Why Cleaning Your Gutters is Important
While it may not be the most exciting home maintenance task, cleaning your gutters is critical for the health of your home. Your gutters drain rainwater and snow-melt away from your house. Without them, much of that water could end up inside your home, causing structural damage and mold growth. Tackle this job at least twice every year. Below are a few tips on how to clean gutters.
Learn How to Clean Gutters Safely
Gutter cleaning does involve some inherent danger. Falls from ladders are common accidents that can cause injury. Cleaning gutters requires following basic ladder safety rules.
Make sure your ladder is in good condition and sturdy. Have a friend or family member support the ladder as you work. There are also tools designed to help. You might invest in a ladder stabilizer to reduce the chances of accidents when a ladder is involved.
Dress for the Job
Cleaning gutters is a dirty job; you’re going to get covered in muck and debris. With that in mind, make sure to wear old clothing that you won’t mind getting dirty. Long sleeves and old jeans are great for protecting your skin. Wear strong rubber work gloves to protect your hands from twigs, insects, and other debris from the gutters.
The Right Tools for Cleaning Your Gutters
Gutters contain layers of leaves, pine needles, twigs, animal nests, and other debris. Doing the job efficiently and correctly means you’ll have to scoop everything out. You can buy a gutter scoop made specifically for the job. Alternatively, a child’s sandbox scoop or even a plastic spatula may work just as well.
Use the scoop to remove the build-up of materials that have collected in your gutters. Toss it onto a tarp on the group or collect the debris in a bucket attached to your ladder.
Rinse with the Garden Hose
The final step in cleaning gutters is to rinse them out. This will help flush any remaining dirt and debris that you weren’t able to scoop out. Pay attention to the water flowing from the hose. It should freely travel through your gutters, down your downspouts, and away from your house. Look for leaks in the gutter system and make note of areas that need repair.
Best Time for Gutter Cleaning
It is best to clean your gutters multiple times a year. You should clean them in the fall after the leaves have fallen from your trees and before winter weather arrives. This is important because ice dams can form in clogged gutters during winter. When the water has nowhere to go, the snow-melt may end up leaking through your roof. Clean the gutters again in spring to prepare them for spring showers and summer thunderstorms.