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Tips for Cleaning Your Guttering

Matt Thompson Dec 06, 2019
Gutter Cleaning is not as difficult as you might think and with good handymen in constant demand, you may need to be a little bit more self-sufficient and get hands-on especially if your gutters really are blocked and wet weather is forecast.
Aim for two clearances in spring and autumn but keep a close eye on them at all times of year particularly when bad weather is expected. Most builders and odd job men will tell you that gutters can become blocked at any time of the year these days.
Equip yourself with a sturdy and safe ladder.  Whenever you work at height particularly using a ladder, you should have a second person with you to help guard against accidents. If you are cleaning guttering then it is particularly useful to have a second pair of hands anyway.

Some Key Safety Information

  • Try and work in a pair with someone if you are doing ladder work
  • Never work in high winds even if heavy rain is forecast
  • Always get down and move the ladder, never lean and stretch in order to reach.  It is tedious and time-consuming to keep going up and down the ladder in order to move it but most accidents at height occur when people are overly ambitious.
  • Let your assistant hold the bottom of the ladder, they can also pass you things as you need them and can empty your bucket
  • Collect together all the tools you may need before you start the job.

How to Clear a Gutter

Start by scooping out loose debris and detritus – leaves, moss, twigs, foreign bodies – with your hands. Always wear a pair of gloves to avoid injury. You may find soft gardening gloves are best rather than a more rigid pair.
Work along the guttering getting down and moving the ladder along as you clear each section. Loop a small, lightweight bucket over your arm which your assistant can take from you and empty when it is full. Next, wash out the guttering using water from a hosepipe and a brush, be careful not to overbalance the ladder.
Let the assistant hand you the hose and make sure the water flow is not too strong for you to control. The gutters should run clear otherwise there will still be a blockage somewhere.
A special tool called a plumber’s auger can be useful to reach those tricky areas, these are also known as drain snakes. You can feed this towards the blockage and should be able to dislodge it because the tool is flexible.
Blocked gutters are quite avoidable and one property maintenance job that householders can undertake for themselves. Consider fitting a gutter hedgehog to your rainwater goods.
This is essentially made of steel and covered in bristles hence the name and is designed to deter leaves from accumulating whilst promoting an easy flow of rainwater. Gutter guards are another alternative but do require careful fitting so they are quite snug otherwise they simply won’t work.
Keep ahead on any repairs which will show up once your gutters are clear. There is loads of information online for the keen and plenty of film clips to really illustrate how to do things properly.