Are you ready for the rain? Winter is fast approaching and with it, cold rainy days and downpours that can last all night. Before the frost and dark clouds set in get your proactive hat on and your stepladder out for a good old gutter cleaning session.
For those who live in rural areas then gutter cleaning becomes an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Trees provide wonderful shade to a home and are a beautiful part of the garden, however, it takes no time at all for gutters to become clogged up and unable to function do to leaves, twigs and branches getting tangled. Even if you don’t have tall trees around your roof a regular gutter clean is still important as debris can fly in on the wind or be carried by birds, as well as soil and dust particles settling after a wind storm, more than ready to sprout grass, weeds and even trees in your gutters when you least expect it.
If you are thinking of selling or leasing your home in the near future than a gutter cleaning is essential to present your home in a positive light and show you care for your home and home maintenance.
Rather than wait for a big yearly gutter clean and have your home suffer through the wet of Winter and Spring, get to your gutters every six months to be sure you and your home are safe and snug through winter and summer alike. Cleaning your gutters twice a year also give you peace of mind if bushfire season hits during school holidays, when you might not be home, or might not have time to get to it in the searing heat of the day. It takes less time and effort that you think and the rewards are pretty big.
For example, gutters and drains that are clear and run well mean rainwater can run off into the garden or be stored in tanks ready for future use. It also means you won’t get soaked as you come and go from your home with water spilling over the sides of your roof.
On a bigger scale, without a regular clean-up, overflowing gutters can cause damage to your roof and internal walls, have you staggering around in the middle of the night to catch internal leaks as well as cause damage to your gutters and pipes that can be costly to repair or replace. Most of all, overlooking a clean up in winter means a bigger, more pressing job before summer and the fire season.
Here’s what you will need to get your gutters in good nick in no time.
• Gardening gloves (to protect your hands from scratches and creepy crawlies)
• A stepladder
• A strong-bristled scrubbing brush
• A garden hose or high pressure hose
• A rake or broom
Myth: You need to get onto your roof to clean your gutters.
The best way to clean you gutters is not from the roof. Climbing up onto your roof is always a dangerous idea, especially when you are working on the very edge of the roof surface where there is little margin for error and the structure may not be able to support your weight. Always use a ladder to clean or paint your gutters, you get more leverage and can reach in an d clean up more thoroughly.
Steps to getting your gutters clean
1. Place your stepladder on even ground close to the roof lip and climb high enough that your shoulders are at the gutter level. If the ground isn’t even under you get someone to hold the ladder securely in place while you work.
2. Wearing your gardening gloves, pull out any debris or items that are in the gutter or protruding out of your down-pipes. Also remove any leaves or sticks that are on the roof around your gutter. The quickest way to work is to throw everything you find onto the ground below.
Expect to move your ladder a few times for each side of the house, overextending your reach is not only ineffective, but also dangerous.
3. Use your outdoor scrubbing brush to give your gutters a solid scrub inside and out. This will remove any dirt that may be causing leaves to stick as well as give you a good indication of places where you need to secure your gutter down or apply new paint.
4. Rinse off the now loose dirt with a garden hose or high-pressure hose, making sure the water flows freely down the pipes.
5. Clean up the ground area using a rake, broom or scooping up the debris with your gloved hand for composting or placing in your gardening bin.
It really is that easy and the peace of mind this job brings is well worth the effort you make.