Let’s face it, no one likes cleaning out the roof guttering, but it is a necessary job. Leaving your gutters clogged up can cause your fascia to rot, your gutters to overflow (which could mean water in the roof cavity), and the guttering itself to deteriorate long before it should. Here are a few helpful tips to make the job safe and potentially faster and easier.
You will need to make sure you use a ladder that is appropriate for the job. If you can reach the gutters easily by standing on a step ladder, this is the best option. Balancing is easier, and you don’t have to lean it up against the house. However, if you have a double story house, you will obviously need a tall ladder that will reach up to the roof. Try to avoid leaning the ladder against the gutter as this can damage it. Also, be sure to move the ladder as you need to. It is much safer to do this than try to reach too far. Overextending can cause you to lose your balance and possibly fall.
The Safety Gear
- Gloves – Always make sure you wear work gloves when cleaning out your gutters. You will want to protect your hands considering they are your main tool for scooping out the leaves and other debris. It can get pretty gunky up there.
- Goggles – Working in close proximity to sticks and twigs can be dangerous. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Tarp – This is handy to drop the gutter contents onto until you are able to put it into an appropriate bin. It will save a messy ground clean-up afterwards.
- Bucket – Useful for gutter waste to be placed in while you’re completing the job.
- Leaf Blower – These can be very useful to clear the gutters should you choose this method.
It is advised to clean your gutters twice a year. No, it is not a fun job, but this will mean a shorter stint up on the ladder each time. Maintenance is the key! Plus, keeping your gutters as clear as possible means they will work more effectively.
Something you could consider is fitting your guttering with Gutter Guards. They come in a range of materials, but all serve the same purpose. Gutter Guards are designed to keep the leaves and other debris out of your gutters, but let the water flow through so your gutters still function as they’re supposed to. You can keep costs down by only installing them on the problem sides of your house.
Gutter Guards come in a range of materials –
- Screen or Mesh: This is easy to install and cheaper than other solid materials.
- Aluminium: Rust and fire proof, which is ideal for fire prone areas.
- Fibreglass: Suited to all roof designs.
- Stainless Steel: Ideal for any location, withstanding UV and other elements.
While cleaning out the gutters is not at the top of anyone’s hobby list, you can see it is a vital part of keeping your guttering and home in the best condition possible. A regular clean-out can add years to the life of your gutters as well as prevent damage to your home. Of course, you can always hire a plumber to sort out the job, many of them offer gutter and drain maintenance these days. So what are you waiting for?
Article by Danielle Henderson