Cleaning your gutters is probably one of the most daunting tasks for a homeowner. It’s messy, inconvenient, and time-consuming. The process can be a pain, from moving the ladder back and forth to avoiding splashes from flushing the gutters. It’s not glamorous, but someone’s routine maintenance is important to avoid water damage to your roofing. In case this isn’t quite your regular cup of tea, we’ll walk you through the process of cleaning your gutter from how often to clean, how to stay safe, and how to make sure your gutters are completely flushed and draining without any blocks.
When to clean your gutter
You’re probably hoping we’ll say never. Well, not so much. Our professional at Politz Roofing recommends twice a year- in the spring and fall. However, if you live in a woody area or in a place with a lot of trees, there can be a lot more build up throughout the year and you should probably whip out the ladder a few more times, just to make things easier on you in the long run. If there are big storms, you should check the gutters once things dry up for blockage.
Clean the gutter from the safety of a ladder.
Don’t try to clear the gutters from the rooftop. This is way more dangerous than taking a few extra minutes to bust out your handy dandy ladder. Try not to overextend yourself when up on the ladder. That would distribute your weight unevenly and you’re more likely to fall off. Have someone hold the ladder for extra stability on the ground.
Now for the actual cleaning.
This is the gross part. You should definitely use gloves for this. You don’t know what could have gotten caught in the gutter, or if there are any sharp points sticking out. Use some thick gloves and if you’d like a gardening shovel to move the debris out. Start at the downspout and scoop out leaves and dirt. You should have a tarp laid out on the ground beneath you to make collection easier when you’re finished.
After you’ve collected as much hard and clumped up debris as you can, use a small hose to flush out the remaining dirt and grime. If you notice the water is not flowing through the gutters easily, there may still be something clogged. Try using your hands to reach it or try washing through with more pressure from the hose.
What if you want to take the easy route?
If you’re not very comfortable with being so hands-on with your cleaning, there are some helpful tools that may be able to help. There are mesh guards and other insertable products that are designed to keep leaves and dirt from getting caught. They can be expensive but are worth the investment if you’re trying to avoid getting hands-on very often. Remember to thoroughly clean these guards the recommended twice a year to make sure there isn’t too much build up causing blockages on the roof.
Cleaning the gutters is quite the unpleasant chore and it can be a bit time consuming after a big storm or if you’ve been pushing off the big clean. If you don’t have the time to do a thorough clean as often as you should, consider purchasing a tool that allows you to fish goop out from the ground. We recommend looking at a vaccum or extending flusher.
While this may not be fun and you’ll definitely get your hands dirty, routine gutter maintenance will help prolong the lifespan of your roof by allowing proper drainage during rainy and snowy conditions. Happy Spring cleaning, homeowners!