The arrival of springtime means the arrival of debris, sediment, rushing rains and melting snows. From a homeowner’s perspective, this can present many challenges — especially when it comes to the stress placed on roofing and gutters systems. Snow may have been sitting all winter on your roof and in your gutters, collecting twigs and leaves and bits of dirt. In some cases, you have leaves trapped in the gutters from the previous Autumn. If these issues aren’t attended to, gutters will quickly start to overflow. Clogged gutters may quickly lead to other problems with the roofing and walls of the house. Long story short, clogged gutters are simply not something you as a homeowner should ignore.
But during the springtime months, homeowners make a number of common mistakes when setting out to clean their gutters, whether they choose to do it themselves or use the services both a professional gutter specialist. Here are just a few:
1. Wear protective clothing and gloves
People often treat gutter cleaning like a casual task and simply begin to process without thinking about protective clothing. You’re up on a latter cleaning gunk and prickly debris out of the gutters — you should be wearing a long sleeved shirt to avoid scratches, and rubber gloves to protect your hands/fingers! You never know what’s in those gutters.
2. Don’t forget to flush out the gutters
One of the most satisfying moments is when you clean the main part of the gutter and turn your hose to the downspouts for a good flushing. The downspouts might shudder before releasing the blocked material. When your downspouts are truly clean, you’ll know it — and your home will be better protected against the elements.
3. Use a proper ladder
Safety is a huge concern anytime you’re working on or near the roof. Make sure you have a good quality ladder that’s evenly positioned on solid ground. You can also use stabilizers to protect the gutter from the ladder itself, if you’re using an extendable ladder.
4. Use a shovel
A garden spade (or even an old cooking spoon) is really useful for moving muck. Keep one with you throughout your gutter cleaning process — you’ll be glad you did!
5. Call a professional
If you’re in doubt about your ability to clean the gutters effectively or safety, this service can often be provided by a gutter installation specialist for a reasonable fee. The added benefit to this is that a specialist will check the overall integrity of your gutters and objectively identify any issues that could develop into costly future problems.
Knowing who to trust with your gutters
Gutters may seem like an insignificant detail when you consider all of the different things for which a homeowner is responsible. But consider the importance of your roof and your walls also at stake. The gutter is an indispensable piece of infrastructure that keeps the rest of your house protected from standing water and debris. As such, it should be well cared for. When you put your gutter cleaning in the hands of the professional, take care to work with only the most skills and experience people.