When it comes to keeping your gutters clean and well-maintained, it is an essential household duty that is sometimes forgotten. Because your gutters are concealed at the top of your house, it can be easy to forget about them.
However, blocked, badly kept gutters may create a slew of other issues in the long run, like flooding and dampness, so it’s well worth your time to clean them out now and hereafter. Your gutters can get completely blocked over time as a result of falling leaves, debris, and moss.
For this reason blocked gutters can not adequately channel water away from your home, this might cause serious problems with your property. Rather, the water will collect in the clogged gutters and pour into the house which in hand could cause damage to the inside of your home.
Why is it important to clean your gutters?
Rainwater that enters your home through the roof will cause damage to the walls, paint, wallpaper and any woodwork. This can degrade bricks and cause the walls in your home to rot and decay. Water in your house may cause condensation, dampness, and mould growth, all of which can be harmful to your health. However all of this can be avoided by just cleaning and maintaining your gutters at least two times per year.
Clearing a clogged gutter is a fairly straightforward task, but it does come with some hazards because it requires working at a height, so let’s hope you’re not scared of heights! You must utilise safe and secure access equipment such as a harness, adhere to safe working practices, and complete the task only if you are competent in working at a height. You may always hire an expert if you’re not capable of doing it yourself.
How to access your gutters
You must first be able to access your gutter in order to clean it.
To get access to your gutter, you may utilise a variety of access equipment; the most secure and safest method is to use a scaffold tower or a mechanised access platform. You may also use a ladder to reach the height of your gutter, however there are greater hazards involved with ladder use – so take extra precautions and always have someone else supporting you whilst you work on the ladder.
Working at Height
Working at Height brings its own dangers, here are some things to keep in mind when using a ladder to clean your gutters.
Make sure you’re using the right piece of equipment such as a harness when working at heights. You should be able to reach your gutters comfortably and with ease on the tower or ladder, without having to stretch too far. You must make certain that the equipment is in good working order and that you are competent and confident when it comes to using it.
If you’re using a tower, you may set up an incline system in order to bring the tools up to the top once you’ve secured yourself on the platform. You must not stand on the top step of a ladder when using one as this is the most unstable part and could potentially cause you to fall. The maximum safe limit is four steps from the top. When working at a height, avoid leaning too far to the side or attempting to overreach as this can be dangerous.
Cleaning the blocked gutter
So it’s finally time to clean the gutter, you can use a variety of different tools to remove any dirt, leaves and debris out of the gutter once you’ve gained safe access. To avoid debris being forced down into the down pipe and causing clogs lower down the system, work away from it.
After you’ve scraped the material out of the gutter, throw a bucket of water into the gutter and have someone check to see whether the water is flowing correctly into the ground drain, ensuring that there are no leaks or future obstructions.
You should inspect your gutters at least twice a year, once in the autumn and again in the spring. You should check on them three or four times a year if the weather is extremely harsh, just in case there is more debris than usual. If you live in an area with a lot of trees, you may expect leaves to fall in the autumn. These can get into your gutters and cause a clog, which will need to be cleared quickly before leading to any further damage. The same is true when spring approaches, since there will almost certainly have been a buildup of debris and dirt during the winter that has to be cleared out. Additionally, there is more rainfall on average during the winter so it is critical to have free-flowing gutters.
Cleaning a blocked downpipe
Before starting we advise that you cover the drain at the bottom of the downpipe before you begin, as this will prevent any debris you dislodge from flowing down the drain and forming another clog.
Drain cleaning rods can be used to relocate and remove debris from a clogged downpipe.
Begin at the top of the downpipe and push the cleaning rods all the way down. As the drain cleaning rods are moved down the pipe, it will dislodge and break up any debris. If you can’t seem to get rid of a particularly persistent clog, try tapping down the length of the downpipe and listening for a shift in sound as this can indicate where the clog is happening in the downpipe.
Similar to cleaning the gutter, it is advised to check that the pipe is working properly by having someone pour a bucket of water into the downpipe to ensure it is working as intended and that there are no clogs or blockages.
Preventing future clogs and blockages
To avoid future gutter clogs, install plastic wire mesh or plastic covers, these can be picked up at local DIY stores for a small price ensuring your gutters don’t get clogged again.
These applications allow water to pass through the gutter and into the downpipe effectively, trapping leaves and debris in the gutter. This will lead to the gutter needing to be cleaned occasionally but with this helpful blog you should have no problem when it comes to cleaning the gutter, the task will be much easier!
It is also advised that any overhanging trees near the top of your house should be trimmed down, since the autumn leaf fall will cause difficulties affecting your gutter.