Many people don’t know how to approach gutter cleaning, although it’s one of the most useful activities around the house. Of course, the simplest solution would be to opt for our professional help, but if you want to DIY, you should know a few important things before you start. This is why we prepared this blog, with the most common questions regarding gutter cleaning and answers provided by our exceptionally trained and highly professional handymen. Without further ado, here’s what were our clients’ curiosities, and what did our employees answer them.
Why clean the gutters?
Because they can become clogged with leaves, pine needles, animal nests, roof shingle debris, and more. This could lead to several problems: rainwater overflowing; standing water freezing during the winter and causing ice dams, which could damage the roof; siding stains, rot, and mold; foundation damage; basement flooding; attic leaks; detached and damaged gutters; more mosquitoes and other pests on your property.
When to clean them?
Of course, if there are signs that your gutters are clogged or could become damaged (the water doesn’t flow properly or spills over the top, debris are piling up, or there are cracks in their surface), you should clean them right away. It’s better to clear the clog immediately than to wait and risk extensive damage to your gutters, roof, and home, in time. If not, you should check them in the autumn and then again in the spring anyway, to see if they “survived” the winter.
What tools should you use?
Working gloves; protective goggles or a face mask; a sturdy fiberglass or aluminum ladder with a shelf (make sure it’s tall enough to reach the roof, and certified to hold your weight); a roof rake; a wire brush; a 5-gallon bucket; a plastic trowel; a garden hose with a spray head. Also, if you’re not a professional, we would suggest getting a friend or family member to help you out since gutter cleaning isn’t normally a task for one person.
How to clean the gutters?
1. Rake the leaves and twigs from the roof down to the gutter;
2. Scoop the debris from the gutters into the bucket;
3. Repeat these steps until you’ve cleaned all the gutters;
4. Run water from a hose through the downspouts to clear out any clogs;
5. Make sure the downspouts extended at least six feet from the foundation.
How NOT to clean the gutters?
1. Don’t climb up during bad weather (rainy days could lead to slips and falls, while heavy winds could present an even greater danger);
2. Don’t wear inappropriate footwear (sandals could get caught on a ladder rung, while non-traction shoes could be slippery);
3. Don’t use a ladder that is significantly lower or higher than your gutter line;
4. Don’t break the three points of contact rule (which means keeping both legs and one hand on the ladder at all times);
5. Don’t hurry (accidents are far more likely to happen when you’re in a rush);
6. Never move the ladder while standing on it (we think this is self-explanatory).