The guttering around the perimeter of your roof is an essential part of your home’s structure. Unfortunately, it’s also the one area of a house that is regularly neglected. For whatever reason, homeowners tend to avoid cleaning their gutters, which can lead to bigger issues.
To ensure your gutters are ready for whatever the seasons can bring, read our do’s and don’ts for caring for these important rainwater systems.
Keeping your gutter maintained requires a little elbow grease and know-how. There are a few ways you can keep your gutter well maintained.
ENSURE YOU HAVE STURDY LADDER
Before cleaning your gutter, ensure your ladder is strong and sturdy. Too many people end up in the emergency department because of ladder falls. When positioning the ladder, make sure it isn’t leaning on the gutter and that you have enough clearance to work around.
REMOVE ALL DEBRIS BY HAND
It sounds simple enough, but it is an important step in the cleaning process. When cleaning the gutter, remove all leaves, sticks and branches by hand or with a small broom.
CHECK FOR ANY DAMAGE
While you clean, check your gutters for any damage. This includes:
- Cracks or leaks in the gutter
- Loose brackets
- Mould and erosion
Any damage to your gutter may not be visible from below. A thorough inspection when cleaning will allow you to determine if any repairs are needed.
CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS BEFORE WINTER
Summer and autumn are perfect conditions to clean your gutter. The warmer weather allows you to set up the gurney and properly clean the guttering.
When it comes to gutter maintenance, there a certain thing you shouldn’t do:
PUT OFF CLEANING
The longer you put it off, the more clogged your gutters will get. This creates a breeding ground for pests, birds and insects that will happily make use of your gutter debris and may be hard to shift. To avoid infestations in your roof, clear your gutters diligently and regularly.
WORK WITH UNSAFE EQUIPMENT
If your ladder isn’t providing you with sturdy support, don’t risk it. Ladders that are not sturdy will make you uneven while working, increasing the risks.
HANG OFF THE GUTTER
Holding onto your gutters for extra support might seem like a natural thing to do. Unfortunately, your gutter isn’t made to support your weight and hanging on them can cause your brackets to come loose. At best, this will result in a damaged gutter and at worst you could overbalance, causing an accident.
DIY WITHOUT SAFETY MEASURES
If the thought of climbing up a ladder to clean your gutter is daunting, don’t do it. Call a professional. However, if you do clean your gutter, make sure you:
- Have sturdy support
- Position the ladder correctly
- Wear gloves and protective glasses
- Ensure all equipment is in good working order
Safety is essential when cleaning your gutter. Don’t become another DIY disaster statistic.