Cleaning home gutters is a dirty, difficult task. It’s also an important one: A clogged gutter can lead to water damage and expensive repairs for your property. If you’re not sure how to get started on cleaning your gutters, this guide will show you the way.
A Few Things To Consider
While it may seem like a simple task, the process of cleaning your gutters isn’t easy. A wet and dirty job, you can’t just grab a sponge and bucket to get started. You’ll need the right equipment, including rubber gloves for protecting yourself from toxic chemicals and sharp metal edges. Also, consider where you will do the job.
You need to be able to get onto your roof, so you may need someone to spot you while you work. Look for any obstacles in your path, such as low-hanging tree branches or utility lines that could knock out any gutters you’ve cleared of debris. Finally, think about where you’ll dispose of all that waste? If it’s just leaves and dirt, then a dumpster or trash bag would work fine.
Necessary Tools For Cleaning Home Gutters
At a minimum, you need a telescoping gutter cleaner with rubber gloves and coveralls if the stench of fertilizer is strong enough for it to bother you. You can also use pressure washers, but be careful with these devices; water blasting at high speeds can break apart weaker sections of your gutters or deck, leading to possible injury (or lawsuits) down the line.
When using power washers, make sure they’re set on “foam” rather than “jet.” This allows thicker soap products to drain out without blowing out your gutter.
How To Clean A Gutter: Vinyl Or Plastic Gutters
If you have vinyl or plastic gutter, the process of getting them clean is slightly different than with seamless metal ones. First, climb onto your roof and attach a telescoping gutter cleaner to your downspout (most models come with adapters for both types). Once it’s in place, operate the machine to cover the length of each primary run before moving on.
Most systems are designed to only go one way, so it should be fairly easy to ensure you haven’t missed anywhere. However, there are times when things aren’t as simple as they may seem at first glance so take your time! After finishing with one vertical run of gutter, move on to the horizontal ones.
Again, try to ensure that you’ve covered every inch but don’t panic if there are a few holes or areas where leaves and other debris may have fallen through (they’ll be cleaned up in the next step). Once the surface gutters are clean, it’s time to make sure none of their contents end up inside your home! Use some scrap wood (or nail-free 2x4s) placed end-to-end between two stable points on different levels of your roof.
This is known as a “gutter scoop” and works by allowing you access underneath your eaves while keeping you safe from potential falls. Follow the same approach as before; use only enough pressure with the gutter cleaner to ensure you get the desired results without accidentally cutting through your gutters! It may also help to use a high-pressure nozzle to make sure any stubborn leaves are cleared away.