The Importance of Cleaning Gutters
Cleaning gutters is one of the most necessary home maintenance tasks for protecting your investment. Neglected gutters get clogged and can cause water damage to the roof, siding, and foundation. In the winter, water that is backed up in the guttering may freeze and damage the gutters. Be diligent about cleaning the gutters a few times every year. Here are 4 steps to clean the gutters.
Equipment You’ll Need to Clean the Gutters
In order to clean the gutters safely and effectively, you’ll need some equipment, gear, and tools. For most homes, you’ll need an extension ladder to reach the edge of the roofing where the gutters are attached. You’ll also need shoes that fit well, are closed-toed, and have slip-proof soles. Round out your gear with waterproof gloves, protective goggles, and a face mask.
Cleaning the gutters is a messy job, so it’s important to protect your face and hands against dirt, bugs, and bacteria. Some folks remove debris from the gutters with gloved hands, and others prefer to use a trowel or special gutter scoop. You’ll also need a bucket or tarp handy and your garden hose.
Climb a Ladder to Clean the Gutters
Cleaning the gutters requires a lot of climbing up and down the ladder. Set up the ladder at a safe, 75-degree angle on dry and flat ground. Extend the ladder 3 feet above the height you are climbing. If you have to lean the ladder on the gutter, place a 2×4 inside the gutter to keep it from collapsing. It’s best to have someone else there to steady the ladder and spot you from the ground.
Scoop the Debris
Scoop the debris with your hand or a small shovel. Place it in the bucket hanging from the top of the ladder or throw it down onto the tarp below. Climb down the ladder, move it over, and repeat.
Clear the Downspouts
Use your hands or a plumbing snake to remove any blockage from the tops and bottoms of the downspouts. Make sure the downspout extenders are securely fastened, clear, and are directed away from the home. You don’t want them depositing water on walkways or into your landscaping.
Use a Hose to Flush the Channels
Lastly, spray the garden hose into the gutters, starting with the furthest end from the downspout. Make sure that the water comes out at the end of the downspout extender. Also, check for leaks as water is flowing through the guttering.