In The Gutters
By R. White
Rain, wind, hail, and snow - your house takes a lot of wear and tear. It is the job of your gutters to collect of all the rain and protect your home. But they will not be much use if they are clogged. To keep you gutters in good shape, there are a few steps to think about. Like with all other home maintenance, cleaning your gutters will ensure long-term health. Spring cleaning should not just be for the inside. Outside maintenance was important then, and it still is today. Let’s get started!
Here are some great ideas to keep the clutter out of your gutter:
It is a great idea to wear a tool belt with pockets. Before getting on the ladder, make sure that the belt is secure around your waist. But do not just check your belt – it is a good idea to make certain that your ladder is secure as well. A safe ladder has secure rubber foot pads and has no bent metal. Another key to safety, is wearing shoes that fit well and tucking your shoelaces in will minimize your risk of falling or slipping. Also, wear gloves that are snug but not too tight. For your safety, it is a good idea not to work alone. If there is someone available, ask them to hold the ladder for you on the ground. The extra person also comes in handy if you need extra tools. They can also undo any kinks or knots that may develop in the hose.
But do not start climbing yet – it is time to hook up your hose. Check for holes that may compromise the strength of the water flow. The water flow needs to be strong to clean the gutters properly. You should also double-check to make sure that the hose will reach all of the areas you need to clean.
You have got your belt on, right? Here are the tools that you need to pack in it: First, bring a trowel to remove any debris – like sticks, mud, or rocks - from the gutter. Next, get a bucket to scoop the debris into. Your ground person will come in handy here by taking and emptying heavy or full buckets. Also, pack a couple of rags in your belt. These are not for the gutter, but to dry your hands on. If your hands are too muddy or wet, then it will increase your risk of slipping. Next, bring a wire hanger to move any hard to reach debris. Finally, pack some salad tongs. You are probably wondering what these are for, but they come in extra handy when cleaning vertical gutters.
So now that you are safe and you have got the right tools, here are a few tips to help with the actual cleaning.
First – clean often. By not letting the gutters get too messy, you will make the job a lot easier.
Second – you should install some wire mesh. The mesh keeps larger debris from getting stuck in your gutter and causing clogs or dams that will inhibit the flow of water. entering into your gutter and causing clogs. You can find kits at most hardware stores. Use the correct mesh to keep debris out.
Third – You should adjust your gutters. Make sure that the gutters are connected properly and remain level.
Fourth – apply a coating and a seal. This will assist in flushing your gutters by keeping the surface of the gutters slick. The sealant will also prevent damage from rust.
Finally – install a flush fixture. This is a product that attaches to the underside of the gutter and collects debris to allow adequate flow of water.
Now that you know how to clean out your gutter, it’s time to get to work.
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