If you still think fall and spring are the only seasons to get gutters cleaned, think again! Gutter cleaning doesn’t only get you prepared for the snowy season, but also helps you prevent water damage and rusting.
Gutter cleaning can be hazardous sometimes if you aren’t well acquainted with gutter cleaning safety tips. So, it is better if you are well known about the gutter cleaning tips before you perform gutter cleaning DIY.
As the title questions- Why your gutter cleaning never works out the way you plan? The best answer to the question is- “Because I don’t imply the gutter cleaning tips to work the way I plan”. Doesn’t that sound stupid? So, learn some tips (general, DIYs, and safety tips) and raise your level of thoughtfulness.
10 Tips for Safe Gutter Cleaning
If some homeowners and facility managers knew the key factors of gutter cleaning safety, they would have had fewer property damages, accidents and deaths tolls. If you prefer (and hire) a commercial gutter cleaner, make sure that they do it safely implying the points discussed below.
- Types of ladder and safety measures
- A safe and solid ladder with a small shelf which is able to hold five (approximately) gallon bucket can be a good ladder to select.
- A four legged stepladder can be handy for a single-storied structure.
- An extension ladder comes into use for two-storied or taller structures.
- Don’t use an orchard ladder as they can become unbalanced because of its three legs.
- A wooden ladder is not suggested by experts as they are often shaky and harder to balance.
Letting someone from your family know when you are using a ladder to work on your gutters is certainly a great idea. Doing so will make your family aware of the on-going cleaning process and obviously, you’ll get some help from them. Muscle Fatigue is a bad thing that can happen while moving a heavy ladder to and fro for hours.
Three major ladder safety tips to consider are:
- Inspect the defects, dents, and loose parts of the ladder before climbing.
- Don’t forget to check if the ladder is fastened together with screws and bolts.
- Make sure the extension-hinge arms are extended to the fullest and locked securely.
- Utilize hosepipe-if available
A garden hosepipe (also called garden hose) with a trigger (like as in a pistol) spray nozzle helps you adjust water pressure during the cleaning process. Hanging it over the front edge of the gutter will enable you to move the ladder and use the gutter scoop easily.
If you don’t have it in your house, you can find it at any hardware store.
- Find a gutter scoop
Gutter Scoop is the most straightforward tool to scoop the debris out of your gutter. This scooping tool, found in general hardware stores, is composed of plastic and more than alright for this type of cleaning purpose.
Scooping edge at the front end of the plastic tool is too thin which lets it dig deeper to the gutter trough. You can add an extension stick to the scoop to reach farther for cleaning the gutter with minimum moves of the ladder.
Handy Tip: Don’t use any metal tool for the purpose of scooping as it may damage the gutter’s bottom and edges. Even rusting may bother you later if you practice the use of metal gutter scoop.
- Types of gloves to protect your hand
- Leather gloves aren’t versatile. They start to contract as they get dry after cleaning.
- Rubber Gloves can get torn easily by metal end of the gutter.
- Thick gloves which last longer than cotton, leather and rubber gloves are highly recommended.
Dirty and rotting debris contains bacteria and some harmful squirrel droppings. If you want the cleaning task and your protected hands to go hand to hand, you need to use gloves while cleaning the gutter. Use of gloves can even be convenient to avoid painful cuts and bruises, from torn metal shards in old gutters.
- Protect your eyes
You won’t see the cleaned gutter if you do not imply this gutter cleaning safety tip. So, safety eyewear is a must. It ensures that you are on a safe side, as you never know what flies next out of the downspout, during the cleaning process.
Investing in a fine pair of safety glasses will be a smart thing to do. Unblocking the gutter is too risky for your eyes as birds, frogs or bees can fly anytime out and cause your eye a severe injury.
- Keep your roof clean
Before unblocking the gutter, the prime thing to accomplish is power washing debris off the roof. When you neglect cleaning and start working on the gutter, all the remains and rubbish will wash down into the clean gutter when it pours. That in turn will block the gutter again.
- Put on your rubber shoes
Shoes with rubber sole stick best and even prevents slipping and falling. Generally, the rooftops are wet. So, working on your gutter in the early morning can injure you.
Late morning or early afternoon as suggested by professionals is the best time to clean or get your gutter cleaned.
- Unblock the downspouts
Downspout is a pipe for carrying rainwater from a gutter. After cleaning the gutters, running the water hose down the pipe (at full pressure) helps you clear the pipe effectively.
You should know that if the water goes down out of the main then there is an obstruction in the gutter So, you need to tap as an afterthought of the downspout to unblock the gutter. In the event, if that doesn’t unclog it; evacuate the downspout and back, and flush from the base.
If there is an obstruction and the pipe interfaces with an underground drain, separate the base of the downspout from the channel. Doing so helps to keep the stop up moving to the underground drain.
- Hooked buckets can be friendly
You’ll certainly use a ladder for cleaning the gutter or reaching the roof. Attaching a bucket to the ladder with the aid of wire hooks will make the cleaning more fruitful.
Clear the spot just below the gutter and hook a wire to attach the bucket (with a rope or a cord). That will help you raise and lower the bucket safely, with all the required tools in it.
- Be cautious of power line disasters
While cleaning the gutter on a roof, you may face the problem of dropping power line. If that really happens, perform an inspection of the cable at the point of connection to the roof. BUT, don’t be stupid and attempt to repair those damaged cables. Call a licensed contractor to fix them or any gutter cleaning services for your help.
Handy tip: Don’t dare to clean gutters in the rain until the cable problems are fixed.
Do-it-Yourself Gutter Cleaning Tips
The 10 points listed above can be implied in both cases- calling the professionals or doing the cleaning all on your own. Moreover, the points listed below can be specifically useful as tips for gutter cleaning DIY.
You may not have all the tools required for cleaning, but the following points can really be fruitful for those who can’t or don’t want to hire professional gutter cleaners.
- Pre-Clean Gutters
First of all, climb the ladder (choose the best one as instructed above) and clean the fluids and liquids out of the ditch. Then, focus on the downspout or the pipelines for a better cleaning. If leaves and debris are clogging the gutter system, you’ll end up with slipping ditches.
Remember: The decomposed leaves and debris makes great compost.
- Check Gutter Spikes
Checking all the spikes that are vulnerable, to go through the gutter system and poles behind, will prove how good cleaner or a ‘DIY-er’ you are.
Investing in a new set of gutter spikes to ensure that gutters are securely tightened won’t cost you much.
- Check for leaks
Check the sources for any leakages, incorporating gaps in the canals and split blocking in the creases. Utilize an old shaping tool to rub the old blockings out and dry the territory completely. Utilize new bead silicon fixing to keep water from getting behind the canals and decaying the boards.
- Check Rivets
While you inspect the gutter system, don’t forget to check its absorption ability. Gutter systems, so many times, can get loose easily which establishes the need for proper inspection of absorption power of the piping and the ditches itself.
Use the tool named rivet gun , easily found in hardware stores to secure them.
- Clean Gutters with Pressure Washer
Once you’re done with the pre-cleaning or before mechanics commence the cleaning by opening the gutter cover at first, the best idea will be to use a pressure washer. Make sure that the pressure of the pressure washer won’t damage the gutter system. To make that sure you should have secured the gutters with newer spikes or screws.
Remember: You won’t use the pressure washer frequently, so, it’s better to rent it for less than hundred dollars from the nearest hardware store.
- …and more…
- Install new sets of gutter spikes and screws as soon as you remove the old ones.
- Place the new screws inside the ditch, positioning it directly behind the existing spike hole.
- Insert the gutter screw into the spike hole.
- Slowly thread the fastener through the hole of the spike with the use of proper speed driller.
- Thread the fastener until the screws are engaged with the supporting stick.
The major mistake that homeowners make is that they take gutter cleaning for granted. Don’t make the same mistake. Clean the gutter system in your house following the tips in this writing.
AND yes, do share this blog if you find it useful.