Did you know cleaning your gutters is a dangerous affair? About 6,500 deaths and 2 million serious injuries occur during fall every year. Cleaning gutters is an activity usually designated to be carried out in fall while awaiting for the rainy season. Gutter cleaning safety is a teachable art that is crucial to help avoid accidents. Besides, clean gutters save you from pricey repairs caused by rainwater freezing and damaging roofs. Clogged eavestrough hinders rainwater flowing through to the downspout system.
Clean rain gutters help to shield your landscape from damage caused by uncontrolled water runoff. Your home foundation is protected from damage by siding gutters. Avoid damage to your home by having your gutters cleaned at least once annually. Follow this easy guideline and learn how to safely clean your gutters:
How To Clean Gutters
To go about this activity safely and effectively, you must have these items: A good sturdy and stretchable ladder, work pants, rubber shoes, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, a plastic scoop, and a garden hose. Here’s how to do it best:
Dress For The Job
Every job has its outfit. While you may wear a suit to an office job, cleaning a gutter is a dirty affair, so you’ll need to cover up a bit.
- Put on a long-sleeved shirt.
- Protect your hands from injury by handling metals with rubber gloves. Bird droppings in the gutter could contain bacteria or viruses that cause illness.
- Cover your eyes: While spraying the gutters with high pressure water to unclog, debris is likely to harm your eyes.
- Wear work pants.
- Wear rubber shoes.
Observe Ladder Safety
When you decide to clean your gutters, let someone know and be alert as you use the ladder. Have all your items in place with a ladder stabilizer for rocky surfaces.
- Place your ladder on a sturdy surface. A preferred ladder for this activity is one with a shelf to hold a container for debris collection.
- Use a four-legged ladder on a one-story structure, while taller buildings require an extension ladder.
- Always ensure your ladder is in good condition before using it. For instance, it shouldn’t have defects with bolting to avoid accidents.
- Have someone around to help you pick items when they fall.
Clean The Roof
The roof may contain leaves or debris that may end up in your gutter soon enough. Start your gutter cleaning activity by power washing the rooftop. Or, you may use a rake to pull the gunk and have a clean roof. Debris left on the rooftop can end up in areas around the air conditioning or chimney affecting their efficiency. They can also corrode the roof, which may lead to leaks after some time.
Utilize A Gutter Scoop
Gutter scoops are the best for cleaning out gunk from gutters. If you don’t have one, you can grab one from a hardware store, or use an old plastic kitchen spatula.
- For quality results, scoop out all the dirt using a plastic scoop. It gets the job done perfectly.
- Avoid metal scoops; they might damage your gutter and seams. Also, scraping hastens the rusting process. So, prevent such damage by using plastic gutter scoops.
- Collect all the dirt and debris in a container to avoid littering your compound.
Use A Garden Hose
A garden hose is vital after clearing the dirt with the plastic gutter scoop. Clear all the remaining materials with water from your garden hose.
- Use a garden hose preferably with a pistol-grip spurt nozzle.
- As you hold one hand on the ladder, spray water through the gutter to make it clean. The pistol-grip spray nozzle comes in handy.
- It is safe to place the garden hose over the edge of the gutter while moving the ladder.
- While the water washes off all debris, you can identify leaks on your gutter and prepare for repairs.
- remember to unclog downspouts as you wash off.
Be Keen On Power Lines To Avoid Injuries.
Power lines can cause severe injuries. Before washing off the rooftop, check out to see the condition of the electrical cables. Over time, the power cable insulation wears off from weather harshness. Avoid washing the gutter in the vicinity of worn-out wires, instead, call for repairs from a licensed electrician. Remember that water is an electrical conductor, so cleaning near naked power wires might cause havoc.
While you look into cleaning your gutters yearly, remember you can try using gutter guards. The guards keep out leaves and avoid the call for constant gutter cleaning every fall. Besides, this will save you from the risk that comes with this activity. Cleaning your gutter can be a fun and safe activity when done following the above guidelines.