Gutters are often neglected when doing the house chores. But, if left unattended, they can become a serious problem and it’s important to keep them clean.
Else, they will get blocked with leaves and twigs from the near trees or with debris brought by the wind. Here are a few tips from our professional window and gutter cleaners.
Tools You Need
Before you start doing anything, bear in mind that gutter maintenance is dangerous. Professional gutter cleaners advice to simply call hired help. But, if you are certain in your own abilities, here are the tools you need.
- A ladder.
- Working gloves.
- Plastic scoop.
- A hose.
- A bucket.
How to Keep Gutters Clean
- Climb carefully on the ladder, with your working gloves on. For safety measures, make sure you read our guide on ladder safety.
- Scoop out loose debris by hand, starting at a drain outlet at the low end of a gutter. If most debris are solid stuff like leaves, you can remove them by hand. Put them all in the bucket, if you prefer to minimize the patio clean up after that. If the gutter is full of liquid debris, use the plastic scoop.
- Clear obstructions in drain pipes. Sometimes, the most problematic places are the drain pipes after they get clogged. To fix this, climb down the ladder and use the wire to scrub the inside of the drain pipe.
- Use an on-off high-pressure nozzle at the end of a water hose. Blast some high pressure water through the drain to clear everything left.
How to Keep Gutters from Freezing
This is the most challenging task of all, as ice will not only clog, but also damage your gutter. What you need for this is a good home insulation.
- Inspect the attic for cracks. First, you need to check and repair any visible leaks.
- Purchase insulation for the entire attic (if it doesn’t have any). This should include the ceiling and the floors. The best way to keep your gutters from freezing is to ensure a good above zero degrees temperature of the whole ceiling and attic.
- Apply heat tapes along the roof, just above the gutters. Heat tapes include electric heating wires that help with melting the snow.
- Remove snow from the gutters after a snowfall. Sadly, we can’t tell the sky not to snow over our house (and why would you? Snow is great!), so if there is snowfall, you’ll need to clean the gutter as soon as it ends.
- Use rock salts on the gutters. Rock salts do wonders with snow and ice. They can prevent the ice to build and work as an additional precaution.
How to Keep Gutters from Clogging
Here, we are going to talk about preventative measures. If you wish not to climb a ladder and clean your gutters too often, you can install gutter protection that would keep most unpleasant debris out.
- What you need is called a gutter guard. It’s a type of barrier that goes on the horizontal open pipe. Now, it’s not something that would keep your gutters clean forever, as debris come in all forms and sized. But it will significantly decrease the amount of times you’ll have to get on a ladder.
- Clean if your gutter is clogged right now. You cannot start the installation, if it’s already full of garbage and debris.
- Attach the metal clip to the front of the gutter. In general this is the best way to keep gutters clear of leaves. Big leaves, that is.
- Snap the back slips underneath the shingles.
- Make sure to occasionally check the gutters for debris. Just in case the guard might not be working well enough, you’ll have to do a few seconds of inspection every month.
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