While we suggest that you use our gutter maintenance and gutter cleaning services, we understand that you may want to take cleaning gutters into your own hands. Here are 10 steps to cleaning your gutters, though we tell you to PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. Just in case you change you mind, give us a call at 317-361-5554 today!
1. Remember Safety First
When cleaning gutters, you never know what bacteria or hazards are lurking in your gutters, so be sure to protect yourself. Wear thick gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask.
2. Begin Near A Downspout
Use a stepladder for safety if you can and position yourself by a downspout. If your home is tall enough to require an extension ladder, place a 2×4 in the section of gutter you’re working on to protect it. It’s helpful to have a bucket or garbage bag with you to collect debris, or place a drop cloth under your working area for easier cleanup.
3. Remove the Debris
Using a trowel or plastic scoop (never your hands), begin shoveling debris into your refuse container and work your way down the gutter.
4. Flush the Gutter with a Hose
There may be finer materials left behind, or particularly sticky gunk, so flush your gutter from the farthest end with a pressurized hose. Try to avoid splattering the side of your house. If you notice some spots aren’t floating away, scrub them with a stiff brush before flushing the gutter again. If the water is backing up at the downspout, you may have a clog.
5. Detach the Pipe
To start cleaning your downspout, you’ll want to detach the pipe if it runs underground to prevent pushing the clog further.
6. Remove the Clog
Use one of two methods. Start by trying to loosen the blockage by running a pressurized hose up the downspout with the water on. If that doesn’t work, use a plumber’s snake to remove it.
7. Reattach the Pipe
Make sure to do so securely when it’s time reattach to prevent leaks.
8. Rinse the Downspout
From the top of the gutter, run water through the downspout to clean it out and ensure the clog is removed.
9. Clean or Install Strainers
If you have them, now is the time to clean the strainers to your downspout to prevent future clogs. If you do not, consider installing them. They’ll help to keep large debris from blocking the pipe.
10. Regular Maintenance
While you are rinsing your gutters, check the water flow. If you notice standing water or that it’s not draining quickly, the slope may be off. The gutter should drop ¼ inches every 10 ft. If you don’t see any visible damage or missing parts, work section by section and detach the hangers, adjust the slope to drain properly, then reattach. Be sure to look for leaks as well as with each storm that passes. Gutters can also rust. If you notice paint chipping or leaks through the metal, replace the faulty section with a new one.
If these steps for gutter maintenance sound like they may be a little too involved for you, give us a call at 317-361-5554 today!