Gutter cleaning is not a complicated task and it can be done by an amateur provided that the gutter is not very high. You should only clean your own gutters if your roof is not very high and your house does not have multiple stories. Gutter cleaning should be done several times a year, especially before the rainy season.
Cleaning your own gutter helps you save some money that you can use for more technical tasks like gutter maintenance and replacement. To clean your gutters on your own you need to know ladder safety and have access to the necessary tools.
Importance of cleaning gutters
- Clogged gutters cause water to overflow and compromise the state of your house. The overflowing water might find its way on the wall; this affects the state of the paint and even weakens the wall and might lead to cracks on the wall.
- Stagnant water in the gutters leads to ice damming when the water freezes. This causes stress on the gutters forcing it against the wood leading to more leakages and breakages.
- Rotten debris is a breeding ground for mosquitos and ants. Debris is the major cause of clogged gutters.
- When the debris gets wet it becomes heavy and causes the gutters to become loose. They might fall off in this case, which calls for an expensive replacement.
What you need
Your priority when cleaning gutters apart from getting them clean should be your safety, because most of the time you will be on a ladder or on your roof. You should learn ladder safety before contemplating cleaning your gutter on your own. Most accidents that happen at home are caused by ladders.
Apart from ladder safety you need gloves to protect your hands. You need safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris that flies as you clean. You will also need a dust mask to protect yourself from dust. Lastly, you will need a garden trowel for scooping out debris from the gutter.
How to clean
There are different ways of cleaning gutters, provided you remove all the solid particles and clear all the water outlets that drain water from the gutters. Scoop all the debris and other particles from the gutter, then scrub it and rinse it with clean water. Open all the outlets and clean them as well. As you clean, you should be keen to mark leaks so that you can fill them later.
Cleaning gutters is not complicated; what makes it difficult is your safety. Your safety comes before anything; if you are not confident with your ladder safety techniques, you should leave the task to experts.
Apart from cleaning, gutters should be checked regularly for maintenance purposes so as to abate any damages that are not noticed during cleaning. Whether you should hire a professional or do it yourself solely depends on you, but the major factor to consider is the height of the gutter. If your gutters are placed very high there is no need to risk the task; leave it to professionals.