Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year, to prevent them getting clogged with residual waste. This article will describe how to clean gutters in a safe, efficient and effective manner.
Ideally, roof gutter cleaning should be undertaken in both spring and late autumn while the debris is damp and therefore easy to remove.
Gutter cleaning equipment
Before you start, make sure you have the right gutter cleaning equipment. You will need the following items:
An extendable ladder or ideally a tall step-ladder
Thick rubber gloves to protect your hands
A bucket, a bin or plastic tarpaulin to store the waste
A small plastic scoop or trowel
If you’re planning to do your roof gutter cleaning after the autumn period, and there are trees in close proximity to your roof, the best way to clean gutters is to use a leaf-blower to clear the excess foliage before you begin.
The ideal ladder for this kind of job is a step-ladder. This kind of ladder will allow you to reach gutter-height without leaning anything against the gutter itself. If you only have an extendable ladder to hand, place a small plank of wood inside the gutter to reduce the strain on the gutter structure.
How to clean the gutters?
Now the preparatory steps are complete, it’s time for the gutter cleaning to begin! Follow these steps to know how to clean gutters in no time:
Pull on your gloves, put your trowel in your bucket and climb the ladder. Always ask a friend or family member to support the base of the ladder while you climb.
Starting your gutter cleaning at the lower end of the gutter, scoop out any loose debris and place it in the bucket.
Work your way along the gutter, emptying the bucket into the bin or tarpaulin when necessary.
Next, attach the hose to an outside tap, and climb the ladder once again. This time starting from the highest point, which is usually furthest away from the drain outlet or vertical gutter, blast the remaining debris.
It might be necessary to use a stiff brush if the debris is particularly stubborn. Don’t force large chunks of dirt – they will only block the gutter further down.
Flushing the gutters in this manner will not only ensure that gutter is clean but will also check the water flow. Water should drain slowly. If it lies stagnant, try to realign the gutter so it slopes toward the drain outlet. If the water flows slow and clear, your gutter cleaning is complete!
Now you know how to clean the gutters, you’ll be done in no time! But if you don’t like heights or if the very idea of gutter cleaning makes you tremble, don’t panic: it’s usually possible to find local operators happy to the job for a fee.
As with all ladder-based activities, always ask a friend or family member to support the base of the ladder while you climb. Be sure to avoid doing any ladder activities if there is a strong wind or heavy rain.
Make sure you have the right gutter cleaning equipment
Always use ladders in a safe way
Start your gutter cleaning at the lower end of the gutter
If you can’t easily reach your gutter, seek professional assistance