Gutter cleaning can be a daunting task, but it needs to be done. When gutters and downspouts are not cleaned, they get blocked with debris, dirt, and leaves that don’t allow the rainwater to drain properly.
Clogged gutters give rainwater nowhere to run, and as a result, that water can overflow from the gutters and cause water damage to both your interior and exterior. To protect your house and save yourself from headaches and avoidable renovations, you need to clean the gutters regularly and properly.
But how do you clean the gutters properly? What are some common mistakes people make, and how can you avoid them?
1. Wrong time for cleaning the gutters
Sometimes, it’s all about the timing. Your gutter needs to be cleaned ahead of the periods when severe weather is common in your area. That way you can ensure your drainage system works properly when the rain (or snow) come.
2. You don’t clean the gutters often enough
Not cleaning the gutters often is the most common gutter maintenance mistake homeowners make that sometimes costs them a lot! The usual recommendation for gutters cleaning is at least 2-3 times a year. Frequency depends on where you leave, the weather, and how many trees are near your gutters.
If your area experiences more bad weather, and if you have trees right above your roof and gutters, your gutters will get clogged more frequently so you will need to check them more frequently throughout the year.
To help you remember, you can mark gutter cleanings in your calendar every 3-4 months, where you get a reminder to check your gutters and see if they need to be cleaned.
3. Not using proper equipment
While you can get the job done with gloved hands on a ladder, there are tools available that can ease and speed up the entire process for you.
From gutter-cleaning vacuum attachments to pressure washers that could blast the accumulated dirt, there are many tools that could help you clean better and faster. Just make sure you know how to use them properly.
4. Overreaching on the ladder
We’ve all done this before. This is a big mistake that can potentially become very dangerous, very quickly.
Always climb down and move the ladder closer to where you need to work. Never overreach, lean to one side, or try to move the ladder while you are still standing on it. It’s really easy to lose control and fall.
5. Not using a spotter
Stepladders can be dangerous and you may feel falsely comfortable thinking that the ladder is leaning on a wall; regardless of the type of ladder you use, or how many times you have done this, you should still have someone to hold the ladder steady at the bottom and act as a spotter.
6. Not following safety precautions or wearing protective gear
Always wear protective gear when cleaning your gutters. You should also inspect the ladder before starting to climb and use a ladder that is right for the specific job.
Make sure that there are no cracks or broken steps and never step on a ladder before first inspecting it thoroughly. Follow the ladder safety precautions, and climb and descend cautiously.