The Importance of Routine Gutter Maintenance
If you’ve purchased a home, it should have a gutter system for managing rain and other precipitation. Gutters help to protect the home by channeling water away from the structure. They require upkeep and maintenance because leaves and debris clog them over time. Complete this project yourself with these tips for safe and effective do-it-yourself gutter cleaning.
Apparel for Safe Gutter Cleaning
Before you get started, gather the gear you’ll need to clean the gutters. Necessary safety gear includes goggles, a dust mask or bandanna, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and pants, and a pair of sturdy shoes. Even if the weather is warm, adequate protection from insects and bacteria is essential. Clothing and gloves will protect your skin. Meanwhile, a dust mask and protective goggles will keep dust, debris, and insects out of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
DIY Gutter Cleaning Tool Kit
The height of your home will determine the size ladder you’ll need. An eight-foot ladder is often sufficient for single-level homes. However, extendable ladders are necessary for multi-story buildings.
For DIY gutter cleaning, you’ll need a drop cloth or tarp, a bucket, a hose attached to an outside faucet, and a plumber’s snake for tough downspout clogs. Always have a partner to steady the ladder, control the water flow, and make sure that you are safe while cleaning.
Remove the Debris
Tackle your gutter cleaning on a sunny day. You’ll move along the edge of your roof, scooping out the debris and letting it fall to the drop cloth below. If you can’t wait for nice weather and must deal with damp debris, hang a bucket from your ladder. When it’s full, descend the ladder to dump the contents onto the tarp. Cleaning the gutters requires a lot of climbing so it’s good to have a family member or friend help with the project.
A Garden Hose and a Plumber’s Snake are Helpful Tools for Gutter Cleaning
Once the debris has been removed from the gutters, rinse them and check the downspout flow. Use the garden hose to rinse out the gutters and downspouts. If there is an obstruction in any downspout, you’ll notice backflow or sluggish output from the bottom. If the water flows smoothly through, you have successfully completed the job.
If there is an obstruction, insert the hose and have your helper open the outdoor tap completely. The water pressure is usually enough to dislodge minor clogs. Major or impacted obstructions in the downspout can be cleared with a plumber’s snake.
Most experts recommend cleaning gutters in late autumn after the leaves have fallen and again in early spring, but you may want to check them more regularly if your home is on a wooded lot. With proper tools and these tips, gutter cleaning will become a simple part of your DIY home maintenance.