The gutters on your roof divert falling rain away from your home and reduce the risk of water damage to the exterior and foundation. Dirt and debris can collect inside your gutters and cause them to become blocked. Over a year's time, your gutters can collect enough dirt and debris to do serious damage to your gutter system. For most homeowners, gutter cleaning is not an enjoyable task but it's a job that has to get done. These tips will help make the job a little easier.
Bring a Buddy
You will need to climb a ladder to properly remove the debris from inside your gutters. Ask a friend to keep your ladder steady while you are working. By having someone help you, you will complete the job faster with less chance of getting hurt.
Come Dressed for the Occasion
Put on an old set of clothes before you begin your gutter cleaning job. Be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants, thick work gloves and protective eyewear. This will keep the debris off of your skin and prevent any potential injuries.
Lay Down a Tarp
Place a large tarp on your lawn near your ladder. This will collect any debris that falls and enable you to save time raking up your yard when you have finished cleaning your gutters.
Get the Right Ladder
Choose the best ladder for your home. For many single story homes a stepladder is tall enough to get access to the gutters. A multilevel home will need a taller ladder. Invest in a ladder horn to prevent damage to your gutter while you are working. You can purchase one at your local hardware store. While you are on your ladder, do not extend yourself any further than necessary while you working. Move your ladder as often as possible to be able to safely reach and clean the gutters.
Scoop It Out
Get a scoop to help remove the debris from the gutters. They are easy to manipulate and can make the job much easier and quicker to complete. You can either empty the debris from the scoop into a bucket attached to your ladder, or throw the contents onto a tarp on the ground below.
Inspect The Situation
As you are scooping the debris from inside your gutters, carefully check to see that the gutters are securely attached to your home. A loose gutter can begin to pull away from the exterior of your house and cause damage to both the gutters and the structure of your home. Damage to your gutters or exterior structure can be an expensive job to repair.
Flush, Flush, Flush
After you have removed all of the debris from your gutters, use your garden hose to run water through the system. This will ensure that any blockages have been opened and that your gutters are working properly. You will also be able to see if there are any leaks or holes in the system that may need to be repaired.
Protect Your System
If you are finding a great deal of debris in your gutters and you live in an area with a lot of trees, consider having a protective mesh cover installed on your gutters. These covers will keep debris from falling into the gutters and causing problems for the system.