Water, leaves and dirt trapped in wood and metal gutters and eaves troughs can cause major damage to your roof and exterior siding. Maintaining clean gutters helps keep your home top condition for resale, or to maintain the lifespan of your investment.
Steps for Cleaning Gutters and Eaves Troughs
1. Before cleaning your gutters, make sure you have a secured means to access the roof – preferably with a ladder. Do not lean your ladder against the downspout or gutter, as they can easily bend or break.
2. Before cleaning your gutters, check to see that the roof is not slippery with water and debris before climbing on top.
3. To clean gutters, remove leaves and twigs from gutters by hand or with a satisfactory tool such as a small garden trowel, or an actual gutter scoop found at your local hardware store.
4. Wet or moisten solidified dirt in the gutter, which tends to be difficult to remove unless loosened by soaking. Once loose, clean out with gutter scoop or trowel.
5. With garden hose, rinse remaining dirt down the downspouts. This will indicate if they are clogged (if water drains freely or not).
6. If downspouts are clogged, run water to clean and unclog by placing a garden hose in then supply with large amounts of water until free. If plugged downspout can’t be cleared with a hose, use a small plumber’s snake or an unbent clothes hanger. Be careful not to damage downspouts.
7. Alternatively, a leaf blower can be used for cleaning gutters. The drawbacks are; the dirt may be solidified and will not blow away, you’ll be high up – often in awkward postures, carrying an awkward machine, dust may get in your eyes.
8. Use garden hose for final flush and cleaning of gutters and downspouts. (This will also reveal if there are any leaks in the system.)
9. Repair any leaks with appropriate out caulking or specific gutter repair caulking.
10. If possible, cover gutters with wire or plastic mesh. This will dramatically cut down on debris in future.
Tips and Warnings
Never hold on to the gutter or downspout for support. They are not meant to support your weight.
Make sure ladder is sturdy and well-secured.