HowTo – Cleaning Rain Gutters

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    Throughout the year gutters have the potential to get clogged with different types of materials usually tree leafs, seeds and pine needles… however there is always a possibility of a bird or bees building a hive or just random debris that end-up clogging your gutters and possibly causing water damage to your home.

    The importance of cleaning your gutters is to make sure that rain water is collected and diverted away from your foundation but to also avert ice dams in the winter, wood rot due to extended moisture contact and damage to your roof, gutters and their support system.

    If you live in an area with heavy leaf fall then it may be necessary for you to climb onto your roof to remove a bulk amount of debris that collect and stick to roof surfaces when they get wet.

    If you do need to be on your roof you should be careful to wear rubber sole shoes that can get a good grip. Never get on your roof during a storm or after snow fall.

    If you have a high or steep roof then you may want to use a harness restraint system. Visit your local tree or mountain climbing supply store for help making that purchase.

    Cleaning the gutters

    Many leaf blowers will have attachment tubes that allow extended reach.

    Using such attachments it is relatively easy to remove the bulk of debris while remaining on the ground.

    If your model did not come with a kit then you can purchase one to fit your blower.

    Downspout attachments for leaf blowers will fit inside the opening of the downspout and force leaves through it removing clogs.

    Using a Garden Hose
    You can use a standard garden hose to remove leafs from your gutter and it is a good choice if you have a lot of wet buildup.

    Remember to be safe while working on your ladder.

    Never reach farther then necessary or safe and if the weight of the hose or leaf blower is a problem ALWAYS DROP THE TOOL so you can regain your balance.  Saving a $150 blower is not worth a $15,000 trip to the emergency room.

    Eye protection is very important when washing out gutters. The debris can get in your eye but also it is likely to contain mold and bacteria that will make treating any injury much more difficult.

    Never use rakes or brooms on your roof surface this will remove protective coatings of stone on asphalt shingles.

    The best method is to work slow and be careful. This is not a chore that needs to be done that often so taking your time is worth it.

    Making Repairs

    While cleaning your gutters it is important to inspect their fasteners. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are connected securly to the house.

    Also while washing you can check for any leaks that will require sealer. Sealer comes in caulk tubes and is easy to apply.

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