Today we turned the calendar page once again, and here we are in September. Where did the summer go? Along with the change of seasons we start to think of seasonal projects. And gutters come to mind.
Cleaning your gutters is a task many people dread, but if you appropriately manage your gutters in the spring and fall then it won’t be too bad. What’s the best way to clean your gutters you wonder? Let us walk you through some steps to make gutter cleaning a little more fun.
1. When was the last time you cleaned your gutters? If the answer is never, this first time could be rough. Making a schedule to clean your gutters twice a year (fall and spring) can ensure that your home doesn’t experience unnecessary water damage. Damaged or over crowded gutters can lead to leaks in your home interior, exterior and foundation.
2. Check the weather. The best time to clean the gutters is when you can let them appropriately dry for a day or two after you clean. If your forecast says sun, then it’s time for some gutter cleaning fun.
3. Pump up the jams. Cleaning gutters is more fun with music. Pick your favorite and make sure the playlist is at least a couple of hours long.
4. Keep it safe. Do NOT clean your gutters from the roof. This may seem tempting and interesting, but it’s just dangerous and risky. Use a ladder to clean the gutters. Secure your tools and a bucket for debris to the ladder with wires or rope. Make sure your ladder is secured. Never use the top three rungs of the ladder.
5. Get it going. Start by using a trowel and digging out the gunk in the downspout. Get out as much as you can.
6. Clean it. Once you cannot remove any more leaves with your trusty trowel, break out the house and power wash any additional clogs away. Once the water runs out clear and flows regularly you have officially removed your clog.
7. Get extreme. If water doesn’t do the trick you may want to try a long hook to be able to reach in and properly clear the debris. Your local hardware store may recommend specific devices for this situation such as poles, special hose attachments or even gutter cleaning robots (ß that’s not a joke, they are pretty neat).
8. Check your alignment. If you have any standing water remaining when you flush the pipe out, then the slope of your gutter might be off. Gutters should incline at least ¼ inch every ten feet towards the downspout.
9. Check it, all of it. Check to see if your gutters are loose or missing parts from the wear and tear. Make any necessary adjustments. If you haven’t already, consider installing a screen or net over your downspout so that larger leaves don’t get stuck in the drainpipe.
9. You did it! It wasn’t that bad, was it? I bet you even feel a wee bit satisfied from a job well done.
Remember, if you aren’t positive you can do it yourself, something looks dangerous, or you just plain old don’t want to do it, it is always ok to call a professional. A professional knows exactly how to take care of your gutter cleaning, maintenance and repairs.