Things You Need to Prepare Before Cleaning Your Gutters
Keeping your gutters cleaned out is vital for several reasons. First of all, a clog in the gutters can lead to roof damage, due to the fact that they’ll be flooding over, thus contributing to the rotting process of the roof. Second, a clogged up gutter is incredibly appealing to all sorts of critters, due to the fact that it’s much easier for them to nest there. In some rare scenarios, the overflow of water can even cause some cracks in your foundation, thus putting the entire structure at risk. These are just some of the reasons why having clean gutters is such a priority but you can’t just jump straight into it. No matter what type of gutter you have before cleaning them there are several things that you must do and here are some of them in our gutter glossary.
1. Knowing when to clean them
The first issue that we need to tackle is knowing when you should clean your gutters and, once again, this is a question without a definitive answer. There are several risk factors that could mean that you need to clean your gutters more frequently. For instance, having pine trees around your home may mean that a gutters inspection should take place every three months, even though it’s standard to clean them twice per year. As for the ideal time of the year to do so, late spring and early fall are two dates that make the most sense.
2. Inspecting your gutters
Previously, we’ve mentioned the issue of gutters inspection and there are several things you need to know about it. Getting up there for visual inspection is definitely the most efficient of solutions, yet, there are some symptoms of clogged gutters that you can spot even without an inspection. Unexplained water in the basement, sagging or collapsing gutters, telltale marks or water inside the home are just some of the examples. Remember that all of this is the easiest to spot during heavy rains, even though you definitely shouldn’t wait for this to happen.
3. Protective gear
Protecting yourself during this process is incredibly important and the two ways to achieve this is to A) acquire adequate PPE (personal protection equipment) and B) have a reliable work platform. As far as the gear goes, having gloves, protective eyewear and rubber shoes is a bare minimum. When it comes to the work platform, this is where things get interesting. In general, the majority of people are using ladders for this type of work due to the fact that the majority of people already have them in their possession, which makes them into a frugal solution. On the other hand, finding something more stable like boom lifts for hire is a far better choice.
4. Necessary equipment
Once you start preparing for the actual work, you’ll realize that there’s some basic equipment that you need in order to be able to perform this task in the first place. First of all, you need to get your hands on a reliable gutter scoop. While doing this is possible even without a scoop, this specialized tool can make this process so much simpler. Other than this, you also need a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. This is especially important for those working on the ladders, due to the fact that it allows them to control the water pressure using just one hand. Lastly, you need some rakes.
5. Rake off the roof
The most important task that you need to perform prior to cleaning your gutters is to rake the roof shingles. The reason why this matters is due to the fact that failure to do so will undo all the work that you’ve invested, come the next rain. So, take the necessary steps of precaution in order to make your gutter cleaning effort most effective.
6. Let someone know that you’re cleaning gutters
Provided that you’ve taken all the necessary steps of precaution, the project itself will be quite safe. However, the possibility of an accident can never be ruled out with 100 percent reliability. This is why it’s so crucial that you notify someone that you’re cleaning your gutters. This way, the person in question can regularly check in on you and spring into action should you need assistance/rescue. The fall damage isn’t the only risk that you’re facing. Ladders could fall while you’re on the roof, especially if unsecured, leaving you stranded there. Needless to say, this is yet another reason why ladders are less than the optimal solution in this scenario.
As we’ve already mentioned, cleaning your gutters is a task that you’re going to perform on a regular basis, which is why it’s so important that you understand a proper preparation stage. This will increase the efficiency of your cleaning efforts while decreasing the probability of an accident. Needless to say, both of these things are incredibly important.