Maintaining the integrity of your home relies on keeping water as far away as possible. Seeping water causes degeneration of vital structures and the development of mold and mildew. Keeping your gutters free of debris is your first line of defense against the headaches of costly home repair.
Here we’ll teach you how to properly remove debris from your gutter and prevent future clogs and issues.
If you’re comfortable using a ladder…
Not all homeowners are comfortable scaling a ladder to get an up-close view of their gutter system. If you are, cleaning your gutters won’t require much more than an extension ladder, a pair of gloves, a small scooping tool (like a garden spade), a long hose, and a bit of patience.
Of course, make sure your ladder is placed on level ground and doesn’t shake from side to side as you climb. Once you’re positioned with an aerial view of your gutter, begin clearing out any leaves, rocks, or roof shingles that pose a clog threat. Most items can simply be removed by hand, though you may need a small scoop to help with dirt clods.
Once your gutters are free of large debris, retrieve your hose. Place your thumb over the hose to create some pressure and spray in each direction. Pay attention to places where water pools inside your gutter. If the water isn’t flowing downward toward your downspout(s) your gutter may be sagging.
If you find your gutter is sagging, identify the place that needs lifting and secure it to your home and/or place a supportive bracket.
If you’re NOT comfortable using a ladder…
If you have exceptionally high gutters or you aren’t comfortable scaling a ladder, there are tools you can use to help you clear your gutters of debris.
There are a variety of extendable gutter washers on the market that shoot high-pressure water streams in both directions, pushing out leaves and other debris. They are designed to curve over the edge of your gutter for easy use from the ground. Of course, these may not be able to move things like rocks or shingles.
If you have a shop vac (a good investment for any homeowner), you can purchase long, curved hose attachments that will suck both wet and dry debris from your gutter systems.
If one of these options sound appealing to you, there’s no shame in calling a gutter maintenance professional to clean, repair, and protect your gutters.
Preventing future clogs in your gutter system
Most homeowners have open gutters that leave their system exposed to the onslaught of leaves and debris. However, there are add-ons like grates and protective shields that can help keep your gutters debris-free.
If your gutter system is old, sagging, or cracked, it may be time for a complete gutter overhaul. If it’s in your budget, a gutter professional can offer you the newest, most protective gutter systems that will make gutter cleaning a worry of the past.