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What Is the Best Way To Clean Your Gutters?March 10th, 2023 by
Gutter cleaning is a crucial yet often neglected task in home maintenance. Clogged rain gutters can lead to serious water damage, foundation problems, and even insect infestations. Yet, many homeowners are unsure of how to properly clean their gutters and when it’s time to call a professional for help. This article will provide step-by-step instructions for how to clean your gutters, as well as tips for keeping them clear and functioning properly. Additionally, we will discuss when it’s necessary to bring in a professional to handle the job. With this guide, you’ll be able to tackle gutter cleaning with confidence and ease, ensuring that your home stays protected from the damaging effects of clogged gutters.
How To Clean Gutters
It’s important to remember that regular maintenance is key, so make sure to check your gutters at least twice a year and clean them as needed. Cleaning your gutters is a necessary task to keep them flowing properly and prevent water damage.
Here is the best way to clean your gutters:
1. Gather Supplies
To clean your gutters, you will need a few basic supplies. First, you will need a tall extension ladder to reach your gutters. For the actual cleaning, you will need a gutter scoop or towel and a small scrub brush.
Also, a bucket to collect the debris and a long garden hose to rinse them clean. Optionally, a power washer is helpful for cleaning under gutters and behind downspout connections.
A wire hanger on a long poll or telescoping wand will help clear clogs in your downspouts. You will also need a roll of painters tape and exterior caulk to repair gutter leaks.
For your protection, we also strongly suggest safety glasses, gloves, pants, long sleeves, and sturdy work boots.
2. Position the Ladder
Place the ladder firmly on the ground and lean it against the house. Extend it until it ends a few feet higher than the gutters, so you have room to work safely. This will also make balancing on the ladder easier.
Climb the ladder carefully and always work with someone on the group in case of an accident. If the ladder is not stable, have that person hold it steady while you work.
3. Scoop Out Debris
Starting with your gloved hand, pull out dry leaves and other loose debris inside your gutters. Then use the gutter scoop or a small garden trowel to scrap out any packed-down dirt inside.
Put all the leaves and debris in the bucket for easy disposal later. Use the scrub brush to loosen any stubborn, caked-on dirt.
Once you clean a section of gutters, move the ladder three to five feet and repeat the process. Avoid leaning or overreaching because it increases the risk of falling.
4. Clear Downspouts
Once the gutters are clean, check the downspouts. If you have mesh join connections, scrub them with the brush.
To clear downspout clogs, straighten out a wire hanger, then tape it to a long pole or length of pipe. Fish it in the downspout, using the end of the wire hanger as a hook.
Alternatively, you can flush out the downspouts by power washing them from above. Remember to replace the mesh covers before continuing.
5. Rinse the Gutters
Starting with the inside of the gutters, use the garden hose or the pressure washer to rinse them clean. You can use the hose while you are on the ladder. However, you should move to the roof when using the power washer due to the added water pressure. Sit on the roof pitch and face the gutters, then spray into the gutter channel from above.
6. Check for Leaks
Now that the gutters are clean, check for leaks and other damage. Put the hose on the roof, then turn it on. Standing on the ground, watch the gutters for several minutes to check for drips and leaks.
Mark all the leaks with painters tape before turning off the water. Then seal gaps or cracks with exterior caulk. To keep gutters flowing smoothly, apply the caulk to the outside of the gutters. This way, the dab of caulk does not collect leaves and debris.
Why You Should Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is an important part of home maintenance. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and overflow, leading to damage to your roof, siding, and foundation. This can be expensive to repair and may even require a full replacement.
In addition, clogged gutters can lead to the growth of mold and mildew on the exterior of your home. By cleaning your gutters regularly, you can prevent these costly repairs and keep your home looking great.
Tips for Keeping Your Gutters Clean
Here are some tips for keeping your gutters clean:
- Install Gutter Guards – Gutter guards are a great way to keep your gutters clean and free of debris. They come in a variety of styles and materials, so you can find one that fits your budget and needs.
- Trim Trees and Bushes – Trimming trees and bushes around your home can help keep leaves and other debris from clogging your gutters.
- Inspect Your Gutters Regularly – It’s important to inspect your gutters regularly to make sure they’re free of debris. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can quickly accumulate in your gutters, so it’s important to check them often.
- Check the Slope – The slope of your gutters is important for proper drainage. Make sure they are sloped correctly so that water can flow away from your home.
- Hire a Professional – If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your gutters yourself, consider hiring a professional to do the job for you. They have the right tools and experience to get the job done quickly and safely.
When to Call a Professional
Even if you’re comfortable cleaning your own gutters, there are some instances when it’s best to call a professional. If your gutters are particularly high or difficult to reach, it’s best to leave the job to someone who has the experience and equipment to safely do it.
If you notice any damage to your gutters, such as holes or cracks, it’s also best to call a professional. These repairs should be made as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your gutters and home.
Cleaning your gutters is an important part of home maintenance, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Follow our tips and you’ll have your gutters cleaned in no time! And if you’re ever in doubt, remember that the best way to clean your gutters is to hire a professional gutter cleaning company.