When was the last time you cleaned your gutter? If you were waiting for a sign then this is it. Most homeowners if not all know the importance of gutter maintenance which includes cleaning them but some end up not doing it or postpone it until never. Removing dirt, leaves and debris should be added on everyone’s home maintenance checklist. Don’t let your gutter keep harvesting more dirt on top of the ones from the previous months. Get to cleaning.
Some of the benefits of gutter maintenance and cleaning include;
- Removing the leaves and dirt from the gutter allows water to flow freely off your roof. This will also prevent water damage that is normally caused by blockage.
- Gutters clogged with leaves and dirt create a breeding ground for rodents, birds and pests. Chances are they will defecate on your gutter as well. That is the last thing you want.
- Clogged gutters give rainwater nowhere to run. When water continues to flood over, it can lead to rotting and a leaking roof
- Taking preventative measures will save you money in the long run as it can help minimize the chances of having to repair a leaking room and having to pay for roof plumbing repairs often.
Safe Gutter Cleaning Tools and Techniques
Before you go ahead and start cleaning, make sure you have everything you need standby to avoid going up and down the roof too many times. You will need;
- Gloves- Your gutter is a breeding ground for bacteria plus they are usually quite dirty hence why gloves are necessary. Gloves will also prevent you from getting cuts and bruises. Ensure the gloves are thick suede or rubbery ones and not cotton.
- Gutter scoop– This usually comes in handy especially if you will be using your hands. Collecting the leaves and dirt will be much easier with this tool. Go for plastic gutter scoops rather than metallic ones as the metallic ones scratch the bottom of the gutter causing damage.
- Wear head gear like goggles and a mask- Like we said earlier, pests and insects may inhabit your gutter and while cleaning they will fly at and try to sting or attack you. Your headgear will protect you from this.
- Wear non- slip rubber soled shoes- This will prevent you from sliding while going up and down the ladder. Rubber soled shoes have better grip.
- A ladder- Ensure it’s a steady strong one. If you may need support, find someone who will hold onto it as you clean.
- Brush or blower- This will come in handy when trying to remove the leaves of the roof.
- Trash bags to collect leaves and dirt
- Cleaning solution
Let’s get cleaning!
First clear the roof
Most times the dirt you find in your gutter comes from the roof. Start by blowing off or brushing the leaves from the roof and putting them in the trash bags. This is also a good time to inspect your gutters for cracks, leaks and rust. After that before hosing down your gutter use your hands to collect the remaining bulk of decomposing leaves, small plants, moss and branches. If you try to wash it away before, it will end up blocking the downpipes and the drains.
Use your cleaning solutions
These solutions will work best on those stubborn and tough deposits creating a lubricating effect that will help dirt be washed away when pressure washing. You could use a brush to give your gutter a deep cleaning. Using a big bucket of hot water can also force out any debris and blockages inside.
Check for rusty gutters
If you find minor rusting during your gutter inspection, scrub it carefully with a wire brush. Keep the general area clean and free from dust, wash it off, and let dry. Once it’s dry, find a metal primer that helps inhibit rust.
Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards help in preventing clogs. Invest in a quality gutter guard and save yourself the time you’ll be using to unclog your gutters frequently. Before buying make sure to consult an expert from a hardware store.
Clean the drains
Clear the drain covers from any dirt and debris then remove the grill and dig out any soil or litter and pour in some drain cleaner. If your drains are blocked, use a pressure washer attachment into the drain to blast the blockage away.
Once you give your gutter a deep clean and maintain it the first time, it will get easier after that. Cleaning it biannually works but if you live in an area with lots of trees you may have to do it more frequently.
As we have seen gutter maintenance is something that shouldn’t be ignored as it may lead to the damage of your roof or more. If you are looking for quality plumbers in Toowoomba, feel free to get in touch with Josh Hoffman’s Plumbing