There are certain jobs around the inside and outside of your home that can really make a big difference in the long run. When it comes to easy maintenance that can really improve the quality and value of your home, learning how to properly clean your gutters and downspouts is a great place to start. Not only will a routine cleaning help take care of your roof and siding for years to come but it is also an easy way to assess how your gutters are working and spot any repairs that may be needed. If you are apprehensive about working around the house, don’t be! There is no reason to be intimidated when it comes to cleaning your gutters, and here are a few tips and tricks to make things easier.
KNOWING THE JOB
The easiest and safest way to go about cleaning your gutters is to use a ladder that can safely reach all of the areas of your roof edges. Make sure that you will be able to move your ladder around all of the corners of your gutters, and always be sure to find a stable footing before climbing up. You may also prefer to have a bucket that connects to your ladder for refuse and leaves, or you can lay tarps around on the ground to catch debris. Always dress for the job at hand, wearing work clothes and gloves if you prefer them.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
There are a number of overpriced tools and gadgets that you can buy for this simple job, but you don’t need them. Essentially what you are going to be doing is climbing up to the edge of your gutters and downspouts and removing any debris and leaves that you find. Using a good pair of work gloves, search your gutters for sticks, leaves, rocks and anything else you may find and remove it by hand, at first covering an area and then climbing down to move your ladder on to the next section. This may sound time-consuming, but once you get the hang of it the job goes by quickly. You may find it easiest to start with your downspouts where debris is going to collect. If you do not have any type of downspout filter in place, you can purchase small mesh screens that will collect larger debris and help maintain your gutter system.
Plenty of people will tell you that once your gutters are free and clear of debris that you are good to go. Ideally, you would do this two times a year, or after any serious storm, but every once in a while it is good to go the extra mile. To do this, once you are done with your basic cleaning, use a garden hose to fill up your gutters in sections, allowing the water to run off your downspouts. Doing this will clear your gutters of smaller debris that you may have missed by hand, and will also give you a chance to spot any leaks or drainage problems. You may also consider a light wash or scrub if portions of your gutters are clogged or especially dirty. This is one situation where a hose attachment may be a useful purchase, allowing you to stay on the ground and routinely rinse and clear your gutters.