Cleaning gutters is no easy task. It proves hectic
especially if the gutters are clogged due to the presence of leaves and other debris. For instance, there is a high possibility of downspouts clogging due to buildup of leaves. When this happens, the gutters sag, water damage to your house foundation, basements and roof occurs. Further, the fascia, which is the board located at the back of the gutter, becomes damaged as well. In the end, your entire home is put in jeopardy. All the same, these problems can be prevented by engaging in cleaning gutters. Even so, many people hardly understand how to keep gutters clean effectively. This article explores tips on gutter cleaning with a focus to inform readers how to go about the process.
1. Use a stable ladder
The first step when preparing to clean your gutters is to select a stable ladder. The ladder should be erected on stable ground. In most cases, a tall stepladder is recommended because it is user friendly compared to an extension ladder. To enhance your safety when standing on the ladder, your lower body-the hips- should be between the rails. In case your roof is relatively high (exceeds one floor) it is safer to hire professional gutter cleaning services as using a ladder might be risky.
2. Clear out debris in the gutters
A tool such as a gutter scoop or a small garden trowel suits the purpose of clearing out debris from the gutters. Begin scooping the debris from the gutters from the downspout. Do not forget to protect your hands when clearing out debris. Wear gloves to avoid dirtying your hands and injuries arising from sheet metal screws and sharp metal. You also need to wear goggles to prevent injuries caused by large particles of debris. Wear a dust mask as well to safeguard your health.
3. Blow dry leaves and debris in the gutters
This is a conventional gutter cleaning technique that is popular among home handymen. This technique works well on low-sloped roofs. Leaves and debris are blow dried out of gutters using a leaf blower. To improve on this technique, you can incorporate a gutter cleaning kit to the leaf blower. Just like in clearing out debris from gutters using a gutter scoop, you will need to wear protective gear-goggles, hand gloves and a dust mask.
4. Use water to flush the gutters
The aim in this case is to eliminate all the debris in the gutters and check if there is effective water flow. At times, water flow through the drainpipes might be obstructed. This is due to the presence of finer debris in the drainpipes. To clear out the remaining debris, use a hose nozzle attached at the end of a water hose to flush it down the drainpipes. If there is still water flow obstruction even after flushing the gutters, reassess the downspout strainer and clean it accordingly.
If there is no free flow of water even after cleaning the downspout strainer, it is very likely it is clogged. To unclog the downspout strainer, there are two alternatives you can use.
I. If the hose is compatible with the downspout, attach a gutter cleaning kit to it to build pressure. Thereafter, run it into the downspout. This will enable you to flush out the debris causing the clogging.
II. Another alternative is to use a plumber’s snake to unclog the downspout.
To wrap up, keeping gutters clean is a gutter maintenance practice that ought to be conducted continuously. By indulging in frequent roof cleaning, it is possible to maintain gutters in good condition for a long duration. Be sure to implement the gutter cleaning tips explained in this article each time you clean your gutters.