Cleaning the gutters is a necessary evil when it comes to maintaining your home’s exterior and protecting it from water damage. While there are many methods to getting the gutters shipshape, it’s important to clean them correctly. Here are some common gutter cleaning mistakes to avoid this spring or fall.
Damaging the Gutters
Resting the ladder against the gutters might seem like the most expedient thing to do. But the weight of the ladder directly against a gutter section can do a lot of harm. Instead, use a ladder standoff or lean the ladder against the wall.
Blasters and Robots
The main problem with leaf blowers is that they typically blow the leaves up rather than out. When they end up on the roof, on a windy day they land back in the gutters.
If you use a power washer to clean the gutters, water can be forced behind fascia boards or siding panels, providing places for mold and rot to take hold.
Some gutter cleaning robots are better than others, but again, as with leaf blowers or shop vacuum attachments, the gunk has to be shifted somewhere else, usually the roof and other places you don’t want it to be.
Getting Rid of Debris Twice
Avoid using a pail. Dump the gutter gunk into straight into a bag. Use a bucket first, you’re actually getting rid of the debris twice. Even when using gloves, the more times you handle the debris, you’re increasing the possibility of contamination and/or germ transference from clothing into the home.
Expecting Gutter Cleaning Tools to do all the Work
The truth is climbing a ladder and scooping out the gunk by hand is still the most thorough way to clean the gutters. Cleaning tools that allow you access to the gutters from the ground might sound like a good idea, but they mostly leave you blind. While some of these tools, such as extension poles, come with camera or mirror attachments, you still might not be able to see the whole picture.
If you clean your gutters annually, you might think you’re covered. But a lot of things can happen to a gutter system in a year. Periodically inspecting the roof, the outside of the gutters and the downspouts will alert you to any potential problems like a clogged downspout, loose gutter hangers or debris buildup.