Cleaning up clogged gutters is a chore most of us like to put off until it is too late. The seasons come and go so swiftly that before we know it, the gutters have sucked up all the leaves, springtime seeds, and soil particles they could muster. When winter calls for cleaning, we end up struggling through the sludge that has accumulated in the gutter for the entire year. A maintenance plan will help keep your gutters from clogging up and allow you to avoid the yearly inconvenience of clearing them.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Garden Hose
- Old Salad Tongs
- Plumber’s Snake Wire
- Mesh Gutter Guard
- Gutter Coating
Step 1: Clean the Gutters Properly
Hook the hose to the garden faucet and bring it up with you as you climb to the top of the roof with your tools. Have someone else stay on the ground because you will need help. Pick out the leaves and other dry debris using a pair of old tongs first, and then spoon out any mud. Put all this inside the pail. Next, stick the head of the hose inside the gutter and allow a high-pressure jet of water to flush out the remaining dirt. Ask your partner to watch out for folds or wrinkles in the hose because they can minimize the water pressure. Next, climb down to the downspout and clean it in the same manner you cleaned the gutter. Use a plumber’s snake if the water is unable to take out everything.
Step 2: Re-apply Gutter Coating If Necessary
Special materials are used to line the insides of the gutter to allow the free flow of objects down the drain. Check to see if your gutter needs a second coating and apply the coating if needed. Spar varnish or roof coating are good for gutters that are made of copper or aluminum, carbonized metals, and tin work with liquid roof coating. If you have a wooden gutter, an application of linseed oil will do.
Step 3: Install a Mesh Gutter Guard
Attach a mesh gutter guard on your gutter. This protects your gutters from falling leaves and other large objects while allowing water to flow through it freely. Mesh guards can be bought from your nearest hardware store and can easily be attached to the gutters with pieces of stainless steel wire.
Step 4: Adjust the Gutter’s Angle
Clogged gutters are often the result of improper angling of the gutters and the downspout. While flushing down the gutter debris with water, check to see if stagnant pools of water have formed. If so, it means that the gutter is not angled properly. Use wires and plastic ties to tweak the gutter’s angle. You should also check the gutter’s hangers and replace the old ones that have become loose.
Always remember to check your gutters at least two times each year, once before the end of spring and another before winter comes rolling in, to see if any problems have come up. If you religiously follow this yearly maintenance plan, clogged gutters will be less of a problem and cleaning them will not be so much of a chore.