None of us want to get down in the gutter, so let's talk up the gutters ... roof gutters to be precise.
They tend to be out of sight, out of mind until something goes wrong. We learnt the hard way and as a result, lack of gutter maintenance left us with our home flooded over two levels. Furnishings were destroyed and carpet had to be ripped up and replaced.
Our gutters were blocked due to poor maintenance, basically not cleaning out the leaves and debris. Let's make our silly mistake a warning and get those gutters cleaned.
The easiest and safest way to clean your gutters is to engage experts in the business. They will have the skills to do the job easily, not to mention the equipment too. Working on the roof, with likely slippery surfaces, has "danger" written all over it.
This is the route we took as we knew, with our home we bought two years ago, the maintenance had been lacklustre to say the least. As we're surrounded by trees, our gutters were pretty bad. We went online to our preferred trade app and posted a job request.
Within 24 hours we had the specialists onsite, job done, and our gutters are flowing like a beautiful stream - through the down pipes instead of the house.
Leaving this unattended has flow on effects, pardon the pun! Not just the immediate impact of flooding, but the long term impact of moisture getting under the roof and into internal walls.
The cost to get a professional to clean our gutters from memory was about $250, and we were supporting a local business. But, if you live in a heavily treed area and need to maintain regularly consider gearing up to taking on the job.
Five tips for DIY gutter cleaning:
1. Equipment - you're going to need the tools and protection gear like gloves, non slip shoes, and eye protection. A safe and sturdy ladder is a must. You'll need a broom, a bristle brush, a hand trowel and a garden hose, or if the debris is stubborn, use a pressure washer. Debris can be simple like leaves, but could be a build up of dirt and moss if the gutters have been neglected for a long time.
2. If you're climbing onto a roof, make sure you wear non-slip shoes and we recommend a safety harness that is tied securely to an anchor point, just in case. Start by cleaning the roof first with your broom, and if you own a leaf blower it will come in handy too.
3. Now is time get into the gutters with your hands - you will appreciate those gloves now. You want to scoop out all the debris with your hands and the trowel to get rid of as much as you can. If you don't do this you will likely end up washing this all into the downpipes and drains and blocking them up.
4. Use the bristle brush to loosen up the stubborn build up. It's now time to get that garden hose into gear with a high-pressure nozzle wash away all the buildup. You may find a pressure washer is required if it's been a while between cleans. There are also solutions on the market to loosen the buildup before you try to wash it away.
5. Make sure your downpipes are also clear as the gutter run off has nowhere to go if these are blocked. If your gutters overflow with a heavy downpour, chances are the downpipes are blocked.
If your roof gutters have been regularly maintained, and we're talking around twice a year, these DIY steps should do the trick and prevent issues. But if your gutters have not been shown the love, we'd recommend getting in an expert the first time before introducing your own DIY maintenance program.
- See mitchandmark.com and listen to their Reality Reno podcast.
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