Cleaning gutters is an essential maintenance task to protect your home from water damage and ensure proper drainage. But how do you start? Follow these five steps, and you’ll always be ahead of the game when it comes to cleaning your gutters.
Secure the Necessary Tools and Safety Equipment
Before you begin cleaning your gutters, gather the required tools, including a sturdy ladder, work gloves, a trowel or scoop, a bucket or tarp to collect debris, and a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Ensure that the ladder is in good condition and placed on stable ground.
Safely Access the Gutters
Set up the ladder near the section of the gutter you plan to start cleaning. Make sure the ladder is secure and stable. Consider having a spotter or using ladder stabilizers for added safety. Always maintain three points of contact on the ladder, such as two feet and one hand, while ascending and working on it. Enlist someone to help if safety’s a concern, or contact a professional roofing contractor to get the job done easily.
Use a trowel or scoop to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from the gutter channels. Start at a downspout and work your way along the gutter length. Place the debris in a bucket or on a tarp to avoid creating a mess on the ground or damaging your landscaping. That also ensures quick and easy cleanup.
Clear Clogs and Downspouts
Blocked or clogged gutters are common year-round. If you encounter any clogs or blockages, use the trowel or scoop to dislodge the debris. You can also flush the gutters with water using a garden hose with a spray nozzle to clear out smaller obstructions. Check the downspouts for blockages and use a plumber’s snake or a pressure washer if necessary to remove any debris. If the clog still doesn’t budge, it may be time to call in the pros.
Rinse Gutters and Check for Leaks
Once the gutters are clear of debris and any clogs are removed, use the garden hose to rinse the gutters. Start from the far end opposite the downspout and work your way towards it. This step helps ensure proper water flow and allows you to check for any leaks or damaged sections of the gutter system. If you notice leaks, make a note to repair or replace the affected areas.
Many people opt to check and clean their gutters only once a year, and that’s where trouble starts. It’s important to clean your gutters at least twice a year, typically in the spring and fall, or more frequently if you have trees near your home that shed leaves and debris. Regular maintenance will help prevent water damage, mold growth, and other issues caused by clogged gutters. If you’re uncomfortable with heights or unsure about performing the task, there’s absolutely no shame in hiring a professional gutter cleaning service. In fact, it could save your home and sanity. Contact us today to talk to a professional roofing contractor to ensure the job is done safely and effectively.