How to Clean Gutters
Gutters are often overlooked but are an important part of your home. They act to move water away from your roof, walls, foundation, and basement. Heavy rain without gutters can cause serious damage to your home due to water seeping into places that it shouldn’t. The first step is to make sure that your home has gutters on it, but the next is maintaining and cleaning the gutters you invested in. Our Connecticut roofing company will teach you how to clean gutters.
First, let’s talk about what you should be looking for when you visually inspect your gutters. Properly manufactured and installed gutters should have no holes or gaps and maintain a proper pitch towards your downspout. Another critical thing to look for is the fact that gutters should be flush to your home and shouldn’t be pulling away. Clogged gutters are the most common thing that needs to be kept at bay for homeowners. Leaves, roof granules, pine needles, and other debris can accumulate over time and cause problems. That’s why it’s important to clean your gutters twice per year, in the spring and fall.
The most common way of cleaning gutters is by hand with gloves and a ladder. However, this tactic can be dangerous, it’s critical that the ladder is steady, and this isn’t being done on a windy or rainy day. It is always best to hire a professional because they have the best equipment and experience to get the job done in a safe and effective manner. But, if you insist on doing this job yourself, we have some tips to make the process go more smoothly.
There are basically two schools of thought: Either moving the ladder around your home and cleaning from the ladder or climbing the ladder in one place and getting on the roof to clean (we recommend the first option; it is much safer). Regardless of the way you go about it, follow these tips to help maximize safety and efficiency:
- Use a straight or extension ladder, as step ladders are typically not tall enough.
- Attach a ladder stabilizer to your ladder. This connects to your ladder and allows it to lean against the roof rather than the gutter. Leaning a ladder against a gutter can cause damage to the gutter and may lead to replacement.
- Ladders must be placed on even terrain.
- Opt for placing a tarp on the ground and throwing debris onto it as you clean, carrying trash bags is unsafe and may cause you to lose balance while cleaning.
- Tie your ladder off to reduce the risk of it falling over.
- Use a hose to rinse your gutters out after the initial cleaning to ensure any small, loose debris is discharged.
- Use gloves and sturdy shoes/boots with good traction.
- Never climb onto a roof with a medium or high pitch, leave this to the professionals or clean from the ladder.
An even safer way is to use a gutter cleaning tool. These can be purchased where you buy tools or online and they minimize the risk of injury because homeowners can stay on the ground to clean their gutters. They typically feature a telescoping wand and a tool on the end that allows you to reach the gutters on your home and pick out debris.
As always, we recommend hiring a professional to perform your home maintenance. Every situation is different, this is meant only as a guide to help inform you of general roofing situations and maintenance. This is not a complete and exhaustive list or statement of every possible scenario and problem that could arise. We will not be held liable for any damage or injury sustained directly or indirectly from the information provided in this article/post.
If you have any questions not addressed, be sure to send us one here!