Gutter cleaning isn’t only a matter of improving the appearance of your house – gutters are first and foremost essential for leading excess water off the roof and preventing damage to the building’s infrastructure. Once the colder months have come to an end, it’s a great time to take advantage of the warmer weather and clear out the dead leaves and detritus of autumn and winter, ready for the occasional downpours of a British summer. Condensation and mould are only a few of the potential harmful consequences that come hand in hand with neglected gutters. To help you avoid this, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on how to keep your gutters clean and functional.
When is it Time to Clean Gutters?
Very few people would count cleaning guttering among their favourite activities. Yet, if done often enough, there is absolutely no need to dread it. Cleaning gutters more than once a year not only means that it is a lot easier and less time-intensive each time, but also ensures that you lower the risk of any damage to your house. Do yourself a favour, and don’t wait until the leaves are falling from the trees in October to clear out your gutters. Clean gutters will help you avoid water damage and slow down the rusting process at the same time.
What Do You Need for Gutter Cleaning?
With a few handy tools gutter cleaning can be easy and inexpensive.
For access: In order to reach your gutters, you will need a ladder – opt for a sturdy one. Wooden ladders can be less stable then aluminium ones, but if you’re operating near a source of electricity, do not choose a ladder that allows electrical currents to pass through it. That said, pick a sunny, dry day to minimise the risks if you are going to clean gutters close to electrical wires, and always inspect electrical cables to ensure that they are in good condition before working close to them. Get a pair of shoes with rubber soles for extra safety. Ideally, someone should secure the ladder for you; while clean gutters are important, safety always comes first.
For cleaning: Put on some gloves and find a bucket or plastic bag to collect the leaves and dirt so you won’t have to pick them up from the ground later. Also get hold of a short rake or another tool of your choice to remove leaves and dirt from the gutters if you prefer not to use your hands.
How to Clean Gutters
Make sure to always scrape debris away from downpipes, as you don’t want to accidentally block them. Scoop out leaves, muck, and dirt with your tool of choice from the gutters, but make sure you don’t reach further than an arm’s length away in the process of cleaning out the gutters. It is much better to move the ladder one more time than to risk a fall. If you are using a metal tool, be careful not to damage and scrape the bottom of the gutter.
Make sure to check for leaks as well; clogged gutters are bad, but leaky ones can be even worse, as the water might end up inside your walls. Pour a bucket of water into the gutters – this will not only allow you to check for any leaks and examine whether the water is flowing as it should, but also help to get rid of additional dirt. Alternatively, you can carefully spray down the gutters with a garden hose to test for leaks and remove anything you might have missed before.
Clean gutters, and a safer house: Give it a go.