Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Get your mind in the gutter...

Gutters are used to direct water from your roof. 
Water left standing on your roof can lead to damage and leaks into your home’s interior. Having a good working gutter system will help prolong the life and structure of your home by keeping water and other damaging debris away from areas that they may harm.

Gutter Cleaning Can Be Performed In 3 Ways
1. Hand Scoop Method
2. Leaf Blower Method
3. Pressure Cleaning Method

Hand Scoop Method
Gain access to the gutter using the appropriate sized ladder. Don't lean the ladder against a downspout or gutter, which can easily bend or break.
Remove debris with hand, large spoon or garden trowel scooping into:
a) garbage bag
b) a bucket 
c) throw debris to ground below. 
Choose the best debris collection method based on your roof and surrounding area.

If you choose to use the garbage bag method I prefer filling several small plastic bags rather than a few large ones... This will help minimize fall hazards due to the lesser weight of the filled smaller bag.

The safest way to get gutter debris down a ladder is simply to drop it to the ground after each hand scoop. This will make a mess of the area below but, in my experience, is the safest method.

Leaf Blower Method
You also can use a leaf blower to clean gutters; however remember that you'll be high up & often in uncomfortable positions. Carrying a good-sized machine is not only awkward but may blind you with dust. Although this is a quicker method it is not the safest or the cleanest. 

Pressure Cleaning Method
If you are already pressure washing the roof, use the 'Pressure Washing' method because you'll need to be continuously spraying out gutter as roof moss and other organic material fills gutters. You literally just high pressure spray the gutter clean while standing on the roof. This method requires the use of a fall arrest system, i.e.. (Rope, lanyard, rope grap, carabiners and harness).
It's important to realize pressure washers can make a HUGE mess... Especially when spraying out a clogged gutter system!

Unclogging Downspouts
Clogged downspouts can also present a problem. Check that the downspouts aren't clogged: lightly tap on the downspout with your hand until you hear a noticeable higher frequency. This is how to locate the clogs. An empty or hollow downspout, will have a lower pitch than a clogged downspout. Use water to unclog your downspouts by placing a garden hose in the opening. Be gentle; downspouts aren't designed to withstand the same pressure as a house drain. If it does not clear with the hose use a small plumbers snake or an unbent clothes hanger. Again be gentle. If you are unable to reach the clog and have located it  you can lightly tap until debris loosens and flushes out bottom of downspout. Remember, if you've filled the downspout with water from above, when the debris loosens it will flush...

 If this all seems a little overwhelming to you 
or if you feel unsafe you can ALWAYS call 
All Things New Roofing & Restoration 
@ (719)325-6949 
for a quote.

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home....  ~Nancie J. Carmody

1 comment:

  1. Wow this is a great article for homeowners! Cleaning gutters is certainly not an easy job but these tips can definitely make things easier!