Cleaning the Gutters on Your House
Why Clean the Gutters?
Rain gutters don’t seem to be an integral part to your home, but you’d be surprised to see what damage your house receives without them. Their essential purpose is to protect your home’s siding, windows, doors, and foundations from water damage. They even help preventing flood damage done to basements. This is why cleaning your gutters is an important task to maintaining your home.
If there’s a bunch of leaves and grime built up in your gutters, rain water won’t be able to drain away from the house. Instead, it’ll saturate and add a tremendous amount of weight to the gutters, and in some cases, tear off your gutters. Pooled water will also rot wood gutters and rust sheet-metal gutters. So if you’re thinking you never have to clean those little troughs on the side of your house, think again.
How to Clean Your Gutters
The Lexington area receives a good amount of rain year-long, and it also receives a good amount of foliage from nearby trees (in the Fall especially). So before you decide to hire an expensive service to clean your gutters and drains, consider some easy options to doing it yourself.
*Warning – Be comfortable working from a ladder or at roof-height before trying to clean your gutters.
The first and easy option is to pull out the ladder. Make sure it’s sturdy and level with the ground. If you have to lean against the gutter, protect it by placing a small 2X4 inside and keep it from snapping. Don’t ever stand on the top 2 rungs of the ladder.
Make sure to wear some work gloves while cleaning the gutters, as there’s typically sharp objects and screws embedded inside. If you want, you can also bring up a bucket to dump the foliage into, if you’d rather not have it spilled onto your property.
The second option is to work from the roof instead of the ladder. Sometimes roofs have lower pitches, which makes it easier than shifting the ladder around, but make sure to take precautions against slipping and falling. Wear non-slip shoes and never stand on the edge.
Steps to Cleaning Your Home Gutters
|1. Remove Debris with a Garden Tool
Start at the drain and scoop away from the outlet.
This wil prevent foliage from falling down the drain.
|2. Blast Out the Gutters with a Hose
It’s best if you have a on-off high pressure nozzle
mounted to the hose (like that shown in Fig. 2).
Wash out the gutter, working toward the drain outlet.
|3. Clear Obstructions in Drainpipes
If you find debris clogged inside your drain, try
flushing it down with your hose. If that doesn’t work,
use a plumber’s auger to pull out leaves.