It’s incredibly easy to overlook regular gutter cleaning. Aside from being out of sight and out of mind gutter cleaning is pretty far from a fun activity to tackle after a long week and if it hasn't been done recently, it’s very likely that it will be both unpleasant and dangerous work. All that in mind, there is no form of exterior home maintenance that has more impact on the lasting quality and reliability of your home than regular gutter cleaning, particularly in these early spring days when a winter weakened property exterior is faced by heavy amounts of rainfall to safely and efficiently dispose of. If this service isn't performed properly then it’s very common for homeowners to face damage to the gutter system, your siding, and even your roof to the point that urgent, professional repair services are needed. Use this simple guide to gutter cleaning today to help protect your home from all these threats before they even develop.
Right Equipment, Right Outcome
Never underestimate the importance of your equipment for any DIY project. While gutter and downspout cleaning isn’t the most complicated service that you can perform on your home it does require a high degree of attention to detail, care, balance, and confidence to ensure that it’s completed correctly. Ensure that before you get started on your gutter cleaning you have access to a ladder which is tall enough and sturdy enough to allow for you to comfortably spend a good amount of time high off the ground. What’s more be sure to have thick gloves, a sizable trash bag for refuse and a hose which reaches up to your gutters so that you can test the reliability of your gutters while still having control of the amount of pressure that’s being moved through them.
Whenever possible avoid resting your ladder directly on the gutter system as this can result in excess pressure for the material and lead to damage which necessitates gutter replacement. Instead, use a ladder stabilizer or stand-off to reduce this pressure. Once you've set this up begin cleaning your home’s gutters in the areas where they would get the most debris build-up, under trees especially. From there begin moving around the entirety of the house cleaning and moving the ladder as you go. As you finish large sections of the gutters use your hose to spray any left over debris toward the nearest downspout and keep an eye out for any obstructions which may stop the flow of water or any points where the water may have pooled or begun dripping. These are signs that gutter repairs will be needed in those places to prevent further issues.
Your gutters are only half of your complete gutter system and while the gutters are open to be seen and cleaned your downspouts are closed off and can therefore be much better at hiding problems. After you've finished cleaning your rooftop gutters use your hose to snake your way down the downspout washing any obstructions down along the way. If you come across any particularly stubborn spouts that are stopping or slowing the flow of water don’t try to flush them out by increasing the pressure! Instead, remove the section of downspout if possible to clean it by hand. If the downspout is fused together, seamless, or otherwise inseparable, invest in a specialty downspout cleaner or plumbing snake to ensure that efficient, reliable water flow is available. As with gutter cleaning, if the flow of water from your hose indicates any leaks or particularly weak points get in touch with professional contractors to perform downspout repairs.