6 Tips To Make Gutter Cleaning Safer And Quicker
Roof and gutter cleaning can be laborious and even potentially dangerous work. You’re working up high, dealing with slippery surfaces and constantly climbing a ladder. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the household chores that so many people keep putting off.
However, keeping your gutters and roof clean is also a very important part of home maintenance. Clogged gutters cleaning during this coronavirus lockdown, can cause a whole range of problems around the home, including some that can be incredibly difficult and expensive to fix, like moisture damage and foundation cracking.
So, to help make the job a little easier, we have 6 tips for making the whole gutter cleaning process a little easier.
- Use the right tools
Like they say: the right tools for the right job. And roof and gutter cleaning is no exception. Having the right tools will help you to do the most thorough job possible, while getting the work done efficiently and safely.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Safety gear – We’ll get to that in a moment.
- Hard-bristled broom and hand brush – These will help to remove loose debris from roof and gutters.
- Pressure washer – This makes roof and tile cleaning fast and easy while minimising heavy scrubbing.
- Hand trowel – To scoop debris from the gutters.
- Garden hose – To flush the gutters and downpipes. Make sure it’s long enough to reach onto your roof.
- Tarpaulins – To spread beneath the ladder so you’re not throwing the debris into your garden.
- Garden bags – To bag up the waste.
- Ladder – Make sure it’s good quality, stable and suitable for the height you need to work at.
- Cleaning solution – This helps to break down stains and make cleaning the gutters and roof tiles easier.
- Try to get an eco-friendly cleaning solution, since this solution will get rinsed off your roof into the stormwater or your garden.
- Safety gear
When it comes to roof and gutter cleaning, safety should be your priority. Make sure you have the appropriate safety gear before hopping up on that ladder. Here’s what you need:
- Eye protection – Whether you’re pressure washing the roof or scooping debris from the gutters, you want to make sure that nothing flies up and hits you in the eye.
- Hand protection – There can be a lot of nasties hiding in your gutters, including insects and spiders as well as animal droppings. Wearing gloves will protect you from bites and bacteria, as well as reducing the risk of you cutting yourself on roof tiles or gutter fixings.
- Foot protection – Make sure you wear closed shoes with a lot of grip to reduce the risk of slipping and foot injuries.
- Be careful with the ladder
Firstly, ladder safety. Make sure you’re using a sturdy ladder that’s in good condition and suitable for the height you need to work at. Only set the ladder up on stable, flat ground and where possible don’t lean it against your gutters. This could cause your gutters to bend, separate at the seams or come away from the walls. Lean ladder against the walls where possible.Only work with a bucket if your ladder has a shelf or safe place to secure the bucket. In most cases, trying to climb up and down a ladder with a bucket will be dangerous. For the sake of safety, you’re better off simply throwing the debris onto tarpaulins spread below the ladder, where you can safely collect it later.
- Don’t go it alone
Finding someone to help you with the work will not only be safer, but it will also mean the job gets done a whole lot quicker. With one person on the ground, you’ll have an extra set of hands to stabilise the ladder and pass equipment up to you so you won’t have to climb the ladder so much. It also means that as you clear the debris from the roof and gutters, the person on the ground can scoop it up and bag it, making the whole process much more efficient.
- Check the downpipes and drains
Once the roof and gutter is clear, don’t forget to check the downpipes. A clogged downpipe can back up with water, causing your gutters to overflow and making all the work you did with the gutters pointless.Run your hose down the downpipe at full pressure. If the water starts backing up, then you have a clog. If the clog is natural debris, it can usually be removed by banging on the side of the downpipe or running a high-pressure blast of water down the pipe. For more solid clogs, like tennis balls, the downpipe may need to be removed and the clog forced out.You should also make sure you clear your ground-level drains after roof and gutter cleaning. Much of the debris you removed from the roof can get flushed through your guttering and end up clogging your drains. This can lead to water pooling around your house and other drainage problems.
- Get the pros to do it
This is the best safety and time-saving tip of all. Call in the pros to handle your gutter cleaning. Professional roof cleaners will not only get the job safely, thoroughly and efficiently, they can completely clean your roof and handle any minor roofing repairs before they become major problems.