We’re heading into autumn and you are starting to rake the leaves out of your yard. Fall cleanup always seems like a daunting task. But, there is one task you need to add to your to-do list: gutter cleaning. Have you ever cleaned your gutters to prepare them for winter?
During fall cleanup, gutter cleaning is an important, but sometimes overlooked, task. Before the winter sets in, it is important to clean any fallen leaves out of your gutters and drain system.
Gutters should be cleaned at least twice each year. If gutters are not clear, rainwater, snow and ice may dam up and overflow. Any of these could cause the gutter system to come loose. Gutters allow rain water to drain away from the home, preventing water damage to windows, siding, foundation and roof.
Keeping them clear can help prevent the need for some pricey home improvement projects in the future. Follow the steps below to understand the safest way to clean your gutters.
Find the Correct Ladder for the Job
Choose a sturdy ladder and a sturdy base on which to place the ladder. If it is possible, use a step ladder — this is the safest option. If you must use an extension ladder, place the ladder carefully against the gutter. Never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder. It is also always a safer option to have someone spot you from the ground while you are working from a ladder.
Scoop Out Any Loose Debris
It is important to wear heavy gloves when reaching into gutters to protect your hands from any nails, screws and metal shards. Carefully scoop the loose debris out of the gutters. You can use a narrow garden trowel for this task. Remember to always work away from the drain outlet. Scoop the debris into a plastic bucket to make them easy to dispose of later.
Blast the Gutters with a Hose
Using a hose with a high pressure nozzle, individually wash out each length of gutter. During this task you want to remember to work towards the drain outlet.
Clear Obstructions in Drain Pipes
If water does not drain freely through the drain pipes, flush the debris down with a hose. If this does not work you can use a plumber’s snake. The snake will allow you to pull debris free from the bottom, and in some cases, push it through from the top. Once the water flows through freely, the drain is clear.
Gutters and drain pipes should be inspected in spring and in autumn. If your home is surrounded closely by trees, you may have to do inspections more often than twice per year. Keeping gutters and drains clear can prevent damage to siding, windows, foundations and roofs. If you feel safer letting a professional do the job, contact All Weather Tite. We offer repair and gutter cleaning services to help keep your home safe in all weather conditions.