Cleaning Gutters During Fall Should Be On Your List
Fall takes a toll on your gutters. Leaves, twigs, pine needles, and all sorts of debris end up in them. If your gutters aren’t cleared out before winter hits, water won’t be able to flow through them. This can result in the gutters overflowing and water damaging your roof and siding. When water freezes in clogged gutters, your home and gutters can be damaged. Here is a guide to cleaning gutters during fall so that you can avoid these issues.
1. Gather Your Supplies
When cleaning gutters during fall, you will need some tools to get the job done. Make sure you can reach the gutters safely and wear protective clothing. Before you begin, get together these items:
- A heavy duty ladder. A stepladder may be adequate for a single story home, but for anything higher, you will need an extension ladder. Always make sure that the ladder is propped at a 75-degree angle from the home on hard, dry ground.
- Slip-proof boots.
- Gloves. Suede work gloves are the best for cleaning gutters during fall.
- A gutter scoop or plastic beach shovel. They make scoops specifically for cleaning gutters but if you have a kid’s beach shovel laying around, this works too. Some people prefer to just use their (gloved) hands.
- A bucket or trash bag. Attach this to the top of the ladder to place all the debris that comes out of your gutters.
- A garden hose with a high-pressure attachment.
2. Scoop Out the Gutters
Focus on scooping out one section of gutters, and when you can’t safely reach further, climb down the ladder and move it to the next section. Place all of the gutter debris in the bucket or garbage bag you have attached to the top of the ladder. Repeat until you have cleaned the entire perimeter of the house.
3. Dispose of the Debris
Now you can get rid of all the debris in the bag or bucket. This type of organic material makes great compost, so if you already have a compost bin, throw it in there. If you have a dormant garden bed, you could cover it with the debris so that it will add nutrients to the soil over the winter.
4. Rinse the Gutters
You have gotten rid of the heavy bucket or bag that was attached to the ladder, so now you can climb back up with your garden hose and spray out the gutters. Make sure that the stream of water is flowing through the downspout and coming out the bottom, and that no water is leaking out the bottom of the gutters.
5. Check the Condition of the Gutters and Roof
While you are at eye level with your gutters and roof, it is a perfect time to inspect them for cracks or loose brackets. Check out your roof and look for missing shingles, warped shingles, or shingles that are lacking granules. If your roof or gutters need repairs, it is best to address them before winter.