Gutter Cleaning Tips That Can Save Your Life
There would be fewer accidents and deaths if more building owners and facility managers properly cleaned their roof gutters. In preparation for the snowy and rainy seasons ahead, fall is when gutters need to be cleaned. Rainwater damage and freezing can lead to costly repairs if the rainwater isn't flowing through the gutters and downspout systems.
It is time to clear out the gutters and do it safely.
There are many gutter cleaning tips that will make this a pleasant task. Below are some basic tips.
Eight Gutter Cleaning Tips
- Let someone know that you are cleaning your gutters
- Make sure you have a ladder that is safe and secure
- Get rid of leaves and other debris from the roof first
- When walking up the roof, wear rubber-soled shoes
- Use a plastic gutter scooping device
- Use gloves and appropriate eyewear
- Clear out clogged downspouts
- Be on the lookout for dangerous power lines
Use ladder safety
- Let someone know that you plan to use a ladder to access your roof or gutters.
- A sturdy ladder is recommended, with a shelf that can hold a 5-gallon bucket. Secure the bucket using a lanyard.
- A step ladder with four legs is suitable for single-story structures. An extension ladder is best for taller buildings with two or more stories.
- A ladder for orchards is not recommended as only three legs support it, and they can be unbalanced.
- Also, a wooden ladder is not recommended as it can be unstable and hard to balance.
- Fiberglass ladders are not only the strongest but also the heaviest.
- Cleaning gutters for long hours can cause muscle fatigue. This is due to the repetitive lifting of the ladder.
- You should consider an aluminum ladder if this is the case. It is strong and supports you well.
- Before climbing, inspect the ladder for any defects, dents, or missing parts.
- Make sure that all screws and bolts are securely fastened to your ladder.
- Make sure that the extension-hinge arms of a step ladder are fully extended when opening it.
Utilize A Garden Hose
- A garden hose fitted with a trigger spray nozzle that is pistol-grip can be used.
- This spray nozzle can be adjusted with one hand.
- A trigger spray nozzle with a pistol grip can be attached to the gutter's front edge while you move the ladder or use a gutter scoop.
- You can find this type of spray nozzle at any hardware store
Grab a Gutter Scoop
- The best method to clean out gutters is to scoop out leafy debris.
- A plastic scooping tool is an excellent tool for this task and can be found at most hardware stores.
- The unique feature of plastic scooping tools is that the front scooping edge, which forms the gutter trough at the bottom, is very thin. This makes it possible to scoop out any size debris from any size gutter system.
- Avoid using a metal scooping device, as the bottom of your gutter and seams could be scratched and damaged.
- The bottom of a gutter made of steel can be scraped to expose areas that are rusty. If the gutter's bottom is already rusting, it could accelerate the rusting process.
Protect Your Hands
- Gloves are useful to protect your hands from leaf debris and bird droppings.
- Gloves can be used to prevent cuts from the metal fragments in an old, ragged gutter.
- Cotton gloves can absorb dirty water, which exposes the skin to bacteria.
- Leather gloves can be difficult to maneuver and tend not to dry quickly after cleaning.
- Metal shards in gutters can poke or tear rubber gloves.
- It is recommended to use thick, suede gloves material, as it is better than cotton, thin leather, or rubber gloves.
Protect Your Eyes
It is important to protect your eyes from the dangers of what may fly out of the gutters when cleaning them. There have been many instances of birds, rats, bees, frogs, wasps, and frogs flying out of the gutters at high speed once they started to remove a clog. The last thing they want is for their eyes to get hurt.
Clear The Roof
All roofing debris must be removed first. If you don't, rainwater will wash the debris into the gutter and clog it again. Debris on the roof can also cause water to build up around the chimney, in the valleys, and near heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), equipment. This can lead to roof leaks and erosion.
Rubber-soled shoes are best if you have to walk on roofs to clean gutters. Rubber soles are more stable and can prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Rooftops are often moist in the morning, so it is best not to walk on them until the sun has set and dried out all moisture. The best time to walk on a roof is in the late morning or early afternoon.
Clear the Downspouts
Clear the downspouts. After cleaning out the gutters, you can run the water hose at maximum pressure down the downspout. A clog can be detected if the water is backing up from the top. Normally, you can unclog it by tapping on the downspout. If that fails, you will need to remove the downspout from the back and flush it from the bottom. If there is a clog and the downspout connects to underground drainage, it is best not to allow the underground drain to drain the bottom of your downspout. The clog could move to the underground drain.
Schedule Semiannual Cleanings
Your gutters should be cleaned at least twice per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Cleaning gutters is important to prevent water damage due to rainwater runoff. A second reason is to prevent rust corrosion. The rusting process can accelerate even though it doesn't rain in summer. Clean gutters make it difficult for rust growth to accelerate. New gutters are needed sooner than the rusting process progresses.
Be Mindful Of Power Line Hazards
Clean gutters around power lines that drop from the pole to the roof of buildings. Make sure to inspect the connection to the roof. This is to make sure that the protective insulation hasn't been damaged by weather or trees over time. Do not attempt to repair damage to the cable. Instead, contact a licensed professional electrician to do the job. It's a good idea to call an electrician if you see damage to the electrical wires. Water is a dangerous conductor and can cause problems. It doesn't matter if it is raining. It would be wise to have your electrical wiring fixed before you clean out your gutters.
Invest In Gutter Guards
A quality gutter guard will eliminate the need to clean out your gutters. Be sure to read the manufacturer's claims before purchasing a gutter protection system. Many promises can't be kept.