When it comes to cleaning gutters, few people look forward to the task. Most property owners are lucky if they remember this task in the first place, since gutters are out of sight and mind. Still, it’s essential to perform gutter maintenance.
In the blog below, we discuss everything you need to know about gutter cleaning so you can better preserve this home feature.
Why Gutters Matter
Your gutter and downpipe system serves an important purpose: collecting and transporting rainwater to a safe location. Although most gutter systems work well in accomplishing this task, they also tend to collect leaves, twigs, seeds and other debris.
This accumulation of rubbish requires homeowners to regularly clean and maintain their gutters. Cleaning gutters takes time, planning and effort. But if you avoid cleaning or forget to clean your gutters regularly, your roof and home exterior could develop far worse (and more costly) problems.
Some issues that arise with poorly maintained gutters include:
- Water damming and seepage into the roof or ceiling cavity
- Build-up of debris which attracts pests
- Water damage, wood rot and mould
- Sagging or broken gutters that require replacement
To avoid the unpleasant effects of poorly maintained gutters, take the time to clean yours out at least two times per year, particularly in the spring and autumn. Before you rush out to grab the ladder, though, consider which tools will prove most useful in this task.
Which Tools to Use
The tools you bring to clean your gutter will help you succeed or fail at your given task. To avoid frustration, consider using a combination of the following tools:
- Handheld shovel
- Rough, bristled brush
- Scraper pad
- Handheld rake
- Medium or large bucket
- Large tarp
- Leaf blower
- Gardening gloves
Although you don’t necessarily need each one of the above tools, your ability to clean your gutters quickly and effectively will increase if you have the proper equipment. Along with the necessary tools, remember to use caution as you clean your gutters, as the chore takes place at a sizeable height.
How to Stay Safe
Just like any building maintenance task, gutter cleaning requires special attention to equipment and procedures. To keep yourself and others protected throughout the process, follow the steps below:
- Wear thick leather gloves to protect your hands from dirt, scrapes and cuts.
- Wear rubber-soled or other slip-resistant shoes to maintain grip while cleaning.
- Use only a safety-approved and stable ladder.
- Ask someone to help spot or hold the ladder while you work.
In addition to following these steps, don’t forget to check your surroundings before you clean. Low-hanging power lines, tree branches and overly slippery surfaces all prevent you from working safely, so do what you can to avoid these circumstances.
What Tips to Try
Once you understand the importance of gutter maintenance and have obtained the necessary tools and safety equipment, you’re ready to begin the process. Regardless of the specific types of tools available, gutter cleaning usually consists of a few basic steps:
- Clear out leaves, twigs and other debris.
- Throw any debris into a safe disposal receptacle.
- Wash the gutter surface with water.
- Check your gutter system for rust, weakness or breakage.
As you follow the steps above, you’ll be able to complete your gutter cleaning and maintenance effectively. Don’t forget the following tips to make your task a little easier:
- Keep trees neatly trimmed around your roof. This tip decreases the amount of debris that falls in and around your gutters.
- Invest in gutter guards to minimise the amount of debris that enters your gutters. These devices still allow water to flow through them.
- Wash gutters and downpipes with a high-pressure water hose to achieve a quick and complete clean.
Now you can have the peace of mind, knowing your gutters are clean and free of damage. If you happen to notice any weaknesses or problems with your gutter system, contact your local roofing and guttering provider for gutter replacements.