Gutter cleaning can be a time-consuming process. A lot of homes in Minneapolis, for example, can have 500 to 1,000 feet of gutter, and working your way around the house can take an entire Saturday.
Unfortunately, this is a necessary home maintenance task, and it’s recommended that you do it twice a year in the spring and fall. That equates to a lot of time up on the ladder.
Need some ideas to help you do it fast? Here are 6 gutter cleaning tips that will help you do it efficiently, without sacrificing safety.
What You Need
First, you should start by gathering your supplies. There are just two essential items that you will need: a sturdy ladder and waterproof work gloves. Some other items to consider include:
- A long hose with a high-pressure attachment
- A gutter shovel or scoop
- A leaf blower
- A bucket or tarp to collect the debris you remove
If you’re cleaning a long stretch of gutters, a leaf blower is a handy tool to have. This will help you quickly blow out any debris and backed-up water. Similarly, a hose for flushing is helpful if you have lots of muck and mud build-up in your gutters.
Tips for Quick Gutter Cleaning
Once you have your supplies gathered, you can begin the process. Here are some safety tips for gutter cleaning, as well as hacks to get the work done quicker.
1. Find a Sturdy Spot for Your Ladder
Always practice ladder safety. Make sure the ground you are setting up on is level and firm. One issue with gutter cleaning is that often the landscaping below is loose gravel or wood chips. If you have someone to hold the ladder, that’s a great option. Otherwise, a ladder stabilizer can help.
2. Think About Where the Debris Will Go
Throwing the leaves and muck to the ground will ultimately double the work that you have to do, leading to a long cleanup process. There are two really good options here.
Option one: Place a tarp on the ground near the ladder. You can just throw debris on the tarp, which makes cleanup a breeze. The other option is to place a bucket at the top of the ladder.
3. Don’t Forget to Flush with High-Pressure
As you remove the leaves and muck by hand, there will still be fine mud and small debris in the gutter. Leaving this behind will lead to faster recurrence of build-up in the future. The solution: Flush the gutters with a high-pressure garden hose attachment. This will wash away fine debris and leave your gutters clean and clear.
4. Check Your Downspouts
Downspout clogs can be hard to identify. One solution: Test your downspouts with a hose. Water should move freely. If it starts to back up, you likely have a downspout clog.
There are a few ways to remove these. First, try a high-pressure flush. If that doesn’t work, try dislodging the clog by tapping the downspout and then repeat the flush. For tough clogs, you might need to use a handheld auger.
5. Repair Any Damage
Bad gutter clogs can cause problems like sagging or bending gutters and other issues. Part of the cleaning process is doing basic gutter repairs. Be sure to replace any of the gutter brackets that have slipped out of place.
For areas prone to sagging, you might consider a sturdy gutter screw and ferrule combo. Screws and ferrules are designed to handle heavier loads, and are a good option if the hidden brackets regularly pop out.
Need help cleaning your gutters? Clean and Clear provides gutter cleaning in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the surrounding areas. Get a quote today or book service!
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