Gutters are an essential part of every home’s exterior, and while they might not be the most aesthetic feature, they definitely serve an important purpose. Gutters are there to collect and redirect rainwater into the downspout so that it wouldn’t pour from the roof in curtains and make a mess all around your house, and possibly ruin your facade. Pretty neat, but they also come with certain downsides – they are excellent at collecting leaves, twigs and all kinds of debris. Oftentimes, mould will develop here as well. With that in mind, here are the essentials you need to know about gutter maintenance.
The importance of cleaning your gutters
Much like any problem in your household, if you allow it to persist, over time you’re going to end up with a costly repair bill. Gutter cleaning might be a time-consuming task that requires some arm strength and stability, but it’s best you do it now to avoid bigger problems in the future.
When the gutter system gets clogged due to debris accumulation, there is nothing to guide the water away from your facade. Do you see where this is going? Not only that, but if the soil around your house gets oversaturated, you can end up with a wet foundation which will, in turn, lead to a variety of other issues. So, let’s clean your gutters!
Use the right tools
There are numerous ways you can clean out the mess from your gutters, and one of the best tried-and-tested tactics is using your own two hands. Make sure you wear sturdy work gloves to protect your skin from splinters, dirt and harmful bacteria. If you don’t fancy that idea, you can always grab a gutter scoop at your local home centre.
On the other hand, cleaning the downspout is a completely different challenge, as it requires the use of specific tools. A regular gutter scoop won’t do here, you need something lengthy to reach all the way in, something like a long wooden stick or a thin metal pipe you can use to jab at the debris until they comes loose and out the other side.
Rise to the job safely
The most important element of successful gutter cleaning and maintenance is safety. Climbing the roof of your house should never be taken lightly, especially when you’re planning on moving about and fiddling with something as fragile as a gutter. The simplest solution would be to use a ladder, however, this option limits mobility greatly and is not exactly safe.
That’s why you should opt for a mobile scaffolding hire that allows you to reach the gutters safely and work quickly at the same time. Remember that hiring sturdy metal scaffolding is always better than risking it with a flimsy ladder.
What do you do with the debris?
Before you get up there and start scooping, you want to decide what to do with all that debris – should you just throw it down on the ground as you work, or should you take a large garbage bag with you? Both ideas are completely fine, it only depends on what you’re most comfortable with.
Throwing the debris on the ground as you work will allow you to clean the gutters faster, but it will also leave a mess you’ll have to clean up later in your yard. On the other hand, carrying a bag in one hand will limit your speed. The best option would be to hook the bag to the scaffolding so that you can have both hands free at all times.
Consider alternative tools
Before you start, consider some alternative gutter-cleaning tools out there. If you’re not up for manually cleaning the gutters, you can always wash the debris away with a pressure washer. A pressure washer should take care of all mild-to-medium clogs, however, keep in mind that it will leave a mess. You can also consider a gutter cleaning robot that does the job for you. Seeing as how expensive the second option is, you can always try to do the job with a gutter cleaning wand. These are often ineffective against serious clogs, though.
Regular gutter maintenance and upkeep might be a chore, but by no means does it have to be a cumbersome task. With these essential tips in mind, you will have no problem cleaning out your gutters easily and efficiently.