Properly-functioning rain gutters serve a very important purpose in the maintenance of your property. If they are allowed to dam up with sediment, water will pour down the outside of your home, soaking your foundation and destroying your garden. Eventually, excessive weight from built-up water and debris can cause gutters to come loose from their fittings and fall off, costing you serious time and money to replace. It’s possible to avoid all these problems, however, by cleaning your gutters at least twice a year. Many homeowners try to avoid this task because they think it will be much harder than it really is. Here, you’ll see that gutter cleaning can actually be very simple if you approach it correctly.
Although gutter cleaning is not very difficult, it can be dangerous if you try to do it without making use of certain precautions and safety items. One of the best ways to make gutter cleaning safer is to enlist a partner for the job. This person can take care of things like steadying your ladder, handing you tools while you’re up high and watching for power lines or other hazards that you may not notice while you’re concentrating on your work. If you want to make your ladder time even safer, you can purchase a set of rubber grips for your ladder at a home improvement store.
A good pair of gloves is a smart investment for many types of work around the home, including gutter maintenance. Gloves will help protect your hands from sharp edges on gutters where the sheet metal was cut for installation. If you develop any abrasions during the job, gloves can keep these from getting infected by shielding your hands from stagnant rainwater and rotting debris. Finally, safety glasses can prevent sticks lodged in the gutters from injuring your eyes during this project. Now that you’re prepared to do the job safely, let’s move on to the cleaning tools you’ll need.
Tools and Accessories
Although it’s possible to simply use your gloved hands to scoop the muck from your gutters, you may find yourself disgusted at the idea once you’ve come face-to-face with the filth. Using a tool will make your work much more pleasant and can also make the job faster, but you don’t have to purchase a special gutter scoop for this. A plastic cup, garden spade or child’s play shovel will work just fine. You can buy a special gutter brush, if you feel that you need one, at many hardware stores for removing that last bit of gutter gunk. As you’ll soon see, however, you can rely on your handy garden hose for finishing this job painlessly.
Move along the length of your gutter system and use your gloved hands or scoop to remove the accumulated muck. To make the removal of debris from your property easier at the end of the day, dump the leaves and sticks in a bag tied to the ladder next to you or throw it onto a tarp you’ve laid out on the ground below.
Using an extension pole can make the cleaning process easier because you won’t have to move the ladder as often. With this method, you’ll also be safer since you won’t have to lean and risk falling as often.
Once you’re done removing the bulk of the crud from your gutter system, take your garden hose, preferably with a sprayer nozzle attached, and spray the final bits of debris from the gutters. Inspect the downspouts for any clogs, do one final rinse and watch for leaks that might indicate the need for replacement. Get rid of all the rotten stuff you removed and congratulate yourself on a job well done.