Gutter Cleaning

Tips on How to Clean Gutters

By Mark J. Donovan

If your home has gutters, gutter cleaning is unfortunately a necessity. If gutters are left to collect leaves and other debris, they will no longer function, begin to sag and eventually cause damage to your home. In particular the fascia boards and soffit areas will begin to experience mold, mildew and even rot.

Gutter cleaning is best performed on dry days as it is easier and less messy to remove the leaves and debris.

Gutter cleaning begins with a few basic tools: a ladder, garden trowel, work gloves, and a garden hose.

With the ladder placed on firm ground and starting near the gutter downspout, remove the leaves and debris from the gutter using a garden trowel. While frequently moving the ladder, work your way up the length of the gutter removing all the debris. Note that you may want to collect the leaves and debris in a bucket or plastic container as this material is great for a garden.

In the process of cleaning the gutters inspect the brackets that hold the gutters onto the fascia boards to make sure they are still securely fastened. Also check the gutter seams to make sure they do not show signs of leaking and are not split or damaged in anyway. If they are damaged either fix or patch the cracks/seams.

After removing all of the leaves and debris from the gutters, rinse the gutters with a water hose. If the water does not flow smoothly out the gutter downspouts, you may have debris lodged in them.

In many cases just directing the hose head right over the gutter downspout intake will eliminate the clog. If this does not work use a snake to eliminate the clog.

To eliminate, or at least reduce the frequency of regular gutter cleaning, there are a number of gutter guard products on the market today. These products are designed so that only roof rain water enters the gutter. Leaves and other debris, slide over the top of the gutter and onto the ground, thus preventing the gutter from becoming clogged.

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