Guttering is an essential part of weatherproofing your home, and yet we often take our gutters for granted. However, they play an important part in keeping rainwater off your roof, and ensuring it’s carried away from your property. Most people don’t even think to check their gutters until they’ve become clogged with leaves and dirt, but a bit of preventative maintenance could prevent issues with your gutters. Here are some tips for keeping them clean and clear.
Annual Gutter Cleaning
Gutters should be checked regularly, and most homeowners will schedule an annual clearance to get rid of debris. This is best scheduled after the fall of leaves, perhaps in early winter, as this will ensure you’re ready for the bad weather ahead. Going up ladders can be quite dangerous, so you might want to book a gutter clearance through a property maintenance company or similar. They’re clear all the debris, from leaves to litter, as well as checking for any loose guttering that could cause problems in bad weather.
If you find you regularly get blocked gutters, then adding a mesh or gutter brush can stop debris falling into the pipes, while still allowing water to flow through. However, you’ll still need to check it regularly to ensure it’s in place. We would recommend using a gutter cleaning professional.
Look For Damage
While the gutter cleaning is underway, this is an excellent opportunity to check for any damaged or cracked pipes, or any areas coming away from the wall. Damaged gutters lose their effectiveness at removing rainwater, and pipes coming loose can also be a safety hazard during storms.
Leaking joints are a common problem in gutters, as dirt gets in-between joints, forcing them apart and leading to cracks. Over time, this can cause leaks, which can cause damage to your home, eventually threatening its structural integrity. Therefore, regular checks of your gutters could potentially save you money by helping you avoid damage. Luckily, repairing cracks can often be easy, with a waterproof sealant needed, so you can sometimes avoid getting new pipes.
Gutter Repair Or Replacement?
Not many of us have to worry about gutter repair and replacement. Aluminium gutters will often last at least 30 years. And many UPVC gutters come with 10 or 20 year warranties. However, to ensure you get the longest life out of new gutters, you’ll need to schedule regular maintenance, and ensure any issues are quickly resolved.
Most homeowners don’t think about checking their gutters until there’s already a leak or blockage, so make sure you mark a day each year for cleaning. This will ensure you get the most from your gutters, and that your home is protected from whatever weather is ahead.
Apart from the points, gutter maintenance and cleaning can be accelerated with the following techniques as well-
DIY Cleaning Provisions
Cleaning gutter can be quite exciting if you are DIY enthusiast. Ensuring that you have safety gears at place is as important as knowing how to clean gutter like a pro. Ladder is the most critical tool while scrubbing gutter. In case your house has one storey, use a four-legged ladder. Someone holding the ladder from beneath is a must.
Thick leather gloves will protect your hands from needles, sharp leaves; animal excrement etc. Don’t forget to wear goggles while removing dirt from gutter. Lastly, plastic scoop and bucket are other basic necessities.
Stick To Correct Steps
While cleaning, expel the substantial debris first. It can be anything- from a bird’s nest to pile of cobwebs. For digging out rubbish from twisted corner, borrow a trowel or snake tool. This will ease up the process of scooping up the rubbish that has become too sticky to leave the gutter-wall. Once it done, hose up the gutter lengths thoroughly.
On the off chance the water stops draining due to obstinate clogging, then it would be better to call up a professional. Clueless splattering may damage your house foundation due to excessive water application.
Look For Gutter Guards
Gutter guards halve your endeavors in keeping gutter squeaky clean under any weather. The screen guard channels the water through a casing while leaving the debris at a bay. Nonetheless, it’s of high upkeep. Insert guard uses foam to filtering the water through and it’s least expensive. But for tiny debris, it is not the most effective.
Finally, reverse curve is an advanced guarding technique which nicks the debris flow and turns the water through an arc. However, this one doesn’t work well in stormy weather. So depending on your budget and location, take the informed purchase decision.
Count The Seasons
Each season has its own method of gutter cleaning. When it’s snowing outside, then ice dam may ruin the rooftop by preventing the icy water from draining. Insulation and ventilation is the way to go here tidy up the trash, rather than traditional methods. During rainy season, the downspouts need extra care to flush out the water- away from your house.
Dry well is the best solution here. 2 to 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep drum well is ideal to keep the water away. But do check on with the local authority before setting up one in your yard.
Study Cleaning Tools
Keep yourself updated about the latest cleaning instruments. Best part? Ladder is not needed while applying any one of these tools to clean gutter. This is will lead to zero safety peril. Gutter flusher-cum-cleaner is one such apparatus that practically blasts away small particles of debris. This spray has a pole which can easily be attached to a hose. The ergonomic setting comes with a mirror to chase down hidden debris.
The various vacuum adornments and tongs likewise present swift cleaning service to remove pine needles, dry leaves, and animal wastage from gutter. But remember, each of them has limited capacity, as they are applicable only to small buildings where you can scour the gutter- while standing on the ground.
There are other good measures one can take up for maintaining gutter health and cleaning it up.
Pressure Washer Is Best Tool
A pressure washer is by far the most convenient tool to clear off gutters and downspouts. Best part: you can borrow it effectively in less than $100, in case you would prefer not to purchase one right now. Pressure washer doesn’t hurt gutter, yet blasts away even the tiniest particles of junk with high-force water stream.
Simply make sure you don’t focus the water force from bad angles- while cleaning the gutter. Otherwise, the shingles might get hauled out by such penetrating weight of water flow. For best outcome, go through the instruction manual multiple times before utilizing the tool.
Experiment With Varying Methods
When the rubbish is in soggy state, you may either apply “scoop and drop” method or “gutter bucket“technique. In the previous case, first spread a plastic cover over the ground. Then scoop out the dry leaves and toss them on the sheet lying below. This process is quick but can get messier.
In gutter bucket system, take a bucket with flexible handle. Convert the handle into hooks and then hang it on gutter edge. Dig out the trash and dump it in the pail. This takes physical labor-intensive. For dry trash, the gutter bag method is quite successful.
Learn The Handy Scoops
For the longevity of gutter, rinse it section-by-section once you done with scrubbing off the drain and the downspouts.
Once in a while, come out of the house and try to hear the sound of water-flow that is going to the underground via downspouts. Regular water flow means your downspout is working well. Do it more often during the rainy season.
Pick late morning as the time when you will execute the gutter cleaning task. House rooftops get dried by then from the early morning mist.
Invest On Ladder And Shoes
In DIY gutter cleaning, a ladder is indispensable. Never go for a wooden ladder, though it might appear as the best choice primarily. A wooden ladder can get quite unsteady and accident-prone. In the event of spacious house rooftop, it might take hours to scrub off the gutter.
A fiber glass ladder provides sturdy service but is heavier to move around with. Go for aluminium stepping-stool instead. Invest on a pair of rubber shoes, just for the purpose of gutter cleaning. Your chance of slip-ups while walking on the roof will be reduced drastically.
One glaring mistake many house-proprietors commit while cleaning gutter is overlooking power cable lines.
Beware Of Wires
It’s pretty normal for cable lines to create mishmash on roof top from the power poles. If that is the case with your house rooftop, then beware of bad wiring before cleaning the gutter. There would be the risk of getting electrocuted, if the damage is not repaired in time. This gets all the more perilous during monsoon. Do routine check-up on the power cable lines running over the roof of your house.
For terrible wiring, calling up a professional electrician is the ideal solution. Once it’s repaired, you can continue with the cleaning-chore.