Many people dread those two times of the year when the gutters have to be cleaned and at best, they consider this task disgusting and tedious. The worst case scenario that they envision is that cleaning gutters can be dangerous and plain scary. A misstep is all it takes to find yourself in the hospital with a nasty injury and probably a bruised ego. To make the most of things, here are a few gutter cleaning tips.
If you will be using a ladder when cleaning your gutters, let someone know. Ensure that you use a sturdy ladder, one that can hold the combined weight of you and your tools. If you can find one that has a shelf that can hold the bucket into which you’ll be dumping the debris, then use it. For a single story house, a four legged step-ladder is okay while an extension ladder will suffice for a two story house. Orchard ladders aren’t recommended because they have three legs which don’t offer much when it comes to support. Wooden ladders are also a bad idea as they tend to get wobbly. Fiberglass ladders are the sturdiest and the heaviest. As such, if you have to move the ladder several times, a fiberglass ladder will only lead to muscle fatigue. An aluminum ladder is best for support and strength.
Before climbing onto the ladder, inspect it for any defects. All the bolts and screws should be tightened in place and if using a step-ladder, the extension hinge arms should be extended fully as well as locked in place. You can also jump on the ladder’s first rung a few times as way of ensuring that the ground on which it stands is secure.
The most general and basic way of cleaning gutters is scooping out all the debris. You can use a standard gutter scoop tool bought from the local store for this task. Don’t use a metal scoop as it can damage the seams and bottom of the gutter.
After you have removed the larger debris, clean out the rest of the dirt using a standard garden hose. Clean out the dirt working your way towards the downspout. If the downspout leads to the street, make sure that you disconnect its base and release the dirt here to avoid clogging. If necessary, you can adjust the pressure of the garden hose.
Wear protective gear
Gloves will help prevent contact with squirrel, pigeon and bird droppings that may contain harmful bacteria. They can also help prevent cuts by torn metal shards. Suede gloves are preferable as they are of superior quality as compared to rubber, cotton or thin leather gloves. Eye protection is also mandatory as you have no idea what may come flying out or leaving the downspouts