How to clean gutters quickly and effectively
As a homeowner, one of the most dreaded chores has to be gutter cleaning. Unless overflowing gutters, water damage, or vegetation on your roof is your aesthetic, you can’t escape this chore.
Luckily the experts at Book A Plumber are here to help with seven easy tips on how to clean gutters that will save you time and effort for those who are brave enough to do this job yourself.
1. Prevention Is Always Better
There’s a reason we have the saying, ‘prevention is better than the cure’, and it applies here. Your annual gutter clean will be much easier if you have gutter guards.
Gutter guards block large debris like leaves from entering your gutters, reducing the build-up that can accumulate here. This means that cleaning your gutters is easier and can be done less often.
2. Prioritise Your Safety
While there are some tools that allow you to clean your gutters without a ladder like a gutter vacuum, most of us will need to pull out the trusty ladder. Any job that involves heights has risks involved and it’s important that you clean your gutters safely.
This means coming equipped with all the appropriate PPE, including:
- sturdy ladder
- rubber gloves
- eye protection
- non-slip enclosed shoes
- waterproof clothing
- hard hat/helmet
When it comes time to start cleaning gutters, this means minimising time up on the ladder or on your roof. Unnecessary time on the ladder will only increase your chances of falling.
Let someone know that you’re cleaning your gutters that day too and ask them to check up on you later that day. If an accident were to happen, at least one person will know and be prepared to help if things go wrong.
3. Save Yourself a Big Clean-up Afterwards
Before you even start to get those gutters clean, lay down a big tarp under the area you’re cleaning. As you remove debris from your gutters, anything that falls to the ground will fall onto the tarp.
After the job is done, you can just wrap the tarp up and easily dispose of all the debris in your green waste bin. This will save you the effort of collecting all those leaves and debris from the ground again later.
4. Clean Your Roof First
There’s a high chance your roof is covered in leaves from overhanging trees, moss, and other debris. Neglect to clean this off and it’ll end up in your gutters not long after you’ve cleaned them.
The first thing you should clean is your roof then. Secure yourself with a harness and get to work using a leaf blower to blow any loose debris away. Grab a hard bristle brush and scrub away at that moss too.
Bring a bucket or container up with you to collect this debris so you can collect it as you go.
5. Clear Debris by Hand
Finally, we’ve reached the part where you clean your gutters. Climb up that ladder and begin cleaning your gutters out with a garden trowel or your gloved hand.
You’ll want to remove as much large debris and dry leaves as you can at this step to make the following steps easier.
6. Pull Out the Pressure Washer
If your gutters are in good shape, you can pull out the big guns to speed things up once the bulk of the debris is removed. A pressure washer with the right attachment will make cleaning the remaining small debris a breeze. Attachments that create a fan spray pattern will be the most effective.
Be careful here though. If your gutters are older and more worn down, too high of a pressure or the wrong attachment could blast your gutter into pieces!
7. Run Water from a Garden Hose
With your gutters cleaned out, grab your garden hose and run water through your gutters and roof plumbing. This will flush out any remaining debris left in your gutters and downpipes.
Water should flow freely through your gutters and out the downspouts. if this isn’t the case, then you’ve probably got debris caught up in the downpipes. You’ll also be able to identify sagging gutters, standing water and leaks doing this.
With these gutter cleaning tips and the right tools at hand, cleaning your gutters isn’t such a daunting task. For homeowners who are not-so-handy, it’s best you call in an expert gutter cleaner to do the job right.
This article was created in cooperation with Book A Plumber Online.