Gutter Cleaning Tips From A Pro
If more homeowners knew the proper way to clean out their roof gutters, there would be less deaths and injuries. If the rainwater doesn’t flow properly through the gutter and downspout system, costly home repairs can add up from rainwater damage. It’s time to clean out those clogged gutters, and to do it safely.
According to gutter cleaning expert Robert Lenney of Gutterglove, whose company has cleaned out more than six million feet of gutter since 1996, being properly educated in the art of gutter cleaning is the key to a successful and safe cleaning experience.
“Cleaning out gutters is pretty easy as long as you know what you are doing,” replies Lenney. “Every time I hear of someone getting hurt from cleaning their gutters makes me cringe, because it could most likely have been avoided had they followed proper cleaning procedures.”
There are a variety of gutter cleaning tips that can bring sanity into this tedius task. Some of the basics are listed below by Lenney:
Ladder Safety: Always let someone know you will be using a ladder to work on your roof or gutters. Use a safe and sturdy ladder, preferably with a small shelf strong enough to hold a five-gallon bucket to collect gutter debris. Make sure to secure the bucket with a lanyard. I recommend a four-legged step ladder for a single story home, and an extension ladder for a two-story home.
Garden Hose: Use a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. This type of spray nozzle allows you to adjust the water pressure with the use of just one hand.
Gutter Scoop: Scooping out the leafy debris seems to be the best overall method for cleaning out the gutter. An excellent tool for this job is the bright orange plastic “Gutter Getter” scoop, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Wear Gloves: Gloves can help protect hands against dirty, rotting leaf debris that often contains bird, pigeon and squirrel droppings that are ridden with bacteria. Gloves can also prevent painful cuts from the torn metal shards of an old, ragged gutter.
Protective Eye Wear: Eye protection is a must because one never knows what might fly out of the downspout when cleaning gutters. People have experienced rats, birds, frogs, wasps and bees leaving at high speeds once they start removing a clog, and the last thing they want to have happen is an eye injury.
Rake Off Roof: Rake all debris off the roof first. Otherwise, the next rain will wash all the debris down into the clean gutter, clogging it up again.
Rubber Shoes: If walking on the roof is necessary to perform gutter cleaning, it is good to use rubber soled shoes. Rubber soles tend to adhere best and prevent slipping and falls.
Downspouts Unclogged: Make sure the downspouts (leader pipe) are clear. After all the gutters are cleaned out, run the water hose down the downspout at full pressure. If the water backs up out of the top, a clog is present.
Power Line Hazard: When cleaning gutters around a power line cable that drops from the power pole to the roof of a home, conduct a visual inspection of the electrical cable where it connects to the roof. This is to ensure that the protective wire insulation hasn’t rubbed off through years of wear-and-tear by weather and nearby trees. If the cable appears to have damage, do not attempt to repair it. Call a licensed professional electrical contractor to fix it.
Gutter Guards: Using a quality gutter guard can eliminate the need for cleaning out gutters. Consider carefully the manufacturer’s claims before purchasing a gutter protection system that keeps out leaves and pine needles, because many promises are made that can’t be delivered. Lenney is the President and CEO of Gutterglove which is a manufacturer of top rated DIY and pro-install stainless steel micromesh gutter guards throughout North America.
Lenney can’t turn this annual tedious job into a Disneyland experience, but he can make the job easier with these few simple cleaning tips and tricks while keeping safety in mind. Happy cleaning!
8 Popular Gutter Cleaning Tips
Let someone know you are cleaning your gutters.
Use a safe and secure ladder.
Rake leaves off roof first.
Wear rubber-soled shoes when walking on roof.
Use plastic gutter scoop.
Wear gloves and proper eyewear.
Watch out for hazardous power lines.
Gutterglove, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Robert Lenney, located in Roseville California and manufactures finely woven stainless steel micro-mesh gutter guards that keep leaves and pine needles out of your gutters and rainwater storage tanks. They have multiple brands of DIY and contractor grade gutter guards and available at Costco, Home Depot, Sam’s Club and also roofing and gutter supply stores.