The gutters are important parts of the house that are often taken for granted. Before we discuss how to clean your gutters, let us first talk about why it is necessary to keep this part of the house in tip top condition all the time.
– Gutters keep water away from the roof materials and the side of the house. Water can corrode shingles and the moist that seep into the material encourage the growth of tiny plants like algae or moss.
– Water running down the side of the house can cause discoloration but more importantly, it could damage the paint and siding of the house. Wood when wet would rot and lose its integrity, and you might not notice this until it is too late. Water can also work its way to the ceiling, damaging the wood.
– If the gutter is left uncleaned, the accumulated debris adds to the weight of the gutter. Wet debris is heavier and could cause the gutter to fall off and might even smash a window. Gutter replacements are not exactly cheap so make sure you clean your gutters regularly.
– Clogged gutters can cause flooding in basements and cracking in your house?s foundations.
Now you know the important role gutters have in maintaining your home, it is time to know how to clean your gutters.
Gutter cleaning can be done by you but if you are not comfortable on a ladder or you have gutters on an upper story and you are not sure you can tackle that yourself, you should seriously consider hiring a professional.
Cleaning gutters is simple enough; your main concern is safety. You will need:
– Garden trowel or hand rake
– Dust mask, goggles, gloves
– Hose with high-pressure nozzle
– Garbage bags or bucket with bucket hanger
Now, here?s how to clean your gutters:
1. Make sure that your ladder is secure. Use a ladder stabilizer to keep from damaging the gutters.
2. Wear safety goggles, dust mask and gloves.
3. Utilize a garden trowel or hand rake to scoop out the debris into a garbage bag. You can use a bucket but it could get heavy as you make progress and would make the task difficult. Small garbage bags are ideal as they are easier to manage, just tie a bag when it?s full and drop it to the ground out of the way.
4. When scooping out dirt and debris, be careful not to let any fall down the spout because it could create a clog.
5. After scooping the dirt, rinse toward the downspout with a high pressure nozzle. Be careful not to spatter the siding as you rinse.
6. Use hose to clear the downspouts.
7. Avoid clogs in the downspouts by installing leaf strainers.
DIY gutter cleaning is a low cost way to maintain your gutters. Unnecessary expenses can be avoided by taking proper care of your gutter and roof.