One of the most annoying and possibly very expensive and damaging problems is clogged gutter. Luckily for us, it doesn’t happen very often, however, if it does and we do not notice it right away, the rainwater can do a lot of damage to your home. The water that’s not going down the downspout can easily flood your basement, damage your foundation, enter your attic and much more. Those problems will not only cause structural damage to your home but will cost a fortune to get fixed.
So, instead of risking water damage and draining a big hole in your wallet, you can prevent that from happening by maintaining and cleaning your gutters. If you’ve never done it yourself, you might wonder how one does such a thing, which tools do you require, will you need some special gear and much more. If that is the case, you’re in luck. We’ve prepared a guide of sorts to help you out. Today, we’re going to talk about the most common cleaning techniques and how to properly maintain the gutter.
1. Clean It At Least Twice A Year
The best way to prevent clogs from ever happening is by scheduling cleanups at least twice a year. You can do it more often if necessary, but doing it twice a year should be more than enough. The only reason you might need to do it more often is if you have a lot of foliage around your home. Tall trees can cover your roof with leaves and twigs that can eventually end up causing the clogs. So, if that’s the case, you can schedule the regular maintenance every three months. Cleaning them as often as possible will not only result in the clog-free spout but will make the job itself much faster and easier.
2. Install Guards For Easier Maintenance
Installing gutter guards will make the maintenance a walk in the park. The easiest way to clean something is to make sure it doesn’t get dirty, wouldn’t you agree? Having guards will offer you peace of mind in terms of not worrying about clogs and possible water damage, while also allowing you easier clean up and maintenance in generals. Guards will keep the debris such as leaves, twigs or any other bits and pieces from ever entering the culvert. That way, you can easily scoop up the rubbish and toss in the trash where it belongs.
3. Buy A Wider Downspout
In order to maximize the efficiency of the gutters and reduce the chances of clogs, you should consider getting a wider downspout. Regular ones tend to be 2×3 inches wide, which is a pretty narrow opening that can get easily blocked by a couple of twigs and leaves. Instead, go for the 3×4 inch model. That should be more than enough space for most of the regular trouble makers to make their way down the spout to the ground.
4. Hire A Professional Cleaning Crew
Although the cleaning and maintenance of the gutters isn’t necessarily a difficult job, it is somewhat dangerous. If you’re not comfortable pacing the roof or standing on the ladders 20 feet of the ground, you should consider hiring a professional crew to clean and maintain your gutters. Professional cleaning crews, such as gutterspecialists, have all the necessary tools and experience to do the job well and as safe as possible. So, if you don’t mind spending some money for a job well-done, consider hiring a crew.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common cleaning techniques.
5. Use Your Hands
The good-old grab and toss it in the trash method. One of the easiest ways to clean the gutters is by climbing up on the roof, putting on a pair of durable, yet flexible gloves and going in. It will be a little messy, that’s for sure, but it is one of the most effective ways to get rid of the rubbish stuck in the canal. Now, if you’re doing the cleaning directly from the roof, you can take a bucket with you and collect the rubbish right away, however, if you’re doing it from the ladder, it may be better to just throw everything to the ground and clean up afterwards. You could even place some tarp on the ground and aim for it. That way you won’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning up.
6. Use A Garden Trowel
Sometimes, things can get a little sticky. If the leaves are wet or damp, chances are you’re not going to be able to get them all out just by hand. That’s where a simple tool like a garden trowel comes in handy. Just scrape the leaves and throw them in the bucket. You’ll still need a pair of gloves, you don’t want risk getting scraped or cut on some piece of debris you hadn’t noticed. Also, you’ll work a lot faster if you don’t worry about getting cut.
7. Use A Leaf Blower
Now, it might be a little bit tricky to operate a leaf blower while standing on the roof, but if you happen to own one of the smaller, cordless, portable models they’re going to come in handy big time. If the leaves are dry, a leaf blower will make this into a 15-minute chore. You will, however, have to clean up the yard afterwards, but then again, it’s easier to rake up some leaves than to spend an hour on the ladder.
8. Use A Pressure Washer
The good-old fight the fire with fire. Only this time we’re using water, we wouldn’t recommend setting fire on top of your house. Using a water pressure cleaner to easily clean up the culverts is one of the best ways to get rid of stubborn, stuck leaves.
9. Use A Vacuum
The ‘cleanest’ method for cleaning the gutters is to use a high powered vacuum with a special attachment to suck out all the leaves and twigs. However, this is only an option if the leaves are dry, so it isn’t always possible to use this method.
There you have it, those were some of the most common methods and techniques on cleaning and maintaining the gutter. Hopefully, you’ve learned something useful today.