For many people, cleaning out their gutters can feel like a daunting task. Between climbing around on a ladder and trying to make sure they don’t fall off the roof or touch an electrical line, this job can seem like more trouble than its worth. However, failing to clean guttering can result in numerous problems for a homeowner, such as a rotted roof or problems with a home’s foundation. Because of this, it’s important to ensure your gutters get cleaned out on a regular basis. However, before getting started, here are six things to check before cleaning out your gutters.
1- Always Wear Gloves
While you may not enjoy wearing gloves when performing home maintenance, it’s a good idea to wear gloves when cleaning your guttering. By doing so, not only will you keep your hands out of the muck you’re likely to experience, but you will also protect yourself against potential cuts and nicks from sheet metal and sharp tips from screws, according to Millard Roofing & Gutter.
2- Check the Weather Forecast
While it may sound like a no-brainer, many people fail to check the weather forecast before cleaning out their gutters. As a result, they wind up trying to clean the guttering while it’s raining, which can potentially be a dangerous proposition. Not only do they risk falling off a slippery ladder, but they also could find themselves caught in the middle of a thunderstorm, which could also be very dangerous. More information about this can be found here.
3- Check the Downspout
Before you climb that ladder to clean your guttering, make sure to check the downspout for any clogs or damage. If you find a clog, use a garden hose to spray water into the downspout, which usually dislodges any clog. If this doesn’t work, try using a plumber’s snake that can be put in from the bottom of the downspout, allowing you to pull out the debris causing the clog.
4- Look Out for Loose Guttering
If you have guttering that appears to be loose, don’t try to set the ladder up against it and begin cleaning. Otherwise, your ladder may become unstable and fall over, leading to injuries for yourself that could be serious. Instead, find a stable area where you can set up the ladder, and then make the necessary repairs. If the guttering is not repaired and is allowed to remain loose, the water will not drain properly and could cause significant damage to your roof or foundation. For more information about this, please visit here.
5- Use the Proper Ladder
Before cleaning out the guttering, make sure you are using the proper ladder for the job. For most situations, an extension ladder will work just fine. However, make safety a top priority when doing the job. Never stand on the top three rungs of the ladder, as you may lose your balance. In addition to this, never reach more than one foot to the left or right, as this may also cause you to lose your balance or cause the ladder to tip over and fall. If your roof is higher than one story, make sure you are comfortable working at this height.
6- Examine Your Foundation
Before you ever take that first step onto your ladder, take a few minutes to walk around your house and examine your foundation. If you happen to see any cracks or other damage, it could be caused by improper draining of rainwater from the guttering. Therefore, before cleaning out your gutters, make sure to have the foundation properly checked by a home repair professional. In addition to this, have the roof and the wood behind the guttering checked for any damage as well. If any of these areas are damaged, have them repaired as soon as possible.
By making sure you check these six things before cleaning out your gutters, chances are you will not only be able to get the job done in a timely manner, but also in a safe fashion. Whether it’s checking the weather forecast to ensure you won’t get rained out or making sure you’re using the right ladder for the job, using some common sense will lead to a job well done.