When you think of “gutter cleaning” you imagine a task that’s boring and tiresome. However gutter cleaning isn’t something we can avoid, it must be done, and completed a few times a year. If you think you can just simply jump onto the roof and get it done without any forethought you may find things go awry. Although it’s not an extremely difficult, nor laborious job, you still need to ensure you are completely prepared.
What you must consider…
The Safety Elements:
One of the biggest factors to think about when completing gutter cleaning is the safety elements, they are the biggest hurdle to tackle. As the job itself is not overly difficult, the thing to be most prepared for is the safety risks, which are quite obvious. If you’re going to be on top of a high roof, or balancing on a ladder, these are definite things to keep in check.
-Make sure you know your roof and it’s weak spots, you don’t want to end up inside your house if your climbing on the roof.
– You should also make sure that your ladder is set up perfectly, not balancing on uneven ground or with any dodgy steps. Ladders can be a bit scary and dodgy at the best of times, so make sure you have a very sturdy one. It’s also important not to lean your ladder against the guttering as it will cause it damage or weaken it.
-When possible it’s always best to have some company when completing a task such as gutter cleaning. Having someone else by your side could make a huge difference when it comes to personal safety and injury prevention, think about all those horror stories, and you’ll see why a helping hand is encouraged.
-Always take the weather into deep consideration when your planning on cleaning the gutters. Wind is probably one of the worst weather elements to attempt to brave, especially if you’re alone. Also, rain can cause huge issues, not that it’s common for people to try and clean gutters during the rain, it’s not wise. You don’t want to go out in any weather extreme that can place more risk to your well being.
Your Equipment and Materials:
– A sturdy and right length ladder. Make sure you have a ladder that suitably reaches your gutter, without the need to stretch too far, if at all. If you have to stretch to get to the gutter, the risk is loosing your footing on the ladder. Make sure you have the right type of ladder, or don’t bother with the battle.
– Tarp is a handy material to use if you’re planning on moving the gutter remnants onto something without until you place into appropriate bin.
-Buckets/bucket is useful for the waste and mess
-Leaf blower if you decide to use this as your main weapon to clean the gutters
-Gloves are vital, as you want to protect your hands from injury or scrapes, as well as preventing them from getting too dirty.
-A preventative tool for gutters are gutter guards, they are designed to keep your gutters clean from debris, this will save you effort. However there are a few different gutter guards available, so make sure you read up and find one suitable to your property.
-A lot of people just use their bare hands and a bucket when cleaning gutters, meaning they have gloves on to pick out all the debris, then place into a bucket. You can do it this way if you’re okay with getting a little dirty, and can balance the bucket. However some people will rather use utensils than get there hands to do the job.
-You could also use a trowel or scoop to get out all the debris, and then put into a bucket, or bin.
-When getting rid of the debris you can either use a bucket or plastic bag whilst on the ladder, or choose to simply drop it onto the ground (preferably onto a tarp or another material that can wrap it up later for disposal).
– Looking after your downspouts is also important when cleaning gutters, (this being the vertical pipe that carries the water away. Sometimes downspouts can get blocked by debris and if this happens you should act as soon as possible. You can use a garden hose to unblock with the force of the water, or you can even buy utensils that can complete the job, such as a plumbers snake. Or you can use a household item such as a coat hanger (unraveled).
What can happen when gutters aren’t maintained?
-Your wood fascia can become rotten and wear out, if gutters are clogged with debris
– Your gutters will begin to leak and get into your basement, leaking gutters can cause a few issues.
-Gutters that leak can destroy any plants that are sitting below, and the build up of moisture in the gutters attract bugs. In turn some bugs may destroy the wood which is moist.
With all this information regarding gutter cleaning you may think it’s become a more complicated task, however in reality this is purely a base which you can pick and choose what information you want to take with you. However all the safety concerns and points are vital to acknowledge. You need to first and foremost look after yourself when dealing with heights, and more importantly if you have a double storey home.
If you’d like some professional assistance with this activity you’ll find that many cleaning companies offer this as a service, and so you can leave the hassle up to someone else.
Categories: Exterior Cleaning