If you are like most homeowners, cleaning your gutters is probably pretty low on the list of activities that you enjoy. Not only is it a dirty job but it also can be challenging. To get your gutters clean, you have to struggle with a heavy ladder, moving it around while at the same time getting wet and messy. Adding insult to injury, when you are done with the project, no one can even tell that you cleaned your gutters since they can’t see inside. That means that you can’t show off all of your hard work.
Despite all these drawbacks, it is still something that you need to do on a regular basis. If your gutters fill up with debris, it can keep water from draining properly, which can cause damage to the fascia and to your roof according to roofers Glasgow. Clogged gutters can also cause damage to any decking or other materials that lie beneath them on the ground. Even worse, they can allow water to penetrate your foundation, causing flooding in your basement or crawl space. If you have flower beds along your house, the draining water can also cause significant harm to your plants.
Cleaning gutters isn’t exactly rocket science. However, there are some important tips that you should know before you get started. Check out the following section to make the process as easy and effective as possible.
The Best Time For Gutter Cleaning
Most experts recommend cleaning your gutters two times a year – first in the spring and then again in the fall. If you live in an area with a lot of trees, however, you probably will need to clean them more frequently than that. Anytime you get a significant amount of wind or a storm, you should check your gutters to make sure that they haven’t filled up with debris. Don’t forget to check the downspouts, as well, to make sure that they aren’t clogged. When the leaves start falling in the autumn, you may need to clean them a few different times, as well.
Cleaning out your gutters when they are dry is a lot easier than cleaning them when they are wet. Any moisture in your gutters can create a disgusting mess that is difficult to remove. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as well. If you see heavy rain predicted for your area, take a peek at your gutters to make sure that they are clear. Nothing is worse than sitting inside watching water pour over the top of your gutters, knowing that you could have stopped it from happening if you had just done a quick clean-out before the rain arrived.
Make Safety A Priority
Never try to clean out your gutters while you are up on the roof. This creates an unnecessarily dangerous situation. Instead, clean them from a ladder. Familiarize yourself with how to use a ladder safely before you begin. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is trying to reach too far away in an effort to avoid having to move the ladder as many times. Unfortunately, this can cause the ladder to tip over. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your waist should always be located in the area directly between the ladder rails. Trying to reach a few extra inches simply isn’t worth putting your life at risk. You may also want to have someone hold the ladder for you since it can be hard to find a smooth place to set it up when you are working over grass.
For extension ladders, adding a standoff stabilizer can go a long way toward improving safety. It also can help protect your gutters. The stabilizer holds the weight of the ladder, keeping it from resting directly on the gutter.
Instead of just dumping the debris from the gutters onto the ground, try stretching a tarp out under the area that you are cleaning. As you move the ladder, moved the tarp along with you. If you are using a step ladder, you can also hang a bucket directly from the ladder, providing a convenient place to put the debris.
How To Remove Debris From Your Gutters
Typically, the easiest way to remove debris from your gutters is with your hands. Buy a sturdy, waterproof pair of gloves that you can put on before you begin. Using your hands makes it a lot easier to get into tight spaces, which is why it is usually a much more effective option than using a trowel.
Begin by working your way down the entire length of your gutter, removing as much debris as you can with your hands. After you complete the section you are working on, use a hose to wash away any remaining debris. Allow it to run directly into the gutter, keeping an eye on the water that is draining out of the downspout. As soon as the water runs clear, your gutters are clean. If it seems like too little water is coming out of the downspout, you may have a clog that is preventing it from draining effectively. Try shooting a high-pressure stream of water down the spout to remove the clog.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning your gutters or if you don’t feel qualified to do it on your own, you can eliminate the task altogether through the use of special products. For instance, there are products like gutter whiskers that are designed to sit in the gutters. They allow water to drain through while at the same time keeping debris from accumulating. Keep in mind, however, that it can be quite costly to install these items. If you are on a budget, you can also look into mesh covers for your gutters. They make plastic covers that snap into place, as well. Keep in mind, however, that these covers don’t fit all gutters. Make sure that they will work for your home before you spend a lot of money on them.