One of the most important home maintenance tasks to complete during fall is gutter cleaning. When autumn leaves fall, they often wind up in your home’s gutters which clogs them. If the leaves and debris stay in the gutters throughout the winter, all sorts of damage can happen to the roof, siding, foundation, and the gutters themselves. If you choose to complete this task yourself instead of hiring a professional, follow these tips.
Get a Sturdy Ladder for Gutter Cleaning
You will need a sturdy ladder for safe gutter cleaning. Most homes are tall enough to need an extension ladder. Attach a ladder stabilizer bar as an extra precaution. Set the ladder on firm and flat ground when moving it around the perimeter of the house. If you set it on a soft or uneven spot, it could tip over. Any time you work on a ladder, have another adult nearby.
Gutter Cleaning Requires Protective Clothing
Gutters can get filled with sludge that contains bacteria from animal nests and droppings. You don’t want to get gutter debris on your skin or in your eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover yourself up to prepare for gutter cleaning with long sleeves, gloves, goggles, and a bandana around your nose and mouth.
Get Something to Catch the Debris
As you are scooping debris out of the gutters, don’t just throw it onto the lawn. This will make your yard messy and potentially your kill grass and plants. Hook a bucket to the top of the ladder or place a tarp on the ground to catch debris. Then throw the gutter debris in a compost pile if you have one.
Rinse Out the Gutters
After you have scooped out the entire length of the gutters and the tops and bottoms of the downspouts, spray them out with a garden hose. This will help remove stubborn dirt and also alert you to any leaks in the guttering.