Clean Those Rain Gutters: Tips and Tricks for Getting the Job Done Safely and Well
Rain gutters are an important and very much under-appreciated part of your roofing and drainage system. If they become clogged with leaves and other debris, they will not work effectively. A clogged rain gutter will cause rain to run off your roof in areas where you do not want the moisture, including back onto your house itself, depending on the placement of the gutter.
Clean your rain gutters often during the rainy season, but particularly just after your fall leaves have dropped.
Rain gutters are at least one story high and can be difficult to reach. Home owners commonly choose either the “ladder method” or a “reaching tool” that allows you to clean out the gutter.
Most home owners access their rain gutters with a ladder. They wear gloves and scoop the leaves out of the gutter. When the gutter is basically clear, they go back and house the gutter out, ensuring that it is clear and ready for rain.
The risk with the ladder method is being on the ladder itself while working. Wear shoes with good support and good treads. Have someone hold the ladder just, to be sure. Avoid long reaches. It is far safer to move the ladder more often than it is to recover from an injury.
A gutter tool
There are tools on the market that allow you to clean your gutters with a telescopic pole and tool. This is an excellent method, particularly combined with a house to clean the gutter out entirely after you use the tool.
The biggest advantage of a gutter-cleaning tool is that you can avoid the ladder. If you avoid the ladder, you avoid the risks associated with a ladder fall. You also generally save a good bit of time. You do not have to go up and down the ladder and move it every five feet or so across the length of your gutters.
With either method, cleaning the gutters is the first part of the job. Cleaning the mess that the gutter-cleaning leaves behind is the second. You will have leaves and debris all along the length of your gutter after you have cleaned them out. Clean out the gutters then clean out the yard or decking below and you will be prepared for the next rain storm.
Gutter cleaning is inconvenient, but it is important for the long term maintenance of your house and your roof. Do not put it off. Get to it before the next rain.