Remove gunk from your gutters and clean downspouts with our quick-and-easy tips.
You’ve been dragging your feet on it for quite some time--and we understand. Cleaning your gutters is not exactly the most thrilling way to spend your weekend. But showing your gutters a little attention can go a long way to keeping your home in good repair. And besides, if you think a little proactive maintenance is a chore, consider the alternative – clogged gutters eventually giving way to the bulk of decaying debris until they loosen and begin to rot the siding and trim of your home. And we haven’t even mentioned the carpenter ants and mosquitos that thrive in clogged gutters!
Don’t worry. We’ll share some of our best practices for making short work of a big mess.
We’re going to be upfront with you on this – you’re probably going to get a little messy. Rain-soaked dead leaves, bits of branches, dirt….it can be a filthy task, so dress for the job. That means a long-sleeved shirt, rubber gloves, and safety goggles. A disposable face mask is a good idea if you have one available.
Your first instinct is going to be to grab your ladder and get going--we like your enthusiasm! But you’re going to want to slow down and take a moment to consider safety. That means making sure your ladder is well-footed at all times. Consider using ladder horns or standoff stabilizers to make sure your ladder doesn’t damage your roof.
You’re going to want to bring your high-pressure nozzle up with you to blast out any debris—be sure to place it somewhere within reach that won’t get in the way of your footing.
The Dirty Work
Did you know about the gutter scoop? This handy instrument is available at nearly all hardware stores and will help you get in there and remove all of your gutter garbage. Don’t have a gutter scoop? Want to skip the hardware store? You can always use an old spatula or even a child’s toy shovel. If you’re going green, you can use this organic material for your compost pile.
Use your hose to spray away remaining gunk, paying careful attention to your downspouts. You’ll want to blast loose any clogs. If the hose doesn’t cut it, you can try an auger. Avoid power snakes, while they can clear metal pipes, they can easily damage lightweight plastic pipes.
Now that you’ve got everything clean and clear, this is a perfect chance to examine your gutter system. Check out your gutter spikes, these items go through your gutter into the rafter behind it. If these items are impaired or withered, you may want to consider replacing to avoid damage.
Take advantage of the moment and look for any possible leaks caused by holes in the seams. A new bead silicone can help secure the area between the gutters and potentially rotting boards. Also, check the rivets on your downspout and make sure they’re secure.
Well, now that you’ve conquered your gutters, maybe consider gutter covers? These helpful items can help increase the time between cleanings by providing a barrier between your gutters and gunk.