26 Jun Proper Techniques for Gutter Cleaning
As discussed in previous blog posts, proper drainage is central to maintaining good condition in your roof because water pooling and ice dams can actually work to damage your shingles and flashing over time. In addition, gutters that are clogged with decaying debris can attract carpenter ants and mosquitoes. These reasons together make keeping the gutters clean and free of debris crucially important for your roof’s and home’s sake. Here are some tips to cleaning your gutters correctly and keeping them free of buildup.
Clean them often
You’ll need to clean your gutters more often than you think, and while that may sound daunting, the truth is that regularly cleaning out your gutters makes maintenance rather painless. Strive to give your gutters a good cleaning at least twice a year—or more if you happen to have overhanging trees. Pine trees leave an especially high amount of buildup in a home’s gutter system. It’s also a good idea to examine your gutters every couple of months or so to make sure nothing has built up or become trapped in your gutters. One quick way to do this is to inspect the amount of water leaving your downspouts during a heavy rainstorm.
Use the proper tools
Using the right tools will making the process of cleaning your gutters much easier. You’ll need a sturdy ladder on a level surface for accessing your gutters, as well as gloves, a dust mask, and goggles, which can protect you from skin or lung irritating debris that may be lingering in your gutters. From here, you have a few different options as to which tools to use. Some opt for a garden trowel, plastic scoop, or tongs while others opt for pressure washer attachments and vacuum nozzles that make gutter clearing possible without the use of a ladder. If you decide to opt for the latter options, you’ll still want to use a ladder to inspect your gutters when you believe you are finished.
Once the gutters are cleared, it’s highly important to rinse them and scrub as well. Use a high pressure attachment on a hose or pressure washer to rinse off dirt or grime that was left behind, scrubbing with a scouring sponge or something similar when necessary. Be sure to direct the water flow towards your downspouts.
Don’t forget the downspouts
While you’re busy clearing out your gutters, it can be easy to forget to ensure that your downspouts are free of buildup as well. Make sure your downspouts are clear by directing a high pressure water flow directly down the downspouting, being sure to note when the water exits from the bottom of the downspout. If there seems to be a buildup in your drainpipe, you may need to use a plumber’s auger to clear the blockage.