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August 22, 2022

How to Safely and Effectively Clean Your Gutters

If more building owners and facilities managers knew the proper way to clean out their roof gutters, there would be fewer injuries and deaths as well as less property damage. Fall is generally when gutters are cleaned out in order to ready them for the rainy or snowy season ahead. If rainwater isn't able to flow properly through the gutter and downspout system, it can lead to costly repairs from either rainwater damage or freezing.

Now is the time to unclog your gutters and do so safely.

Inventor of the Gutterglove and gutter-cleaning expert Robert Lenney says that being properly educated in the art of gutter cleaning is key to a successful and safe experience. “Cleaning out gutters is pretty easy as long as you know what you are doing,”Lenney replies. “Every time I hear of someone getting hurt from cleaning their gutters, it makes me cringe; it could most likely have been avoided if they had followed proper cleaning procedures.”

Below are some of the gutter cleaning tips that Lenney details to make this tedious task more bearable.

Take care when using ladders by always following these safety guidelines.

  • Informing others when you'll be using a ladder to work on your building's roof or gutters is key.
  • Make sure to use a safe and sturdy ladder, such as one with a small shelf capable of holding a five-gallon pail, and keep the bucket secured with a lanyard.
  • A four-legged step ladder is appropriate for single-story buildings, while an extension ladder will be better suited to a two-story structure or taller.
  • It's not advised to use an orchard ladder since there are only three legs for support and they might become unbalanced.
  • Wooden ladders are not recommended because they are frequently unsteady and challenging to balance safely.
  • Fiberglass ladders are the most durable, but they're also the heaviest.
  • Muscle fatigue can develop from moving the heavy ladder numerous times if you are cleaning gutters for many hours.
  • If you're looking for an alternative to a wooden ladder that is still strong and supportive, go with an aluminum ladder.
  • Inspect the ladder for defects, dents, or loose parts before climbing.
  • If your ladder has screws and bolts, make sure all parts are tightened.
  • Always ensure the extension-hinge arms are fully extended and locked in place before using a step ladder.

Utilize A Garden Hose

  • Fill a bucket with water and tip it over the plants. Using a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle, spray the leaves.
  • This kind of spray nozzle enables you to regulate the water pressure with only one hand.
  • A pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle can be easily hung over the front edge of the gutter while moving the ladder or using a gutter scoop.
  • You may get a spray nozzle like this at any hardware shop.

Get A Gutter Scoop 

  • From our research, it seems that the best way to clear gutters is by scooping out the leafy debris.
  • A plastic scooping tool, which is available at most hardware stores, is an excellent instrument for this task.
  • Plastic scooping tools are one-of-a-kind because their front scooping edge is extremely thin and conforms to the bottom of the gutter trough, allowing them to effectively remove even the most difficult waste in any size gutter system.
  • Instead of a metal scooping tool, use something that won't scratch or damage the bottom of the gutter and seams.
  • Gutter guards can also prevent debris from falling into your gutters, which can cause rust and clogging. If the bottom of a steel gutter is rusted due to scraping, the rusting process might get worse.

Protect Your Hands 

  • Wearing gloves can help prevent the spread of disease by keeping hands clean and avoiding contact with animal droppings.
  • If you ever find yourself having to repair an old gutter, gloves will help prevent cuts from the jagged metal.
  • Cotton gloves can help protect your skin from bacteria by absorbing dirty water.
  • Leather gloves aren't as flexible as cotton gloves, and they shrink up after drying.
  • Rubber gloves may be poked or shredded by metal shards in the gutter.
  • Suede glove material is the best to use because it outperforms cotton, thin leather, or rubber gloves.

Protect Your Eyes 

Gutter cleaning requires that one wear eye protection because anything thrown out of the downspout while cleaning gutters might be hazardous. People have seen rats, birds, frogs, wasps, and bees fly away at high speeds after beginning to clear a clog, and the last thing they want to see is an eye injury.

Clean Off The Roof 

Rake or power wash any trash off the roof first. Otherwise, the following rain will carry all of the waste down into the clean gutter, clogging it up again. Debris left on the roof can also cause water to build up in valleys, around the chimney, or near heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment over time, causing erosion and roof leaks.

Consider Rubber Shoes 

If walking on the roof is necessary to perform gutter cleaning, it is good to use rubber-soled shoes. Rubber soles tend to adhere best and prevent slip-and-fall incidents. Rooftops tend to be moist in the morning, so it is best to walk on the roof after the sun is well up in the sky and has dried up all the moisture. Late mornings or early afternoons are the best times to walk on a roof.

Unclog The Downspouts

Make sure the downspouts are clear. Run the water hose down the downspout at full pressure after all of the gutters have been cleaned out. If water backs up out of the top, there is a blockage. Normally, tapping on the side of the downspout may unclog it if nothing else works. If a clog exists and the downspout is connected to an underground drain, disconnecting the bottom of the downspout from that drain might be necessary. 

Cleaning your gutters is a crucial aspect of house upkeep, but it might be hazardous if done incorrectly. Our team of specialists have the knowledge and skills to clean your gutters safely and effectively. Give us a call right now!

Gutter Maintenance

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