Home & Garden Maintenance & Repairs

Gutters: Cleaning And Maintenance

There are several types of gutters and they must be cleaned and maintained at a minimum of once a year. If you have a great deal of trees around then it is recommended that you clean them more often. You may consider installing a leaf guard if this is a weekly problem. This can be an excessive problem in places with a lot of storms throughout the year. The basic cleaning technique for all gutters is to clean out any leaves or other debris by hand or using a plastic tool. Then spray out any remaining dirt with a hose. Remember to use a ladder to perform this task. You should never sit on the rooftop itself in order to clean it out. If using a ladder is out of the question because of physical limitations then you may want to consider purchasing tools to clean your gutters from the ground. One is a power washer. These are a bit pricey but they can be used to clean the entire outside of your home as well as your concrete driveway. These are great as an investment. There are also specialty tools made to perform this task. One is a tool creating specifically for cleaning gutters and the extension allows you to reach up to two stories high.

Copper gutters require you to use gloves when cleaning them out. This is because of the oils in your hands and the discoloration or damage they can cause. Because they scratch easy, copper gutters require you to use a plastic scoop to clean them out. These types of gutters require you to polish them in order to keep them looking nice. Combine 2 cups each of vinegar, flour and salt. This paste is applied to the surface and wiped clean.

For cast iron gutters, its best to keep an eye on the joints and seams. Once these begin to leak you should attach new bolts with clear silicone. If you are unable to reach the joints then you may consider putting flashing tape which has a self-adhesive and can be placed over the inside of the joint.

All other gutter types are very low maintenance but simply need to be cleaned out on a monthly basis. Part of the overall maintenance is to keep the downspouts clear. These are the part attached to the gutter at the roof line and allow the water to flow out and away from the house. In order to clear out any debris from this pipe, you should run water through it. If the water does not flow easily or at all then use a plumbers snake to loosen the debris. After the debris has been cleared then you can use a garden hose to wash out any remaining sediment. Please note that if the downspout goes underground then you will have to remove the base of it before performing this task. When you replace it back to the original position then you will have to replace the joint with a new one and seal it.

Leave a reply