If you’ve decided to tackle the gutters this year, you may need a few gutter cleaning tips here and there to make sure you’re doing it as efficiently and safely as possible.
Get the Proper Tools
Gather your tools before you start. You should have the following:
- Gloves: these help because not only do they keep your hands clean, but also protect against metal pieces and screws in the troughs
- Trowel or scoop: again, these tools save your hands from grime and injury, but also speed up cleaning as you can just scoop and dump.
- Ladder: some experienced gutter cleaners recommend using a tall step ladder for stability instead of an extension ladder. Having someone steady the bottom is also a good idea. For more on ladder safety, read our blog on 10 ladder safety tips.
- Rake/Broom: leaves and debris should be raked and removed, including on the roof, so any rain won’t push more into the troughs.
- Goggles: if anything splashes into your face, or something sharp gets flushed out of the gutter, your eyes are protected. They also keep insects and other critters from getting into your eyes.
- Garbage bag: This makes clean up MUCH easier. Scoop and dispose!
Practice safety every step of the way. Follow ladder safety rules. Don’t stand on the top rungs, put a 2×4 in the trough to prevent crushing if you lean the ladder against it and only work on the roof in good weather. Don’t do troughs when it is windy, icy or wet. Wear sturdy shoes with good grip. Avoid leaning over edges or working near power lines.
Clean at least twice a year, maybe more if your house sits below trees. It is a good idea to clean gutters in the spring and autumn, as these are the two times there will be the most leaves and debris to remove. By doing the cleaning now, there is less chance of blockage in the winter when it can freeze and crack the trough. Water will be able to flow properly. Spring cleaning prevents water damage due to run off from a clogged gutter.
Repair and Maintain
Repair and maintain gutters to prevent cracks, clogs and broken troughs right away. Even a little crack can cause big problems if left alone. By maintaining gutters, you are preventing damage to your home and keeping your investments safe. Clean gutters also keep your house in good condition and looking fresh. You will be preventing mold and critters from getting too comfortable as well.
Get a Professional
Perhaps the biggest of the gutter cleaning tips is if the job is too big, or too much for you to handle, always call a gutter cleaning service. If your house is over one story, it may be better to call a professional. They can do it safely and offer maintenance advice.
There are leaf-catching systems, but they still need to be cleaned by removing and rinsing the screens. They can be costly as well. Sometimes it is just better to call someone who specializes in this work and has all the tools and manpower ready.
Professionals help prevent property damage with their expertise and knowledge. They will do it right the first time and in good time.