Cleaning gutters is not a fun task, but it needs to be done. So, if it’s that time of year again, take the time to do it right. Here’s how to clean your gutters — and keep them clear — to help protect your home.
Necessary Materials for Gutter Cleaning
• Work Gloves
• Face Mask
• Protective Glasses
• Wire Brush
• Contractor’s Bags
Ladder Safety is a Must for Gutter Cleaning
Ladder falls are one of the most common, and most dangerous, home improvement accidents. Going up on a ladder that isn’t carefully secured can put your life at risk, even if you’re just a story or so up. So, place the ladder where you want it, then check your footing. If possible, have a second person bracing the ladder or use sandbags to make sure it doesn’t slip.
Muck Them Out
Once your ladder is secure, get up there and get to work. First, drain your gutters if necessary; working with brackish water will just make a nasty task worse. Pulling out clogs and debris isn’t really difficult, just unpleasant and time consuming. Again, don’t do anything that would risk falling off the ladder; taking the time to move it will be a better idea in the long run. Just pull out the debris that you can, and throw it on the ground. You don’t want to try and manipulate a trash bag up on a ladder.
Scrub Them Out
Next, get out your wire scrub brush and get up anything sticking to the gutters themselves. These not only provide places for tomorrow’s clogs to root, they can rust your gutters. So scrub them away, no matter how much elbow grease it takes.
Wash Them Out
Use your hose to wash out any debris left over you couldn’t drop on the lawn. This will also be a good way to check your downspout for clogs.
Clean Out Your Downspout
Fortunately, this part you can do on the ground. Detach your downspout at the top and carefully lower it to the ground. You’ll be able to take it apart, section by section, and scrub out any debris you may have missed. Once you’re done, reassemble it and resecure it.
Look Out For:
Standing water. If water is backed up in your gutters, mosquitoes and other nasties may have set up shop.
Bird nests, especially if your gutters haven’t been cleaned in a while.
Insect hives, which can be especially dangerous on the top of a ladder.
Paint wear or rust. If you spot any signs of rust, be ready to paint over them right away. If your gutter rusts through, you could be in for an expensive gutter repair job.
Sounds unpleasant, we know, but that’s what needs to be done. If you’re a bit sick of hauling the ladder out every six months, consider installing Gutter Helmet. Its patented design keeps water in your gutters and debris out of them. You may still have to clean a gutter now and then, but Gutter Helmet makes it much less of a chore. Schedule a Gutter Helmet estimate now by contacting us at 1-800-975-6666 or filling out our online form.