Essential tools you need for cleaning your gutters in Fall and throughout the year
It is easy to ignore your gutters when the weather is dry. However it is a different story when the seasons change and we experience heavy rain.
Some householders in dry climates such as in Florida don’t bother with gutter installation in an attempt to save a few dollars but this is a mistake. Without gutters your home and your property can soon become waterlogged and flooded even in a prolonged period of light rain. This in turn can lead to expensive damage and repairs especially if rainwater gets into the basement of your property, causes internal damp via the exterior walls or ruins your exterior fittings such as your patio furniture and your plants.
The sheer quantity of rainwater that can gather and run down your roof into your garden or patio is incredible. Even a light downpour can cause a lot of damage in a very short time frame. Without a guttering system to remove this water safely the results can be catastrophic.
This means that Fall is the time to think about your guttering. If your home does not have guttering already, you should consider gutter installation and contact a service to have this necessary fixture put in place before the weather deteriorates. Gutter installation is not expensive and it will save you money in the long run. Water and houses are not a good combination and a simple guttering system will help keep your property dry whatever the weather decides to throw at you.
If you do have gutters on your home, the Fall is a great time to consider some essential maintenance to ensure that the gutters are clean and free from leaves and debris that can build up in the gutter over summer.
Carrying out gutter cleaning and making any necessary gutter repairs is not difficult and to do it, you have two options; you can either call in a gutter cleaning company to do it for you, or you can carry out gutter cleaning and gutter maintenance yourself.
Carrying out your own gutter cleaning is not a difficult job. However you will need to invest in some equipment in order to do this safely and efficiently.
So what do you need for gutter cleaning? Here are five pieces of equipment that you will need to get the job done.
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A sturdy ladder
You will need a ladder that is tall enough to reach the highest point of your gutters. Working at height can be dangerous so never skimp on this or you may over balance and fall. Every year thousands of people are admitted to A and E because of falling accidents so you need to consider your safety before any thing else.
If your ladder feels wobbly you may be able to fit a ladder stabiliser in place for added protection. However the best approach is to ensure that your new ladder is stable, robust and sturdy and ideally come fitted with a platform which can hold your tools. Working one handed at height is never easy at the best of times so ensuring that your ladder will not let you down is a minimum safety requirement you should never overlook.
A heavy duty bucket and gloves
When you clean your gutters you will need to remove the debris by hand. So make sure you have a robust pair of industrial strength gloves and a bucket to collect the debris that builds up in your guttering.
Gutter cleaning is a dirty job. You need to collect the debris pretty much by hand and place it in the bucket. This is much easier if you act when the weather is dry because once it becomes wet, gutter debris forms into black sludge. All types of residue can build up in the gutter including birds’ nests so make sure you are wearing protective clothing as your dirty gutters may pose a health risk.
A gutter scoop
A gutter scoop is a gutter cleaning hand tool especially designed for the purpose. You can use this to scoop the debris into the bucket. It is still a dirty job but having this inexpensive tool will help you speed up the process.
Garden hose and extender wand
Once the debris is removed from the guttering, your next step is to ensure that the gutters are clean and free flowing. In some cases you may be able to simply use your usual hose wand in order to flush the system but usually there will be hard to reach areas even from a ladder.
An extender wand is an attachment that fits to your garden hose and gives you an added reach of up to a couple of metres. Most extender wands can rotate too so using this gives you a way of getting into nooks and crannies that may be unreachable from the top of your ladder.
Always be extremely careful if you decide to climb on your roof. Working at height without the correct safety gear can be dangerous so never take risks with your safety.
In most cases a household garden hose and an extender wand will be sufficient but if it is not, you can always use a home pressure washer for greater impact. Ensure that you only use a pressure washing on a low setting otherwise the power of the water jet may cause damage and the need for an additional gutter repair.
Leaf blower attachment
If the weather is dry and your gutters are full of mainly dry leaves, you can use a leaf blower attachment to remove the debris. This can be a good solution for low level properties as it can be operated from ground level. There are leaf blower attachments on the market specifically designed for gutter cleaning and usually include a nozzle, a shoulder strap and extendable tubes.
Using the leaf blower system can be a hassle free solution but remember you will still need to physically flush your gutters following debris removal so you will need to also use a hose or pressure washer to ensure that the gutters are completely cleaned.
Gutter cleaning is a good time to inspect for gutter repair needs
Gutter cleaning is not only an essential part of home maintenance. It also helps you identify any areas that need gutter repair. Tiny holes or cracks in the guttering are easy to fix once identified but usually these only become visible once the gutters are cleaned.
Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs.