Three Tips on the Best Way to Clean Gutters
Your gutters require a thorough cleaning at least two times a year, as any build-up that isn’t cleaned off from your roof can easily lead to rotting and decay that may cause leaks or damages to your property. If you’re thinking of a do-it-yourself gutter cleaning chore, then understand that this isn’t a simple task. So, before you start, you need to make sure you’ve got the basics down.
Prepare Your Gutter Cleaning Tools
You’ll need a long, extendable and sturdy ladder for this do-it-yourself project. If possible, prepare a ladder with a stabilizer to guarantee your safety. You should also notify the people in your house or your neighbors that you’re going to be going up the ladder and cleaning your gutters that day. Never attempt to do this chore unless you have someone else with you.
Apart from the ladder, you will also need the following items:
- Bucket – to collect the debris you’re going to take out of the gutter. Clip and hang it on the ladder.
- Tarp – to lay down under your workspace to keep your lawn and landscaping free of debris
- Garden trowel – to make it easier to scoop out the debris
- Thick rubber gloves – to protect your hands from sharp debris
- Dust mask – to ensure that you will not inhale too much dust since clogged and dried gutters will definitely be filled with it
- Safety goggles – to protect your eyes from the debris
- Garden hose – to spray the gutters clean
As much as possible, also dress appropriately for this type of work. You need to wear work pants and a long-sleeved shirt since you will be out in the sun for a while. Wear a wide hat if you need to and apply sunscreen on your face, neck, and arms before you head out.
Slowly Work Your Way Around the Gutter
Begin by scooping up the chunk of leaves or debris from one part of the gutter using your gloved hand and place those on the bucket. Dump the contents of the bucket on the ground when it’s full and create a compost pile. Expect to do this many times, depending on how much gunk is in your gutters and as you work your way all around the roofing.
Some debris might be stuck or hard to remove, especially around the opening of the downspout. Carefully pick those off with the garden trowel. Make sure, however, that you won’t damage the gutter as you work.
Once the gutter is cleared of debris, you can use a garden hose to give it a good cleaning, especially if it’s muddy and have mineral build up. Spray against the opposite end of the downspouts opening to properly wash everything down.
Flushing and spraying will also help clear any clogging inside the gutter. But take care not to damage any metal screws. Inspect for loose parts, and if necessary, replace the screws. Badly-designed screws can cause gutter blockage and build up.
Consider Installing Gutter Screens
After you’ve successfully cleaned the gutter, it might be a good idea to install a gutter cover or gutter screen to lessen the chances of dirt and debris building up again. But this could be another job for a different day, and you should carefully weigh your options since there are different types of gutter screens and covers in the market.
Gutter cleaning requires hard work. Trying to balance yourself on top of a ladder, as you scrape out the debris from your gutters, can definitely be quite a chore. It might be easier to hire a professional for this job than a do-it-yourself project.