Clogged gutters can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with as a home owner. Sheets of water spill over you as you walk under the eaves. In addition, clogged gutters can also cause water to back up and damage shingles, immerging to the roof line, and possibly even leaking into your attic leaving water damage. Heavy gutters, filled with waterlogged debris, become heavy and cause additional damage to your roof. Overflowing gutters, given time, can cause extreme erosion the causes harm to your home’s foundation. If you do not routinely clean your gutters, it can lead to a plethora of issues that can be damaging to the internal and external structure of your home.
Here are professional tips and tricks on how to safely clean your gutters if you choose not to hire someone to come out and take care of the pesky task for you and go full DIY. Below you will find tips for safety, tools, and the cleaning process.
Safety First – Do not Ignore These Precautions
- Use a ladder. Do not sit on the roof to access and clean gutters.
- The ladder should be far enough away from the house so that you can climb without falling off backward. The recommended method for judging ladder angle is to stand facing the ladder, toes against the ladder legs and arms extended horizontally. If your fingertips touch the rails of the ladder, this indicates you are at the correct angle. Your six-foot A-frame ladder will not be tall enough or stable enough, and make sure that the ladder is anchored on stable ground.
Basic Tools for DIY Gutter Cleaning
You will need some basic tools to complete the gutter cleaning successfully:
- Heavy Rubber Gloves: Surgical-type latex gloves and even some nitrile gloves are usually too thin and could tear against the sharp aluminum edges.
- Gutter Trowel: Long plastic scoops, thin enough to fit in gutters, can be purchased inexpensively at your local hardware store. However, if your shingles extend too far over the gutters, you may not be able to use a trowel.
- Use a garden hose long enough to reach to the gutters when attached to an outside faucet.
- Contractor’s Garbage Bags and Bucket
- Putty Knife or Old Spoon: Or you can use any hand implement that can scrape sediment from the bottom of the gutters.
7 Steps to Perfectly Clean Gutters
- Position the ladder so that it is stable and angled correctly.
- Put on your rubber gloves. Place the trowel (if you opt to use) in the bucket, carry it to the top of the ladder, and hang it from a rung.
- Remove gutter covers and place on the roof.
- Gutter debris is usually found in two layers: a top, lighter layer of leaves, twigs, and pine cones, and a heavy bottom layer of dirt and particles from the shingles. Use the trowel to remove the top layer, placing this debris in the bucket. If the trowel does not work, remove the debris by hand and place in the bag.
- Scrape out the bottom sediment with your fingers, putty knife, or spoon.
- Take all items back down. Turn on the hose. Take the hose up to the gutters and use it rinse gutters and check the flow.
- Ensure that downspouts are clear of any debris that may have become lodged. If there is blockage, unclog by removing the nozzle and running the hose up the downspout. At the same time, gently tap the side of the downspout to dislodge the debris.
These professional tips and tricks will help make performing routine gutter cleaning a breeze.
If you are ever in need for a gutter service in Colorado Springs – always free to call us at: (719) 464-8945.