A clean gutter is a working gutter, and this is why you should always make sure you clean your gutters liberally. You can ask your local gutter installers out there and they’ll tell you the same thing – clean gutters equals worry-free autumns and winters.
The key to a working gutter is to clean it safely and properly. You will need to have the right materials and you will need to do it thoroughly, unless you want to have more problems to start with. Here are a few quick and easy tips that you can follow:
Be ready with your materials
Start by arming yourself with the right equipment. Get a strong and sturdy ladder to use. You really don’t want to spend the holidays in a hospital or with a bandage here and there, so make sure your ladder is reliable.
You may need to have a utility belt with you as well, with which you can carry all the necessary items you need. It will also make your cleaning faster because you don’t have to climb up and down the ladder to get your stuff. You can ask your local gutter installation company for the right materials to have on your trusty utility belt.
Quick note: Try to avoid placing your equipment on the roof itself. You don’t want to risk them falling off and you chasing after them, or risk damaging your shingles and gutters themselves.
Scoop, not scrape!
Start scooping everything you find in your gutters. Find something to scoop it with, like a plastic or silicon mini shovel. You may also need a solution for the molds and mildew so better have that with you as well.
Quick note: Be careful when cleaning your gutters. Don’t scrub like there’s no tomorrow. If there’s a stain you can’t scoop off, use a solution to soften it up first. Do it slow and careful so you don’t damage your gutters.
Hose it down
After scooping most of the gunk from your gutter, you can use a pressure washer to clean out the rest of the goop and dirt. If you’re a little tight on budget, you can always use a hose. Although, try not to put too much water pressure while you’re hosing it down or you’ll risk damaging them or your roof.
After cleaning your gutters, check your downspout, or the part where the water should flow out of the roof and into the ground. Check it for possible blockage before deciding to hose it down. The best way to check is to pour a lot of water and have someone at the bottom check the flow of water. If it’s just a trickle, then your downspout is blocked.
One removal procedure could be using a plumber’s auger or a snake and pull out the debris. You can try to remove the gunk by yourself, but it’s best to contact gutter installation companies that also offer cleaning services, so you can avoid damaging the pipes.
Extras on the sides
Now, while you’re cleaning your gutters, it’s best to check them as well for cracks, leaks, rusty parts and areas that need replacement. Here are a few tips on checking and maintaining your gutters.
- Find holes in the gutter and seal them. A bead silicon sealing should do the trick. Ask your local gutter installation company why you should use this, or better yet, ask them what sealant is perfect for you. You may find cracked caulking in the edges or seams of the gutter. When you do, easily remove them using an old chisel.
- Check the spikes of your gutters, because sometimes they make your gutters loose and saggy. If they are loose and saggy, it might be time to call your gutter installers to have them replaced or attached properly. It’s important that your gutters are safely secured so you don’t suffer further damage.
- Check the rivets on your downspout as well. If your gutters are working properly but your downspout is loose, it might cause more damage than it already has.
- If your gutters are quite rusty, consider having them replaced. There are various gutters now out there that are rust-free and are as sturdy as the old-fashioned ones. Call your local gutter installation company to find out more about these modern gutters and how you can get a hold of them.
Cleaning your gutters by yourself is a great achievement. Remember to do it often so your gutters last longer than expected. Always put safety first, so make sure you do your gutter cleaning in a safe manner.
If you have doubts and are having second thoughts about yourself, you can always ask your local gutter installers. They would be more than happy to assist you and to keep your gutters sparkly clean.
Article written by George Grechka. Follow George on Google+.