Fall is the ideal time of year to clean out your gutters. By this time, they will have already collected a fair amount of fallen leaves and debris. It’s a good idea to get rid of this and give them a proper inspection before the cold weather arrives. You should ideally aim to clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. Here are five steps to cleaning your gutters safely and efficiently.
Safety is paramount with gutter cleaning. You need to ensure your ladder is sturdy and in place. Avoid using a free-standing ladder if it’s not secure. Put on a solid, comfortable pair of shoes or boots that won’t slip. It’s also advisable to wear garden gloves and also a mask as there could be any sort of debris in there or even pests such as wasps and bird nests. Take care when cleaning out your gutters.
Assemble the right tools
Make sure you have the best gardening tools at the ready. For cleaning the gutters, these might include a scooping tool such as a trowel to remove debri and garbage bags to put it in. If you can get up there, you could also clean the roof with a rake to prevent any further debris from clogging your gutters. Ensure you have all the safety equipment you need, even goggles if necessary.
Clear all debris
Thoroughly remove all debris using a trowel or other scoop. Take extra care if there are nests of birds or insects and only touch these with gloves. Once you’ve finished clearing the gutters you can clean them with a brush, hose, or pressure washer. This will get rid of any grime that’s tougher to remove by hand.
Inspect for damage
Fall is the ideal time to inspect your exterior for any damage. You want to get your home ready for the new season, so that you don’t need to take care of much outdoor maintenance during winter. Once you’ve cleaned your gutters, inspect them for cracks, leaks, or other damage. If any repairs need doing it’s a good idea to sort these out now. You could end up paying more in the future for more extensive repairs otherwise. You can hire a gutter cleaning and maintenance service to take care of these for you.
Compost any organic waste
Most types of yard waste can be composted. This is a much more eco-friendly way to get rid of it. Separate things like leaves and twigs from the debris in the gutter and use this to fertilize your yard soil. You can build your own composter from old wooden pallets or boxes, or otherwise, you can order one from your local garden center. If you’re not sure what to put in there, here is a guide to composting. Keep your yard clean and tidy for the winter, and prevent any further blockages by regularly raking. This way you’ll avoid more work in the future.