Cleaning and maintaining the guttering at your home or your commercial premises is a job that is all too often ignored. But if gutters aren’t kept clear of debris and properly maintained they could end up causing water damage to your property. Even if water is retained within the gutter, pooled water will end up rotting, rusting or causing damage to the guttering itself. At the very least rainwater from blocked gutters could affect your roof or your fascia board.
If kept clean and in good condition, your gutters will work effortlessly to keep rain water from causing unnecessary damage to your property. Here are some top tips for gutter cleaning and keeping your gutters in good working order.
Equipment you’ll need:
• A sturdy ladder. A tall step ladder may be easier than an extension ladder. Or if your roof has a low pitch, you may be able to access your guttering easier from there, but generally cleaning or repairing guttering from your roof isn’t recommended for obvious safety reasons.
• Heavy work gloves.
• Non-slip shoes.
• Safety glasses or goggles.
• A bucket for collecting debris.
• A dropcloth for protecting areas beneath the gutter.
• A garden trowel or gutter scoop.
• A hose with a pressure nozzle and access to water.
• A scrubbing brush.
To clean gutters:
1. Position your ladder on a level surface and ensure you are wearing non-slip shoes, and sturdy work gloves (to protect your hands from sharp metal and screws).
2. Carefully position yourself on the ladder to enable easy access to the gutter, with 2 buckets hooked onto your ladder within easy reach (one to hold your tools, one to put debris in).
3. Scoop out loose debris with a trowel or gutter scoop into a bucket, starting at the drain outlet and working along. It’s best to do this when the debris is damp, rather than when it has dried out.
4. Wash out the gutters with a hose. Start at the furthest end away from the drain outlet and blast water using a pressure nozzle. You may need a scrubbing brush to clean off any crusted dirt and debris.
5. Clear any obstructions from drainpipes. Try flushing the drainpipe with a high-pressure hose. If that doesn’t clear it, you may need a plumber’s auger (drain unblocker). This is a flexible rod that reaches around corners and is used to unblock drains. Thread it down from the top.
To maintain gutters:
• Inspect and clear gutters in the spring and in the autumn.
• Adjust the slope of gutters from time to time to keep water moving to the down pipes.
• Check drainpipes are expelling water away from your property. Add drainpipe extenders if necessary.
• Check guttering and drainpipes for rust, peeling paint and leaks. Identify leaks by filling your gutter with water. Repair or replace any damaged lengths of guttering (make sure they are dry before repairing). Small leaks may be repairable with gutter sealant.
• Check guttering and drainpipes are fixed securely to fascia boards.
• Check fascia boards for rot or damage, and if needs be, replace or treat them with a wood preservative.
If your roof is higher than a single storey, you would be well advised to hire a gutter-cleaning pro. If you need help our professional gutter cleaners are on hand, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can also provide expert water damage advice.