If your house is equipped with gutters, and you can’t remember the last time they were cleaned, it’s best to get proactive and do it yourself. While some services can do this for you, it’s actually quite easy, and just about anyone can do it safely. Before you get started, you’ll need a couple of tools to complete the job.
- A ladder that can easily reach your roof gutters
- A hose hooked up to a water supply
- A long pole (a broom handle will work if you don’t have anything else to use.)
First, you will need to determine how bad the clutter in your gutters is. If you don’t live near trees, you’ll most likely be dealing with some built-up grime and debris. If you have trees in your yard, chances are that your gutters are packed with leaves and dirt. It’s a good idea to clean your gutters every year, once all of your trees have shed their leaves. If you find that yours don’t get that dirty, you may be able to get away with it every two years.
Before you actually start cleaning your gutters, let’s talk about why it is so important to keep them clean. Over time, you’re going to get quite a lot of debris in there. Your gutters serve to catch rainwater and divert it away from your house. If your gutters are clogged, you will have to deal with leaks along the gutter system, or you may notice that water is collecting around the base of your home. This is very bad for your foundation and can lead to rot, cracking, and other dangerous problems with your foundation. It’s a lot easier just to take the time once a year to keep them clean.
Ok, now, let’s get started.
Whenever you use a ladder to work on the roof or gutters of your building, you should always let someone know.
Get your ladder and put it up against the house so you can easily reach the gutter without stretching. If your ladder is too short, you’re increasing your chances of injuring yourself, so stick with one that is big enough to do the job. Now, you’ll be able to see what you’re dealing with in there. If there are a lot of leaves, you can use your long pole to loosen them, but you’ll probably have to resort to good old-fashioned hand scooping at some point. If you have just a lot of dirt, you can use your hose to clean the inside of your gutter.
Once you’ve removed all the debris in the area you can reach, you’ll need to move your ladder down a few feet and keep repeating the process until all of your gutters are cleaned out. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
How often should my gutters be cleaned?
You should definitely clean your gutter at least once a year. The best time is at the end of spring or fall.
The main reason to clean gutters in the spring is that flowers and trees release a lot of pollen and seeds, which can get stuck in the gutter. This process slows down toward the end of spring, so you should clean them then instead of at the beginning because you’ll only have to do it again in a month or so.
And for fall, when the leaves start to change color and fall. If your house is near a lot of trees, clean your gutters when the trees are almost all bare. This way, you can be sure to get rid of as many leaves as possible.
If you hate cleaning your gutters, you might want to buy and install a gutter guard. These guards keep dirt and other things from getting into your gutters, but they still let water from your roof flow. So, the water can still be moved away from your house safely. If you have a lot of trees over your house, this might be the best way to keep debris out of your gutters.