Got Grimy Gutters? Try These Easy Gutter Cleaning Tips
Downspouts and gutters are an often-forgotten key aspect of a Fayette County home's outdoor drainage system until damage begins to ensue. When gutters become clogged, the water can back up and cause:
- Roofing damage and compromises
- Erosion around the home
- Leaks that can damage walls and basements
- Unsettling of foundation
- Ice dams
Homeowners who opt to take the time to perform a quick inspection and cleaning of gutters twice a year—in late fall or spring ideally—are less likely to experience these potential problems.
Tools of the Trade: What is Needed for Gutter Maintenance
Make the task of cleaning gutters much easier with the right tools on hand. It's also wise to have a buddy to help hold the ladder and provide supplies from ground level as they are needed. Not many supplies are needed for the task, and the following should suffice for most jobs.
- Tall ladder that reaches the gutters
- Eye protection
- Long hose with a water connection long enough to reach the roof
- Heavy work gloves
- Small plastic trowel or shovel
Those who want to avoid tossing the gutter's debris onto their landscaping will also need a tarp or a large refuse bucket.
How to Clean Gutters in a Pinch—Tips for Success
Before beginning the cleaning, homeowners with gutter screens or covers will need to remove them and clean them as directed by the manufacturer. Then they can proceed with general gutter cleaning and maintenance. First, shovel out any debris and leaves with the scoop, moving the ladder frequently to avoid uncomfortable—and dangerous—leaning motions that could result in falling.
Once the gutters around the perimeter of the roof line have been addressed, use the garden hose to flush away any residual grime and sediment. Use a spray nozzle to clear out the downspouts, utilizing a plumber's auger to break up any serious clogs. Rinse again and allow everything to air dry before re-installing the gutter screens if necessary.
When to Hire a Professional Gutter Company
If any damage is discovered during the cleaning experience, it might be time to hire a professional unless you have a good bit of know-how and more supplies. If any aspect of the maintenance process seems too much to endure, then scheduling routine gutter maintenance with an experienced pro is often the best option.