It’s important to keep the gutters around your home clean and clear of debris such as leaves. All of this gunk builds up and can block the normal flow of rainwater. These blockages can cause damage to the guttering and even damage to the fascia boards and roofing. In many areas, guttering that is full of organic debris can even be a serious fire hazard. In the interest of keeping your home’s gutters clean and clear, here are some tips for cleaning gutters.
Use a Sturdy Ladder
If you don’t take anything else out of this advice, make sure you take note of this tip because it could prevent you from getting injured or worse: always use a sturdy ladder.
When you’re cleaning out your gutters, you will need to work at a moderate height. The problem is that some people take this too casually and end up standing on things that aren’t as sturdy as a ladder. The last thing you want to do is fall off and hurt yourself when you’re cleaning gutters.
Find an A-frame ladder if possible—one that has a sturdy platform and steps. The platform can be used as a holder for any tools you use and will save you from having to repeatedly go up and down the ladder.
Use a Hose with a Nozzle
This is one tip that many gutter cleaners don’t think about, but it makes the whole job of cleaning gutters easier and faster. Use a garden hose with a nozzle that has a pistol grip.
The water will help you clean out all of the gunk from your gutters and the nozzle can simply hang over the side of the guttering when you’re moving the ladder or doing something else. This is why it’s a good idea to have a nozzle with a pistol grip trigger handle.
Use a Scoop
If your gutters are filled to the brim with debris, leaves, and so on, you’ll need a fast and easy way to clear that debris out. The best way to do this is to go to a hardware store and buy a plastic gutter scoop. This will easily fit inside most gutters and will allow you to literally scoop out the gunk.
It’s important to get a plastic scoop for this task because metal ones can easily damage the guttering.
Wear Tough, Sturdy Gloves
Some people don’t wear gloves when they clean out their gutters, but they soon find that wearing gloves would have been a good choice. This is because cleaning out gutters can get very grimy and dirty. All of the leaves, bird droppings, insects, and other organic debris can get seriously grubby. Do you really want to be putting your bare hands in all of that dirty mess?
When you choose gloves for the job of cleaning your gutters, just make sure that you get leather ones. Rubber is fine for cleaning a kitchen, but any sharp edges inside the metal guttering can easily catch on them and rip them. Leather gloves are tougher and will last longer.
Additionally, it can also be a good idea to wear protective eyewear too. Apart from the fact that you never quite know what’s in your gutters, this will also protect your eyes from jets of water.
Clean Off Your Roof First
Now that you have all of the tools, you should clean off your roof first. Quite often, the roof has debris on it that will simply slip into the guttering after the first heavy rain shower. You should clean it off with a power washer so that it doesn’t dump debris back into the guttering and dirty it up again.
Clean Out the Water Spouts
When a gutter is full of debris, it will inevitably get into the downspouts and clog them up. When you’re cleaning out your guttering, make sure that you remember to clean out the downspouts too. To do this, it’s best to use a powerful jet of water to clear out any clogs.
Prioritize Your Safety
Gutters can get dirty pretty quickly and you should clean them out at least a few times each year. Before you start cleaning, however, you should always prioritize your safety.