Your home’s gutters accumulate dirt, leaves, and other debris during windy and stormy seasons. It’s important to keep an eye on them to make sure that water can flow freely through them. Clogged gutters cause problems around the home, including damage to fascia and to the home’s foundation. Below are helpful tips to clean your gutters.
How to Clean Your Gutters
Practice Safety With a Good Ladder
A ladder is an essential tool when cleaning gutters. Get a comfortable and safe one to maintain balance when ascending, standing on, and descending the ladder. Use the following safety tips for cleaning gutters:
- Check the landscaping to verify the surface is sturdy enough to support the ladder. If the area is not stable, shift to a more secure location.
- Use a ladder stabilizer to prevent gutter damage and keep you safe.
- Ask a friend or family member to hold the ladder while you work.
- Inspect the ladder before using it to make sure it has no defects, dents, or loose parts.
The morning may not be the ideal time for cleaning the gutters because of condensation that could make the ladder slippery. Clean the gutters in the afternoon when the sun is out and has dried up any moisture.
Wearing Proper Clothing to Clean Your Gutters
Gutter cleaning is messy work. You’re removing leaves, twigs, mud, and sometimes animal nests from the gutter channels. Protect your body before getting to work. The following practices will help keep you safe as you clean:
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt to protect your arms and wear work pants.
- Use gloves to protect your hands from debris and even animals. Rodents or birds may be nesting in your gutters.
- Protect your eyes against splashes of mud with goggles. You don’t want anything to affect your vision while on a ladder.
- Use rubber-soled shoes to prevent you from slipping and falling off the ladder.
Clean Out the Gutters
You can use your gloved hands, a gutter scoop, or a pressure washer to remove debris. Use tools carefully to avoid damaging the gutters. Below are the steps to get your gutters clean:
- Scoop debris using a scooping tool or small shovel. Don’t use a metal scoop because it may scratch the gutters and damage the seams. Plastic is a better choice.
- Using a garden hose, rinse the gutters starting at the end farthest from the downspout. Use a stiff brush to scrape out stubborn dirt.
- Check to make sure water is flowing through the downspouts. If not, direct the hose or pressure-washer down the pipe to dislodge the clog.
- Collect all debris from the lawn and landscape and add the materials to your compost pile.
Gutter cleaning is an essential task for home maintenance. After removing the debris, reinforce any sagging sections with gutter hangers. Identify and fix all leaks to prevent damage to your foundation and landscaping.