If you’re a handy person, gutter cleaning can be an easy weekend project. It is a good way to keep your home and garden looking good. There’s no doubt extension ladders do help if you have a single story home; but there’s always a better way to clear clogged gutters of leaves and other debris without stepping up.
Obviously you can try and get some gutter system that never clogs at all.
But frankly speaking; gutters are not immune to clogs. They intend to protect your home from roof and basement leaks but overtime they get clogged and damaged becoming a vulnerable spot for leaks. But for most homeowners the gutters are out of sight and out of mind.
They take gutters for-granted unless the need of repair or replacement. But being a proactive homeowner and by timely undergoing gutter cleaning, you can prevent costly issues down the road.
Anyhow, here’re some hacks to make gutter cleaning less of a chore:
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How to clean gutters from the ground?
Using a leaf blower
You might already know about a leaf blower. That’s what you use for collecting leaves off the ground or your garden. The best way to clean gutters from the ground and without going up that ladder is by using a leaf blower.
Well, you can’t use the leaf blower alone. You need to make an extension.
Now the hack is to use an attachment kit that you can easily find from a local store or from some amazon store.
- If you don’t want to spend a few bucks on the extension kit; still you have a trick to hack the blower. All you need is some basic plumbing supplies. So, here’s how you can build your own extension kit or a gutter blaster:
- Measure the height of your roof gutter from the ground and make sure you allow for the height from where you can easily hold the extension blower.
- Now you can take a suitable diameter PVC pipe along with pipe fittings like an elbow.
- Now as per the measurement you just took, mark the same on the PVC pipe and cut the length. The purpose is to make it suitable for you to hold along with the leaf blower.
- Now, insert the blower mouth inside the PVC pipe. Join the pipe with the blower using the duct tape. It will create a good length for the blower to take out the leaves using air.
- Wow! You’ve just created a gutter blower. It’s an ideal portable device that you can use as and when needed.
Pro tip – If you don’t have a leaf blower, you can use a shop vacuum. You can simply swap hose locations to reverse the operation of a shop vacuum.
Anyhow, the above hack will only work for dry leaves. But the big chunk of leaves that have got sticky with dirt and grime will not be blown easily. Decomposed organic with twigs or logged-in dirt are hard to get rid of.
For that you can use our next hack for safe and easy cleaning from the ground.
Make a scraper or a Scooper
For a scraper, all you need to do is use a wooden board and cut the shape to match the depth of your roof gutter.
So, first you need to have a measurement of your roof gutter. It’s in a trapezoidal shape.
Typical dimensions have been shown in the figure below.
You can mark the trapezoid on the wooden board and use a disc gutter to make a space for the gutter end walls.
Now to the other end you can make a groove or notch to the other end so it won’t rub with the shingles.
Now attach this scraper with the stick and use it on the roof gutter to test. You can obviously adjust the shape and dimensions to suit your situation.
Also Read: Hip and Valley Roof – The Pros and Cons
Using a Hydro-jetting
Our next awesome hack for gutter cleaning is using carefully controlled stream of water. This hack is pretty effective if you’re dealing with heavy decaying debris in your gutter. That’s when you left your gutters for so long and don’t clean regularly.
All you need is a garden hose connected with an outdoor spigot. You can purchase a telescoping hose wand from the store or online. It comes with a down-pointing spray nozzle that you can carefully use inside your gutter.
But be sure to put on rain gear as you can get soaked in the process. Anyhow, the process is bit dirty. You may also have to clean and scrub the mud from the roof and exterior walls.
You can use a polythene sheet and connect the same to the downspout to collect all the dirt water inside a bucket or something.
Anyhow, the above method will make you to work some on the ground but its way too easy instead of climbing the ladder and put yourself in danger of tipping.
Also Read: Hydrovac Excavation – The process – Benefits
Using a paint roller with extension
You don’t have to buy some costly gadgets to clean your gutter. Use your mind as this guy below who know how to use paint rollers other than just painting.
Do you know the paint rollers are perfectly angled to push leaves and debris quickly and easily out of your gutter?
Well, all you need in this hack is use an extension handle with your old paint roller. ‘
Gone are the days when you’ve got to use a sturdy ladder for climbing up to gutters.
With DIY gutter vacuum you can clear your rooftop gutters from the ground. These gutter vacuums are fast, easy, and safe.
Traditional method of climbing ladder
Getting rid of gunk from gutters can be a tough task. It takes a lot of elbow grease to scrub off heavy buildup. A soft-bristled scrub brush is a useful tool, and you can attach it to a pole of various lengths. You should also clean the underside of the gutters, where drips accumulate and leave mineral deposits. Then, use a wet/dry vac to remove any remaining debris.
When you clean the gutters yourself, make sure to wear a dust mask, safety goggles, and long-sleeve shirt. The gutters should be damp, but not too wet. Pressure washing is best done in cool, non-windy weather. If you’re not comfortable using a hose, use a leaf blower instead. You can also hire someone else to clean the gutters for you if you’re not handy with tools.
Safety precautions for gutter cleaning
Before starting your gutter cleaning job, you should follow some safety precautions. First of all, wear protective goggles. Gutter cleaning can expose you to harmful bacteria, mold, and bird feces. If you’re not wearing protective goggles, you may end up with cuts and scrapes. Wearing protective eye wear is also important, as the debris can be very sharp and contain shards of metal.
You also need to be cautious when climbing ladders. A fall can be very dangerous if you’re not careful. A slip from a ladder can cause serious injury or even death. Before attempting to clean your gutters, check that your ladder’s footing is secure. Use a helper to hold the ladder and ensure that you don’t overreach. Be sure to notify someone else to keep an eye on you, especially if you’re cleaning in a busy neighborhood.
Before climbing up the ladder, take time to survey the area. Be aware of nearby power lines, tree branches, and weather conditions. Be sure to wear proper shoes, too, as the rainy weather can make the ladder unstable. Regardless of how safe the ladder is, there are still risks involved. If you fall, you may not be able to save yourself from serious injury. Make sure to take proper precautions for safety while cleaning your gutters.
Getting rid of gunk from gutters
Gutter cleaning is time-consuming and can result in the creation of a huge mess. However, the benefits of clear gutters are often overlooked. The resulting gunk is more than a messy mess. It’s the sticky residue left behind by rotting leaves. Not only does it take longer to remove, but it can also cause overflow and ice dams. The last thing you want is for your gutters to fall in the winter and your home to be flooded.
Clogged gutters are another common problem. Standing water can cause the gutters to overflow and create a gap that can lead to the growth of mold, algae, and mildew. Even worse, water leakage can cause structural damage to your home. Not only is water a costly and tedious process to clean, but it’s also a hazard for your house’s exterior. This can damage your wood and wooden floors, and damage electrical wiring. Taking action now is essential.
Inspecting your gutters between cleanings
Inspecting your gutters between cleanings is vitally important for your roof’s overall appearance. A regular inspection can pinpoint a variety of issues, from leaking seams to clogged gutters. You can also see whether any debris is clogging your downspouts. Inspecting your gutters is also a good idea if you notice a water damage underneath them. Identifying any clogged gutter seams and downspouts may mean that you should upgrade your gutters.
While gutter cleaning is necessary twice a year, it is important to check them every six months or so for signs of damage. Some gutters are more prone to buildup, so you’ll want to clean them more frequently if necessary.
Regular gutter cleaning is essential
Regardless of your gutter cleaning schedule, inspecting them regularly is essential to the safety and security of your home. Checking your gutters for damage is important for your home’s health and the value of your property.
Using a garden hose to flush out your gutters is a great way to identify leaks or clogs. Ensure that the gutters slope toward the downspout at an appropriate rate.
To adjust the slope, you can detach the gutter hangers and check the slope. If necessary, reattach your gutters to the fascia if necessary. It’s also a good idea to clean out all sections of your gutter, including the eaves, if you have any.
When to call experts?
Leaves and debris can easily clog the gutters but these are obvious and common issues. You can climb a ladder and clear the clogs without much trouble. But some issues are serious and can cause extensive problems for your roof drainage system.
When gutters don’t direct water safely away from the house, it can cause cracks in your foundation or areas around the foundation. Similarly, if you’re seeing standing water in gutters, you may have to call an expert to drain it. Otherwise, you can face problems like basement floods, leaks, and mold growth.
Gutters that are either damaged or are not properly installed will not serve the intended purpose. Gutters need to be securely installed to drain water properly. So, if you’re seeing sagging gutters, you need to secure them properly. Similarly, gutters are exposed to elements and can get cracked or rusted overtime. So, if you see visible damage on the gutters, you must call for repair without wasting the next second.
Don’t wait the next second
If you notice any damage to your gutter system between cleanings, schedule an inspection right away. A damaged gutter system can cause severe damage to your property and the surrounding landscaping.
Expert gutter cleaners are trained to thoroughly inspect downspouts, fascia boards, and other gutter-related components, and more. They will also check any wood components, such as fascia boards and downspouts, that may be rotting.