The gutters in our homes are made for rain, but inevitably, a host of other material finds its way into them. Eventually they clog and need clearing and cleaning. While it may seem like a simple matter of tossing out the leaves and other things that have gotten caught inside, cleaning gutters can be tricky and even a little dangerous.
Fortunately, the experts are here to give you hints to help you with the process. We have ideas that will make the process go more smoothly and more safely.
Use a Ladder
If you are working on a single-story structure, a four-legged step ladder with a solid base should provide enough reach to access your gutters. For anything taller than that, you will need an extension ladder. A ladder with a small shelf will give you a spot to place a bucket for collecting gutter debris. Fiberglass ladders are the sturdiest, but an aluminum ladder is also strong and a lot lighter, which is important if you are working a long time and muscle fatigue sets in.
Use a Garden Hose
A pistol grip garden hose gives you the best control of the water pressure, even with only one hand. You can purchase one at any hardware store. The pistol grip also allows you to hang the hose from the ladder while scooping up debris.
Purchase a Gutter Scoop
Scooping up debris is the best method for cleaning your gutters. A gutter scoop is a plastic tool that is available for purchase at most hardware stores. The front edge of a gutter scoop is thin and therefore ideal for scooping up debris from your gutter. Avoid using a metal tool because this can scrape your gutter and create areas prone to rusting.
Protect Your Hands, Arms and Other Body Parts
Gutters often contain bird and squirrel droppings which are rife with bacteria, so iit is best to wear gloves when cleaning gutters. Gloves can also prevent cuts and abrasions. The best material for your gloves is thick suede. Rubber is prone to tearing, leather shrivels when it dries and cotton will soak up dirty water and expose your skin to bacteria. It is also a good idea to wear eye protection because many tiny objects can fly out of a gutter when you are spraying it.
Don’t Forget the Downspouts
After your gutter is clean, use your hose to clear out the downspouts. If they are backed up, they can clog your gutters very quickly.
How to Keep Your Gutters Clean and Yourself Safe
If any power cables connect to your roof, do a visual inspection of them. You want to make sure the rubber insulation has not torn or worn away. If the cable seems damaged, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Call a licensed contractor and wait until the repairs are finished before you finish cleaning out your gutters.
If you take the above advice, you should make it through your gutter cleaning without injury and with gutters ready for the next rainfall. If you want to make things easier on yourself, consider investing in a gutter leaf protection system. A gutter leaf protection system will go a long way towards keeping your gutters free of leaves, pine needles and other debris. It will save you time by not having to go through the whole cleaning process as frequently.
Reach Out to Tri County Windows & Siding
Need more information on how to care for your gutters or wondering whether it’s time to finally replace them? Reach out to Tri County Windows & Siding for all your home exterior needs.