Fall is just around the corner, and for those of you without K-Guard gutters, that means that it is time to get started on yet another round of seasonal gutter maintenance.
Ideally, your gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, but you may need to clean them more if you have trees within 10 to 20 feet of the exterior walls and roof. Although it might be tempting to procrastinate on this, doing so puts your house at risk for serious water damage. Since time is of the essence, use these gutter cleaning tips to get rooftop drainage systems ready for fall.
Ask For Help
Gutter cleaning requires potentially dangerous activities such as climbing on a ladder and getting up on the roof. If possible, work with a partner. Even if all they do is hold the ladder still, you have that extra bit of a safety net. Many people have trouble with heights, and having someone there to ensure your safety can make the whole process smoother and less nerve-wracking.
Practice Ladder Safety
Gutter cleaning is not for people who are afraid of heights, and a sturdy ladder is one of your most important tools. Start by choosing a ladder that has non-skid bottoms on the legs so that it does not slip. Also, you should always inspect your ladder for defects before you begin to climb. As you choose one, keep in mind that it may need to be moved multiple times as you work around the perimeter of the roof. Look for a sturdy, reliable ladder that is also easily portable.
Dress For the Job
As with any household maintenance task, you need to wear the appropriate clothing and safety gear. Be sure to find a quality pair of gloves that are waterproof and made from a scratch-resistant material to protect your hands from cuts. Then, put on a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from potential splashes from bacteria-laden clogs as you spray out the gutters. You should also wear a comfortable pair of rubber-soled shoes to reduce your chances of slipping off of the ladder or roof.
Remove All of the Debris From Your Roof
Cleaning out the gutters is pointless if you leave behind leaves and dirt on the roof. This debris can pile up and fall into your gutters the next time it rains or snows. Therefore, you should begin the cleaning process by using a broom to sweep away any debris that is not in the gutters. As you do, try to sweep hard enough to push the leaves over the gutter system. Then, you can rake them from the ground later or gather them in a bag.
Pull Out Big Clogs By Hand
Once you’ve removed the surface debris from the roof, you are ready to begin cleaning the actual gutters. You can use a special scooper to remove large chunks of debris from the gutter, or you can use your gloved hand. As you remove the clogs, put them into a bucket or other type of container so that you have an easier time cleaning up afterward. You should also be cautious as you clean these clogs because they often havens for rodents, birds, and insects that use the materials for nests.
Spray Out the Gutters
Clearing the clogs out by hand first helps to make sure that you do not inadvertently spray large chunks of debris down the gutters and into the downspouts. Therefore, you must make sure that all of the big debris is completely clear before you move to this step. To spray out the gutters, you can use a power washing tool, or you can just grab your pressure sprayer that attaches to the garden hose.
Keep an Eye Out For Damage
The process of cleaning out the gutters makes it possible for you to get a closer look at the roof and gutter system. Keep an eye out for signs of damage that need closer attention such as cracks between the seams of older gutter systems or areas where the gutters have become detached from the roof. You might also spot signs of a malfunctioning gutter system while you are cleaning them out such as seeing water stains from spillovers caused by clogs or pooling water where it should naturally flow down.
Check the Downspout
After the main gutters are clean, your final step is to make sure that there are not any clogs in the downspout. If you’ve seen large amounts of debris in the gutters, then you can easily assume that it has worked its way to the downspout as well. Typically, you can give it a good tap or two to get clogs to fall down with the force of gravity. However, more serious clogs may require you to take apart the downspout and use special tools to get them out.
Upgrade to K-Guard
Cleaning out gutters is hazardous and exhausting work, and older gutters may require you to clean them out more often due to issues such as bends in the seam that collect more debris. Fortunately, K-Guard leaf free gutter systems are an option that allows you to ditch this annoying part of your fall home maintenance routine. These patented systems have special covers that keep leaves out of the gutters while allowing the rain to flow into specially-designed slots that wash it down the downspouts so that clogs become a thing of the past.
This year, stop dreading the monumental task of cleaning your gutters by upgrading to K-Guard. Give us a call today!