Let’s face it, gutter cleaning is a messy, time-consuming chore that nobody enjoys. Climbing up a ladder to unclog backed up gutters is certainly not a fun way to spend your weekend, but it’s a necessary task to prepare your home for the season ahead.
Because your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls, it’s vitally important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces, to water in your basement, and are also more prone to rust and corrosion. As the leaves fly this fall, be sure your gutters are clean and free of debris.
Here are a few helpful hints to help you effectively and safely get your gutters ready for the Fall season:
Always Practice Ladder Safety: Faulty ladders lead to many falls and injuries during the autumn months. The potential expense of the medical bill outweighs the cost of a new ladder. When planning to work on your roof or gutters, always let someone know when you will be using a ladder. Spend the extra money to get a a quality ladder, preferably one with a small shelf strong enough to hold a five-gallon bucket to collect gutter debris.
Utilize A Garden Hose: Use a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle, as this type of nozzle will allow you to adjust the water pressure with the use of just one hand. A pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle can be easily hung over the front edge of the gutter while moving the ladder or while using a gutter scoop. This type of spray nozzle can be purchased at any hardware store.
Use A Gutter Scoop: An excellent tool for scooping out leafy debris from gutters is a plastic scooping tool, which can be purchased at most hardware stores. Plastic scooping tools are unique because the front scooping edge is very thin and forms itself to the bottom of the gutter trough, making it easy to scoop out even the toughest debris in any size gutter system. Avoid using a metal scooping tool because the bottom of the gutter and seams can be damaged and scratched, which can lead to rust
Protect Your Hands: Gloves can help protect hands against dirty, rotting leaf debris that often contains bird, pigeon and squirrel droppings that are ridden with bacteria. Gloves can also prevent painful cuts from the torn metal shards of an old, ragged gutter. Thick, suede glove material is recommended because it is superior to cotton, thin leather or rubber gloves. Cotton gloves can soak up dirty water that exposes skin to bacteria. Leather gloves are not as maneuverable and tend to shrivel up when they dry after cleaning. Rubber gloves can get poked or torn by metal shards in the gutter.
Protect Your Eyes: Eye protection is an important consideration when gutter cleaning because you never know what might fly out of the gutter or downspout when cleaning. Insects, sticks and other debris that may become airborne while cleaning gutters pose a hazard to your eyes, that can be easily protected with inexpensive clea shop glasses available at any home center.
Clean Off The Roof: Rake or use a leaf blower to remove debris off the roof first. If not, the next rain will wash all the debris down into the clean gutter, clogging it up again. Also, debris left on the roof can lead to water damming up in valleys, around the chimney which can cause erosion and roof leaks over time.
Consider Rubber Shoes: If walking on the roof is necessary to perform gutter cleaning, it’s good to use rubber-soled shoes as they tend to adhere best and prevent slip-and-fall incidents. Because rooftops tend to be moist in the morning, it’s recommended to walk on the roof after the sun is well up in the sky and has dried up all the moisture. Late mornings or early afternoons are best.
Unclog The Downspouts: After the gutters are cleaned out, run the water hose down the downspout at full pressure to make sure the downspouts are clear. If the water backs up out of the top, then you’ve got a clog in the downspout. Quite often downspout clogs can be removed by tapping on the side of the downspout. If that doesn’t work, the downspout may need to be removed and flushed.
Always Be Mindful Of Power Line Hazards: When cleaning gutters around a power line cable conduct a visual inspection to ensure that the protective wire insulation hasn’t cracked or been rubbed off. If the cable appears to have damage, do not attempt to repair it; instead, call a licensed professional electrical contractor to fix it.
Invest In A Gutter Guard System: Using a quality gutter guard can eliminate the need for cleaning out gutters. All American Roofing Company recommends Leaf Relief gutter guards, which brings real relief to homeowners who need a gutter solution that works, the first time, every time. Leaf Relief features a patented Aluma-Perf Technology that keeps debris out of gutters, allowing water to flow freely. Debris is then lifted off of gutters by a gentle breeze.
Leaf Relief mounts securely to the gutter system, resisting damage from high winds, heavy snow and ice. The tough aluminum construction of Leaf Relief is indelible and resists damage from bugs, squirrels, raccoons and birds! Leaf Relief’s unique design ends routine gutter cleaning, lowering maintenance costs and hassles! No more dangerous trips up the ladder! Put an end to your gutter cleaning days with Leaf Relief!
Independent testing confirmed Leaf Relief works better than other gutter systems on the market! For details on Leaf Relief, CLICK HERE