Gutters play an important role keeping the house safe by diverting water away from the roof. Diverting water helps prevent structural damages as well as the aesthetics of the building. But what are the general tips to keep your gutter spick and span? Below we have compiled some easy gutter cleaning tips.
The first step in your cleaning is getting the right tools for the job. It is just like a recipe; if you get the ingredients wrong, you end up with a bogus dish. Right tools are the key to any successful job.
The first set of tools to look out for are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep you safe during the entire exercise. Get gloves to keep your hands clean and protect them from injuries caused by metal pieces and screws in the trough. Non-slip rubber shoes help stay firmly and keep you safe from static electric charges around the gutters.
Get waterproof clothing and a set of goggles to protect your body and eyes, respectively. Safety is key to good performance! Get a long step ladder for more stability rather than an extension ladder. Whenever possible, get a platform and stabilizer to keep the ladder from touching and damaging the gutters.
Cleaning tools vary, and the choice of tools depends on your budget. A scoop or trowel is recommended to help speed up cleaning since you can scoop and dump some of the debris. Rakes are hand for collecting trash at single points before scooping. For the final clean up to restore the gutter, you can use a bristled brush, a broom, a motorized wand, a sweeper, or a lightweight pressure washer.
Depending on how frequent you clean the gutter, there will be many leaves or moss that should be put directly in a waste bag. Cleaning solutions are useful but not necessary in gutter cleaning. Gauge to see which combination of tools are needed for your gutter.
Purchasing PPE is not enough to keep you safe while cleaning the gutters. Wear the safety gear properly before you mount the ladder. Even avid roofers have a hard time holding on in such high points, so do not risk.
Do not stand on top of rungs to avoid crushing. Avoid leaning over edges or working near power lines. Make sure the weather is safe to do the cleaning. Adverse weather increases your risk of tripping exponentially.
Whenever possible, get someone to hold the ladder for you so that it does not sway. The recommended ladder for cleaning is a step ladder if you can use a pressure sprayer to clean the gutter area rather than climbing a ladder on a single-story building.
If you are not assured of safe working conditions, call a professional to help with the cleaning or wait for the right condition to do the cleaning.
Cleaning is a period when you get close up with the gutter. It is good to do more than cleaning during this time and inspect surfaces for clogs, broken troughs, loose sections, broken hangers, and brackets. Be keen! Corroding gutters are also a ticking time bomb.
Proper maintenance of gutters helps prevent damage to the home and reduce costly repairs. Do not ignore any problems because a single issue can cause serious problems to the gutter.
Seek help from a professional roofer for any serious problems you spot during the inspection. Repair and replace any faulty sections of the gutter.
One of the most effective ways to keep the gutters clean is to prevent them from getting dirty. You can create a protective barrier from natural elements such as weather and moulds by using waterproof paints.
First, clean the gutter with a pressure washer and let it dry. Upon drying, apply a primer before applying a waterproof paint. Paint is a beautiful mode of protection. However, it is not effective for plastic gutters as it degrades the quality and does not adhere to the plastic surfaces.
A powerful way to reduce large debris, leaves and twigs that clog the is an installation of gutter guards. They also act as a defense against birds nesting on gutters. One advantage the gutter guard is the ease of installation.
The gutters are inter-related with many other parts of the house. For example, a dirty roof and clean gutter spell disaster. Most of the debris and leave residue on the gutter is probably from the roof.
First, clean the roof before embarking on the gutter. You can use a bristled brush to remove and loosen any debris. If there is moss growing on the shingles or tiles, brush it off lest it is washed into the gutters.
Clean the gutter in a two-step process. First, remove decomposing leaves, moss, and branches using a scoop or trowel but a hand is just fine if you have gloves on. When the process is done, it is time to wash the gutter. Use an appropriate cleaning agent for the process that can deal with tar, grease, and moss on the gutters.
In case you have seen water run-off draining on the edge of the gutter during the rain, it is due to a blocked downpipe or a wrong gutter angle. Clean the downpipes to remove the blockage and reset the pitch of the gutter.
While it is always easy to do the cleaning yourself, consulting an expert is still in your best interests. An expert will help repair parts of the gutter like the drain and add their expertise to bring the best out of your roof.
Apart from the valuable advice, professionals help prevent property damage caused by cleaning. An expert handling the roof is safe as they understand the job better.
Many people ignore the gutter unless severe signs show up to indicate it is time for repair. When the signs occur it’s a little bit too late, and there is too little you can do. Cleaning the gutter ensures it remains vibrant to serve you through dangerous storms.
Michael Espina has been working online for several years. He is currently the Outreach Manager for Safe Hands Cleaning. He also loves carpentry, DIY stuff, and love to read when he has time.
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