The gutters in your home play an important role in protecting your house 24/7 and all-round the year even so, they are often overlooked. If your gutters are blocked with debris, dirt, leaves, and twigs then your home may be left defenseless to the destructive nature of water.
Clean, properly functioning gutters will avert water away from your roof, siding, and foundation. These three areas suffer the most devastating effects of the water. If gutters are left unchecked, the dampening will worsen over time causing mold and mildew.
By not cleaning your gutters regularly, you may not only risk basement flooding but might also have to replace your roof and siding. All these house repairs cost exponentially more than having your gutters cleaned. So, it is advisable to hire professionals for gutter cleaning to avoid any issue.
Listed below are the top secrets of gutter cleaning.
Secret#1: Practice Ladder Safety
- Make sure that someone knows you will be using a ladder to work on your building’s gutter.
- Use a sturdy and safe ladder, preferably one with a small hook or shelf strong enough to hold a bucket to collect gutter dirt and debris.
- Try to avoid old wooden ladders.
- Aluminum ladders are much stronger, safer and lighter and ideal if you have to move them a number of times or you are working on your own.
Secret#2: Use a Garden Hose
- Try to use a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle.
- Spray nozzle allows you to adjust the water pressure with the use of one hand.
- It can be easily hung over the front edge of the gutter while moving the ladder or while using a gutter scoop.
Secret#3: Use a Trowel or Scoop
- If you can’t afford expensive gutter cleaning equipment used by the professionals then a trowel can be used to scoop out the leaf and soil debris.
- Be aware of people down where you are working as falling debris can cause severe injuries to them.
Secret#4: Protect Your Hands and Eyes
- Gloves help protect your hands against rotting leaf debris and dirt that often contains pigeon, squirrel and bird feces that are ridden with bacteria.
- Gloves can also prevent you from getting painful cuts on your hands from the torn metal shards of an old and ragged gutter.
- Rubber contractor gloves offer the best protection and are also affordable.
- Protecting your eyes while cleaning gutter is important as you never know what might fly out of the downspout when cleaning gutters. So many people have experienced birds, frogs, rats, wasps, and bees leaving at high speed once they start removing a clog, and the last thing they want is an eye injury.
Secret#5: Be Mindful of Electrical and Aerial cables
Conduct a visual inspection of the electrical cable where it connects to the roof when cleaning gutters around an electrical cable that drops from above to the roof of a building. It is to ensure that the protective wire insulation hasn’t rubbed off through years of wear and tear by weather. Call a licensed professional electrical contractor to fix the damaged cable instead of attempting to repair it yourself. If it’s raining and you encounter an electrical wire problem, do not attempt to clean out the gutters until the wires are fixed as water is a dangerous conductor of electricity. It is advisable to have the electrical wiring repaired before cleaning out your gutters.
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Aerial cables often run up across the roof and along the gutters as they cause the gutters to catch debris and can eventually lead to blockage. It is best to clip them out of the way.
Secret#6: Consider Wearing Rubber Shoes
- It is good to use rubber-soled shoes if walking on the roof is necessary to perform gutter cleaning.
- Rubber soles tend to prevent slip-and-fall incidents.
- Rooftops are usually moist in the morning, so it is advised to walk on the roof after the sun is up in the sky and has dried up all the moisture. Wearing your protective gear is the best way to clean gutters as it ensures your safety while performing the daunting task.
- Roof gutter cleaning is a very sensitive task and must be performed in broad daylight.
Secret#7: Unclog the Downspouts
Ensure that the downspouts are clear. Run the water hose down the downspouts at full pressure after all the gutters are cleaned. A clog is present if the water backs up out of the top. It can be easily unclogged by tapping on the side of the downspout but if it doesn’t work, then back and downspout needs to be removed, and flushed from the bottom. If the downspout is connected to an underground drain and the clog is present, it is advised to disconnect the bottom of the downspout from the underground drain. Otherwise, the clog may move to the underground drain causing more problems.
Secret#8: Schedule Semi-annual Cleanings
Clean your gutters at least twice a year in spring and fall. The main reason for cleaning out gutters is to eliminate the possibility of water damage from rainwater runoff due to a clogged gutter. It also reduces the possibility of rust corrosion. Even if it may not rain during summer, if there is debris or dirt in the steel gutters, the rusting process can be sped up.