At first glance, a clogged gutter might not seem like such a big deal. At least, not until it comes time to lay out thousands of dollars to repair your home’s damaged foundation and rotting siding.
In order to protect your house’s foundation and siding and to prevent the saturation of your home’s flowerbeds, your gutters need to be regularly cleaned. How often? You should clean your gutters at least once a year or more frequently if your house has to contend with an abundance of overhanging trees.
So what’s the best way to clean your gutters?
The first step in cleaning your own gutters is to wear the proper clothing. A big build-up of leaves and debris in your gutters can quickly become a prime habitat for various insects, rodents and all other sorts of creepy crawlies. For this reason, wearing long sleeves and thick gloves is strongly advisable.
Next, make sure you have the correct tools for the job.
Probably the most important item in your gutter cleaning arsenal will be a dependable ladder. Preferably one that is extendable and has ladder horns that which will prevent the ladder from damaging your gutters while you work.
If you’re lucky enough to be dealing with dry leaves and debris, a strong blower purchased from any hardware shop will often do the trick in unclogging your gutters.
If the debris inside your gutters are not loose and dry, you’ll probably need to resort to some sort of small shovel or scoop for really getting in and loosening up and removing thick and compacted build up.
Some hardware stores sell job specific gutter cleaning scoops but if you’d prefer to save $15 to $25, a small child’s plastic shovel will more than likely suffice in getting the job done.
Once the bulk of the material clogging your gutter has been removed, a garden hose and a decent amount of water pressure are next. Spraying your gutters and down pipes will get the last remanets of leaves and tough, caked on dirt. At the same time, spraying your gutters will also give you the opportunity to check if your clogged gutters have allowed standing water to rust out your gutters creating any leaks.
Something else to consider—especially if you’re concerned about keeping your property relatively tidy as you clean your gutters—is a tarp. A large, carefully placed tarp will go a long way towards seeing to it what was once clogging your gutters doesn’t end up having to be tediously raked up from your lawn or garden bed.
And finally, a word about safety.
Please never underestimate the dangers from working at heights. Whether cleaning your gutters from a ladder or from your rooftop, take precautions.
First, wear sturdy shoes with a reliable, non-slip grip. This is especially important if you will be working from your roof top.
And if working from your ladder, remember to refrain from stretching and trying to clean too big a section at a single go. Doing so will only increase the chances of your ladder toppling, falling and causing serious injury. You should seriously consider a spotter to assist at the bottom of your ladder.
Never forget when working at heights to be aware of your surroundings. Namely, recognise the presence and possible lethal danger of live power lines. Look up and survive and contact your local electricity provider if you have any questions.
And lastly, if you are still unsure of anything else already mentioned here regarding how to clean your gutters, please consider hiring a professional gutter cleaning service.