to learn some great tips for cleaning and repairing gutters.

 

Safety First

 

We repeat... SAFETY FIRST! One of the main reasons that regular gutter cleaning is neglected by home owners is that it can be a scary job. Spending hours up on a ladder that is often sitting on uneven ground can be daunting. If you are uncomfortable with heights or consider yourself unskilled or unpracticed on a ladder, then this job is not meant for you. If this is the case, call your local Window Genie and cross something else off of your to-do list instead.

 

Make sure that you have a good pair of work gloves at the ready. You will be handling clumps of dirt, leaves, sticks, and pest residue that can pose a risk to your hands. Don't risk getting cut in a damp and dirty environment that is usually filled with rust and animal waste. 

           

Always work from the ladder, rather than climbing onto the roof and leaning in the direction of your gutter, which puts you at risk of falling. Make sure to watch out for any unexpected hazards like low-hanging electrical lines or hidden bee's nests.

 

Fix It on the Go

 

 Try to limit your total time spent on the ladder. Don't bother making two separate trips to repair and clean your gutters. As you work through your cleaning routine, look out for any loose gutter sections and tighten them as you see them. Keep a supply of long lag bolts handy, either in a secured bag or held by an assistant. There is no better time to start your repairs than when you clean your gutters. When cleaning your gutters you get a close look at their condition and are also preparing a workspace if any repairs are needed.

 

Test Your Work

 

As you work through your cleaning effort, make sure to test your handiwork as you go. Open gutters are easy enough to evaluate, but spouts may require some extra attention. Spray a jet of water down the spouts to make sure that it is clear. If you have not cleaned it well enough, the spout will be clogged, and water will visibly back up and pool at the top. This tells you it is time to try again, or to give Window Genie a call or request a free estimate.

Gutter cleaning is one of the least desirable chores that can be doled in the family rotation. There is a reason we have a bad association with gutter-balls in bowling, and avoid feeling "down in the gutters;" gutters are inherently dirty, filled with decaying leaves and pest-debris and are a nightmare to clean. A day spent cleaning the gutters is sure to be filled with labor-intensive ladder-shuffling, a near-slip or two and enough grime to keep you wrist-deep in filth for hours. As unpleasant as the job may be, somebody's got to do it – after all, neglecting your gutters puts your home at risk of basement flooding, cracked foundations, increased insect breeding, and rotten wooden decks or siding.

 

Many homeowners have recognized the value of professional gutter cleaning. A small investment in Window Genie gutter cleaning means a fast clean that is guaranteed to keep their home in good condition without costing them a day of back-breaking labor and frustration. With professional gutter cleaning surging in demand, a number of new businesses have sprung up looking to take advantage of this trend. Homeowners should proceed with caution, and take steps to ensure that they are getting the best possible service. Before committing your capital to a professional gutter cleaning service, the following factors should be considered:

 

Is this company licensed and insured?

 

Whether or not your chosen company has acquired the proper license and insurance to handle gutter cleaning work is one of the most important factors to consider when looking to hire on help. Holding these forms of documentation ensures that your chosen company has been trained and certified in the service you are paying them for and that they are able to perform at a high industry standard. Some states even require home improvement licensing along with general liability insurances and business licensing. Without these documents in place, illegitimate companies can put you at risk in the event of any injuries that may occur while cleaning your gutters. The last thing you want when trying to save yourself the trouble of a gutter clean is to take on bigger problems when your unlicensed cleaner hurts himself and tries to sue you to cover their medical bills.

           

Window Genie has been providing quality gutter cleaning for over 20 years. Window Genie gutter cleaning crews carry all of the required licenses and documentation at all times. This gives customers peace of mind so that they can be stress-free in knowing that their guaranteed clean is also guaranteed to be problem-free. Window Genie crews will gladly display any information about licensing and liability insurance coverage to customers who request to see this documentation.

Does this company have the training, experience and equipment they need to do the job right?

Gutter cleaning may not require a large assortment of equipment, but it does require the proper equipment. Make sure the company you choose has two-story stand-off ladders, industry-appropriate cleaning materials and safety equipment that is up to code at the bare minimum. This will ensure a proper clean and that no liability issues will arise during the course of your cleaning appointment. Take note of any company that offers pressure-washing or leaf-blower gutter cleanings and avoid these where possible. Window Genie offers pressure washing services, but restrict their use to tough stains set into fences, decks, and home siding; this equipment is not appropriate for gutter cleaning and can damage your home.

Window Genie experts arrive at the scene with their Genie Mobiles fully-equipped with the appropriate equipment. More importantly, they come equipped with decades of knowledge and experience. Gutters are unique, having been designed to custom-fit your home, and it takes a skilled worker to navigate these ever-changing conditions. Inexperienced companies may struggle with corners, long slopes, and unique architectural downspouts. Window Genie experts guarantee a safe, fast and efficient clean that will keep the environment safe and your gutters flowing freely.

 

Cleaning the gutters is a job that is often left as punishment for unruly teens, or else is procrastinated as long as possible. It isn't hard to imagine why this job is often the last people want assigned to them during chore rotations. Not only is this task going to eat up valuable hours on your days off with tough labor, but there is a very good chance that slimy water-degraded leaf matter is going to adorn your hands, forearms, and clothes by the time the job is done. There are no doubts about it – cleaning the gutters is a dirty job that few people like to do.

Still, it needs to be done. Clogged gutters can wreak havoc on the home. When blocked with moisture-laden leaf matter and other debris, your gutters will begin to corrode. Blocked gutters also mean blocked drainage, which puts your home at serious risk of experiencing water damage. In the drier seasons, gutter blockage becomes a serious fire hazard, as your roof is essentially crowned in a densely-packed ring of tinder. Furthermore, obstructed gutters make the perfect living environment for pests and mosquitoes.

Stop procrastinating! It is time to muster up the courage to clean those gutters. Before you do, though, Window Genie would like to offer you some great gutter cleaning tips to keep you safe and stress-free as you work. And don’t forget, if you need help, your local Genie is just a phone call away!

Practice ladder safety!

You can't clean your gutters without climbing up a ladder, but you should never step foot onto a ladder without a proper understanding of ladder safety.

First, it is important to always inform someone that you will be using a ladder to work on your gutters. This serves a number of safety functions. First, it guarantees that someone is aware of what you are up to, and can look out for you and check in on how you are doing periodically. Secondly, alerting those in the house or nearby will minimize the chances of being knocked off of your ladder by someone carelessly swinging a door open.

Make sure that you have a sturdy ladder that is up to code. It is helpful if you choose a ladder with a small shelf that can support a bucket filled with wet debris. Secure this waste bucket with a lanyard when possible. Wooden ladders are not recommended because of their poorer construction and tendency to wobble. Aluminum ladders are well-suited for longer jobs, where arm fatigue can accumulate, and the constant shifting of a heavy ladder in and out of position can exacerbate the issue.

Before you climb onto your ladder, inspect it thoroughly, and be sure that all of the extension-hinge arms are in proper position under full extension.

Get the right tools for the job!

One of the most valuable tools for a gutter-cleaning job is a gutter scoop. These plastic scooping implements can be purchased at almost any hardware store. The few dollars you invest in this tool will save you a lot of effort. These tools use a thin plastic scooping edge that conforms to the mold of the gutter, allowing you to scrape up even the most stubborn of rain-washed debris. Conversely, metal scooping tools should be avoided where possible. These can potentially damage your gutters, scratching or bending the pliable metal frames under heavy elbow-grease action. Any scratches will soon rust over, increasing the wear and tear on your gutters.

You should also consider getting a high-power garden hose for hard-to-reach areas, or if you are struggling with the physical demands of the job. A garden hose strapped with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle can do some serious damage to water-logged debris, without putting your gutters or joints at risk.

This job will require a proper set of work gloves as well. These will keep your hands clear of dirt and bacteria-laden debris, while also protecting you from cuts anywhere the thin metal gutter frame has acquired a sharp edge. Thick suede gloves are recommended because they will not be at risk of absorbing bacteria-filled water like cotton, or tearing like rubber.

The final piece of safety equipment required for this job is a good pair of eye protection. This becomes especially important when you have to apply a bit of extra muscle to get the job done, and the bits and pieces of debris start flying. More than a tissue damage hazard, this debris is often contaminated with pest feces that can cause serious eye infections to occur. Exercise caution and equip yourself with a good pair of safety glasses.

What a hassle! 

Gutter cleaning really is one of the more unsavory chore options that a home-owner can get stuck with. Gutter cleaning is a time-consuming, energy-demanding, damp-and-dirty job that can be dangerous if rushed through without the proper tools. Fortunately, Window Genie is standing by to grant all of your chore-trimming wishes, and can have your gutters sparkling in no time! Contact us today to save yourself the time and trouble of a tough gutter cleaning task.

04/16/2013

The importance of Gutter Maintenance

Ignoring your gutters can get you into a lot of trouble! A proper maintenance routine calls for at least two clean-outs a year to avoid costly, irreversible damage to your home. Window Genie is here with some fun facts! We hope after reading this you feel educated and prepared to care for your home like never before!

CLOGGED GUTTERS: A home's silent killer

There's good news and there's bad news. We'll start with the bad:

Gutters are one of the most overlooked aspects of home maintenance. It's easy to forget a part of your home you cannot easily see or access. Problems arise silently and you're usually unaware until it's too late! Yikes! Water cannot properly flow from a clogged gutter. Stagnant water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Birds and mice are also known to make themselves at home in a clogged gutter! Water that cannot drain properly WILL find a way out of the gutter eventually. This usually means the water seeps into your roof, siding, fascia board or foundation. Over time this causes significant damage including excessive mold, cracking, rusting and rotting. A rotten house is not a happy house! Your gutters will begin to distance themselves... literally! Gutters are typically installed with a nail. Over time, weather causes this nail to expand and contract. The hole the nail rests in has now expanded. When the nail contracts again, it comes loose and slips out, bringing the gutter with it. The gutter could break free from the roof taking siding, paint, shingles or landscaping down with it. Cleaning your own gutters is DANGEROUS! According to the National Safety Council, falls are the #1 cause of accidental death and injury at home.Falls cause over 6,500 deaths each year and over TWO MILLION hospital-related injuries every year.

 

     

 

We told you there would be good news! There are solutions to your gutter problems

WINDOW GENIE CAN HELP! Window Genie now offers gutter re-securing as an add on service. If we're cleaning your gutters and notice they're coming loose, we can easily re-secure them that day! Replacing gutters is EXTREMELY expensive if they fall off, especially if they take your roof, siding or landscaping down with them. Why gamble on a perfectly good gutter when it's only flaw is how it's been attached. We'll get you cleaned up, re-secured and good to go!
Window Genie offers Window Care, a program where scheduled repeat visits save the customer money. This is especially effective when multiple services are bundled and scheduled to be regularly repeated together! If you need your gutters and windows cleaned twice a year, have them done on the same day! You'll save money, time and it's incredibly convenient.