Cleaning your gutters may not be your favorite chore, but it’s a must-do if you want to have an efficient rainwater drainage system this fall. Gutter cleaning only comes twice a year — sometimes a bit more if your house sits right under a pine tree. Because it will be a while before you lay your hands on your gutters again, it’s important to clean it right the first time to avoid costly trouble in the future.
1) Inspect Your Gutter from the Ground Up
Gutters are located high above the ground, so the first thing you should do is to inspect them from below. Visually scan your gutter for signs of damage that may compromise your safety. For example, if you notice that the gutter is sagging or hanging loosely from the roof, call an expert to inspect your gutter to avoid getting injured by falling pieces of metal.
2) Use a Reliable Ladder
It’s tempting to just want to climb right up to the gutter and begin the cleaning job right away. However, knowing how to set up your ladder properly can eliminate your risk of injury. As Home Tips shares, always choose a sturdy ladder and have it firmly established on a level base. Test the first few rungs to check for stability.
3) Have Proper Gear Handy
You never know what you will find in your gutters. It can be dust, decaying natural elements, or even your neighborhood critter. According to Bob Villa, gutter cleaners should equip themselves with rubber gloves, a dust mask, and even safety goggles to avoid getting exposed to unwanted bacteria that may have been breeding in the natural decomposition.
4) Scoop with Diligence
Gunk probably has accumulated in your gutter. Sometimes, they can be difficult to remove. This is why you should always have a sturdy shovel with you to aid your job. Because you never know the true content of the gunk, it is much safer for you to have a garbage bag with you to toss away any element as you scoop it out of your gutter. Once you have cleaned out most of the stuff to your best ability, you can use a hose to drain the rest of the debris out. Make sure to keep the splashes to the minimum so you don’t wet yourself and dirty the siding.
5) Perform a Thorough Cleaning/Inspection
Gutter cleaning is also the perfect time to inspect the condition of the gutter up close. In general, you want to pay particular attention to the downspout. As DIY Network explains, “If leaves and debris are clogging it, water won’t drain properly, and along with mildew and mud you’ll end up with sagging gutters.” Other things you might want to look for include holes in the gutters and cracked caulking in the seams. Use the opportunity to fix up your gutter so it will be safe to handle the rain and snow for the months to come.