Gutter cleaning is important throughout the year but it is something that should be completed regularly throughout the autumn and the winter. If you neglect this task you may find damp and even water enter your home, leaving you a much bigger problem to deal with.
Your gutters collect the water from your roof and transport it away until a water butt or to the main drains. However, if you don’t keep them clean then they will fill up with leaves, twigs and a variety of other items. Some of these are deposited by the wind, others by bird as they nest throughout the summer.
If you leave the gutters this debris will prevent the water from draining, it will overflow and cascade down your walls or even inside your eaves.
Cleaning the gutters yourself is quite straightforward; you just need to pay attention to these tips:
You need an extending ladder. Ideally, when gutter cleaning, you’ll want to be above the height of the gutter. While you can lean your ladder against the gutter this does increase the chance of breaking the guttering or the ladder slipping.
It is best to purchase some standoff mounts to hold your ladder off the wall but keep you safe.
Waterproof gloves, preferably ones which go up your arms, are a good idea. You’ll be scooping out decaying leaves and other debris which is not pleasant. At leaves gloves will keep you from exposure to bacteria while gutter cleaning.
You need to take a plastic scoop with you. This will not just prevent you from getting cold hands it will also make your gutter cleaning task much easier. A small scoop which fits inside the gutter channel will work best. Simply scoop the muck out of the gutter and into your bag. You can drop it down to the floor but you’ll be messing up your flower beds.
Of course, laying tarpaulin out can also help but you are really making the job more complicated than it needs to be. A simple plastic bag will give you enough space and flexibility to complete a section of gutter cleaning. Then just empty the bag and re-use it every time you move your ladder.
This saves having to do any extra work after you have finished clearing the gutters.
The scoop and your hands will remove most of the debris from the gutter. However, it is important to make sure all the small debris is removed. The easiest way to do this is simply to flush your gutters with water. They should be completely clear by the time you’ve finished. You can even scrub them clean but this is not really necessary.
Flushing also serves to confirm the downpipes are clear.
Gutter cleaning is much more difficult if you discover the downpipes are blocked. You will need rods and perhaps even have to take sections apart to remove the blockage. To avoid this, after gutter cleaning, check that a small piece of wire mesh is over the top of each downpipe; this will prevent debris from going down the downpipe and make your life much easier.