If you’re like most people, you dread cleaning your gutters. Chances are, you avoid it like the plague. But, unless you want to drop around $300 to repair your gutters, it’s time to get on top of your gutter cleaning duties.
Here are four of our favorite gutter cleaning tricks to make your life easier.
Practice Ladder Safety
The first step in DIY gutter cleaning is practicing ladder safety.
There are plenty of ladder safety tips out there for you to choose from, but here are the basics:
- You should always let someone know you’ll be working on a ladder to clean the gutters.
- It’s best to have someone holding the ladder for you, in case something happens.
- For a single-story structure, a four-legged stepladder works well, especially one with a sturdy shelf that can hold a five-gallon bucket to collect your gutter debris.
- Whatever you do, don’t use an orchard ladder. Orchard ladders have three legs and can become unbalanced.
- You shouldn’t use a wooden ladder either, as these are often wobbly.
Use a Garden Hose
Before you ever climb the ladder to get to work on the leaves, an easy way to clean the gutters is to start with a garden hose.
This has two purposes:
- To check if your gutters are flowing properly.
- To aid in cleaning the gutters.
You should check your gutters at two points: before you start cleaning and after you’ve finished. This will help make sure that you haven’t missed anything.
If you’re using a hose to help clean the gutters, make sure to use a hose with a pistol-grip spray nozzle. This will allow you to adjust water pressure with one hand, which is useful if you’re on a ladder.
As you’re cleaning, remember to be aware of the gutter guards. And if you don’t have gutter guards, here are our picks for the best gutter guards to keep leaves out.
Protect Your Hands and Eyes
Cleaning your gutters isn’t just about removing rotting leaves. Rotting leaf debris in your gutters often contains bird and squirrel droppings—an invitation for a bacterial infection.
So, don’t handle your gutters without wearing gloves. Besides keeping bacteria off your hands, they’ll help protect you from cuts. A suede material is ideal, as rubber gloves can tear easily, and cotton gloves soak up dirty water.
On a related note, since you don’t know what will come flying out of the gutter or in what direction, make sure to wear eye protection. Safety glasses are always preferable to meeting wasps, rats, birds, and frogs without protected eyes.
Clean the Roof Too
Of course, cleaning the gutters isn’t just about cleaning the gutters. It’s also about cleaning the roof, where debris can hang out before it takes up residence in your gutters.
Before you start cleaning the gutters, you should clean the roof using a rake to clear away any leaves and debris. You can also use a power washer if you have access to one.
Cleaning your roof first is only logical. If you don’t, all the debris on your roof will wind up in the gutters—after you spent an hour getting the gutters clear!
More Gutter Cleaning Tricks and Services
If you need a few more gutter cleaning tricks to get your gutters under control, we’ve got you covered. Or, if you need help cleaning the gutters, we can help with that too.
We have 40 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing and restoration services, including gutters. We’re licensed, insured, and ready to go. Get an estimate today!