In case you’ve forgotten it until reading this sentence, now is the time to make sure you’ve cleaned out your gutters. It’s one way you can prepare for the snowy and rainy seasons to come. If water doesn’t have a channel through which to flow properly, it can lead to freezing and damage – as well as a costly repair bill.
Cleaning out gutters is a safe and easy job you can do yourself – so long as you know what you are doing! Use these gutter cleaning tips to make sure this chore is secure and successful!
Follow Proper Ladder Safety
Gutter cleaning starts with good ladder habits! You must ensure you have the right ladder for the job – a four-legged step ladder is perfect for a single-story home, while an extension ladder is ideal for two stories or taller. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken the ladder out for chores, inspect the ladder for dents, loose parts, or defects before stepping on the first rung.
It’s always safest when someone supports your ladder; however, if you’re going to be up there for a while, let someone know you’ll be using a ladder to work on the gutters. Make sure to take breaks to stop muscle fatigue from setting in!
What Tools Do You Need?
Gutter cleaning doesn’t require a lot of specialized equipment! Because scooping out the leafy debris is the best method for cleaning out gutters, the tool for the job is a plastic scoop. You can purchase gutter scooping tools cheap from your local hardware store; these are unique because the front scooping edge is thin, forming itself to the bottom of the gutter trough. It makes scooping out even the toughest debris easy!
While you don’t need to buy a new tool, avoid using a metal scooping tool. These can scratch and damage the bottom of the gutter and seams, introducing it to rust. If it’s already rusting, scraping it with metal can speed up the rusting process further.
Next up, prep your garden hose by fitting it with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. The spray nozzle will let you adjust the water pressure with one hand, and you can easily hang it over the front edge of the gutter while using your hands or the gutter scoop.
You’ll also need protection for yourself! Gloves will protect your hands from the leaf debris, which most likely contains bird, pigeon and squirrel droppings. If your gutter is older, you’re also like to avoid cuts from metal shards. Think about using eye protection, too – you’ll never know what could fly out of the downspout!
Unclog The Downspouts
After you’ve cleaned out all the gutters, don’t neglect your downspouts! Run your hose down the downspout at full pressure – if you see the water backing up, you have a clog. You can unclog it by tapping on the side of the downspout; if that doesn’t work, you must remove the downspout and back and flush it from the bottom. If the downspout connects to an underground drain, disconnect the bottom. Otherwise, the clog may move to the underground drain!
Make sure you don’t neglect your gutter system. Freeze-thaw cycles can damage eavestroughs and downspouts; when water doesn’t flow away from your home, it can lead to basement flooding, damage to the roof, and weakened walls and flooring.
One way to help? You can take your old eavestroughs into the 21st Century. Seamless aluminum eavestroughs can help you manage this chore and prevent more problems from forming. If you need this installed, call us today!