The cleanliness of a gutter will allow it to function properly. We’ve outlined some steps for keeping them clean, so they work as intended. You don’t want clogs in your gutters – if you do, water will fall out the side. Here’s a few tips on how to keep them clean and operating smoothly.
Step 1: Manual Inspection
This first step involves some action on your part. You will need to find a ladder or step-stool, so you can get to a height which is up above the top of the gutter. For the brave, a simpler method would be to get up on the roof, and walk to the edge of your house. This offers much more flexibility and movement, since you won’t have to move the ladder to different spots of your property.
Before you begin to clean your gutters, it’s suggested to inspect them closely to see what kind of shape they’re in. If there are any visible signs of corrosion, be sure to take note of where the corrosion is located and if it seems to get worse over time. This might be a sign to call a professional, to replace the corroding section of gutter. Another recommendation would be to look for holes or joints (the plastic piece that combines two sections of gutter) that are leaking and check for any bent or broken sections of gutter hangers (the small metal piece, used to keep the gutter attached to the house). Use some colored tape, usually masking is fine – and mark where the problems exist. This way, you can access them quickly if something should take you away from your gutter inspection, or if you have to run to the store to buy some parts.
Step 2: The Cleaning!
For unrestricted water flow, it is recommended to remove all visible “roadblocks” such as leaves and debris that accumulate in the gutter. The only thing left to do is roll up those sleeves and get to cleaning! After the visible remains have been removed, a hand-held blower comes in really handy. Blowers are very beneficial when removing lightweight debris, such as sand from your roofing shingles, or dust from the air. You can even use a blower for dry leaves, but the heavy-wet leaves sometimes won’t budge. At this point, there will be a large pile of muddy rubbish around the perimeter of your house. Tarps play a good role, if you lay it down prior to using the leaf blower technique.
We recommend heavy-duty gloves so you don’t end up pricking your skin with sharp objects that could possibly be under the debris
Another option is to use a gutter scoop instead of your hands to remove the debris that is too dense. It is recommended to attach a bucket to your ladder, or pull your large garbage can over near where you are working. This way, you have a quick spot to dump the tightly-packed mud-leaf combination. Begin at the downspouts and work your way to the middle of the gutter, this will make sure any water will flow down the newly cleaned spout, instead of flowing over the edge as you try and clean.
Step 3: Un-Clog the Downspout
If you experience a build-up but are unable to locate it, investigate the nearest downspout. Clogs often happen at the intersection of the downspout and the gutter. Remove the lower elbow joint and inspect each section for clogging. If the blockage is a bit higher than your reach, you might have to grab the ladder, and work your way down. A good way to clean via top-to-bottom is to use your garden hose. Insert the hose at the top of the downspout and turn the water on full-blast (caution, you will get wet). If the clog continues winning the battle, you can go with one of two final options. The first is to use a plumber’s snake, and if all else fails, un-hinge the downspout and use a shovel handle to clear up the congestion.
Whichever method you choose, remember to be careful. You will be working up on a ladder or on the roof, extending your reach. Falls do happen in these situations, so proceed with caution. You can always contact our Boise gutter company and the Gutter Gals would be more than happy to do all the heavy lifting for you 🙂