You can avoid a drainage emergency or a leaking roof by cleaning your gutters regularly. You might think this task is more appropriate during the autumn and winter months, but blossom could be clogging your gutters in the middle of spring, and bits of debris can get stuck in them any time of the year.
You can tell if your gutters need cleaning if they start overflowing in the rain, or if obstructions such as dead leaves and moss are visible. If rain water is not trickling out of the drain pipe or if the gutters are sagging, then you will need to clean them out immediately.
Use a ladder
Don’t dream of cleaning your gutters out if you do not have a good, sturdy ladder. Cleaning gutters is considered working at height and has all the dangers that this entails. It is always best to have someone at the base of the ladder, holding it at the bottom, to ensure that it does not shift and you do not fall.
Put on a pair of plastic gloves and take up a carrier bag
Scoop up any of the muck you can and put this into the carrier bag. Don’t overstretch yourself, or you might fall off the ladder – be patient, climb down the ladder, move it along a few feet and then climb up again.
For any more challenging muck, you might have to use a trowel, or even a wooden spoon. Be careful not to damage the guttering when using tools to clear out debris.
Clear out the downspouts
After you’ve cleaned all the rubbish out of the gutters, you may be tempted to run water through a hose to get rid of any residual dust. But don’t do this if you haven’t cleaned out the downspouts! Take a hosepipe and put it in the downspout. Then get a friend to turn on the hosepipe full-blast.
If water is not freely coming out of the downspout, you may need to clear it out. Buy a plumbing snake in your local DIY store and feed this through the downspout until you clear the obstruction.
Do a spot check
Keeping your health and safety in mind, work your way around the gutters and visually inspect them for cracks or if the spikes are coming out of the wall. If you notice any problems, you should repair these as quickly as possible – a stitch in time saves nine!
Rinse the system out
Find the part of the gutter that is furthest away from the downspout and set up a hosepipe in this area. Then rinse the downspout out entirely and continue running water through it until you are completely satisfied that it is completely clear.
Do you have any tips that could make the task of clearing out gutters less arduous and unpleasant? We’d love to hear them!
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