Cleaning your gutters is a necessary home maintenance task as it can help prevent damage to roofs, siding, and foundations. But it’s also dangerous, requiring working on ladders and climbing near your home’s roof.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make this task easier, safer, and more effective.
Use a Gutter Scoop
Keeping gutters clean prevents problems like mildew inside the home, structural damage from rotting wood, and standing water that freezes in winter or breeds mosquitoes in summer. Regular gutter cleaning Victoria sessions are much easier when you have the right tools for the job.
One of the most effective tools for cleaning your gutters is a gutter scoop. This tool is specially designed to ease the removal of leaves and other debris from a gutter. Its flexible tip conforms to any size gutter trough and makes the task of cleaning gutters fast and easy.
Gutter scoops can be used manually or with a power pressure spray wand attached to a garden hose. The latter option is a safer alternative to climbing ladders because you can work on the ground and only have to move the wand to reach another area of the roof or gutters.
Be Careful Climbing Ladders
Climbing a ladder can be very dangerous. Many people are sent to the emergency room yearly because of a ladder-related injury.
This is especially true when cleaning your gutters. It is easy to lose your balance when leaning over a ladder and reaching into the dirty, rotting mess found in a gutter.
It would help to carry a bucket for the gutter muck and other tools like a shovel or hammer. Just keep in mind that dropping one of these tools can cause serious damage to the gutters or anyone or anything below you.
You will also want to ensure your ladder is set up correctly. You are using a ladder slightly taller than the gutter line is recommended to maintain the 4-to-1 rule, which states that the ladder’s base should be one foot away from the wall for every four feet of ladder height.
Having a spotter for ladder safety is also a good idea so that someone can watch your back while you reach high.
Wear Safety Goggles
While gloves will save your hands from the nasty slop found in gutters (rotting leaves, bird droppings, and other disgusting things ridden with bacteria), it’s best to wear personal protective equipment that includes eye protection. This will keep the sludge, germs, and even insects that can jump out and attack your eyes when you dump a bucket of gutter slop down the drain.
You will also want to protect your hands from the ragged metal shards in old gutters and on weathered roofs. Thick suede gloves are ideal for cleaning your gutters. They are water-resistant and protect your hands from pigeon-dropping bacteria and cuts caused by torn metal shards.
Use a Hose
Cleaning your gutters and keeping them clean is important for many reasons, including protecting your home from leaks and other problems. However, this chore tends to be on many homeowners’ to-do lists until they start causing issues.
While cleaning your gutters, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle attached to the ladder. It will make it easier to rinse out the gutters and downspouts without climbing the ladder repeatedly.
Also, if your downspout is clogged, try tying a rag around the opening to create pressure and break through the clog. Afterward, flush the downspout with a hose to ensure water flows freely. Finally, use a gutter-cleaning wand to help remove the bulk of the debris.
Don’t Touch the Gutters
While you’re cleaning your gutters, it is best to avoid touching the actual gutters. It can be tempting, but it is a dangerous move that can lead to finger injuries, especially for those with longer nails. They can also pull away from your home easily if you were to reach out a grab don’t to them.
Final Thoughts on Cleaning Your Gutters
Gutters collect rainwater and carry it away from the home’s foundation through downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause expensive roof, wall, and foundation damage. Gutter cleaning may not be something most people look forward to, but it is a necessary household chore that can be completed safely and efficiently with a few tips.
Start by rinsing the debris off the roof and using a gutter scoop to remove the large piles of decomposing leaves, twigs, and branches. Then, use a hose to wash out the remaining smaller pieces of debris.