As springtime approaches, there are certain things you are going to need to do in order to prepare for the nice weather. One of the quintessential tasks almost every homeowner completely overlooks is cleaning out their gutters. After a long and grueling winter, your gutters are a mess and it’s extremely important to clear out all the junk and debris buildup that accumulates over the cold season. What’s the perfect time to clean out your gutters? When the weather begins warming up and you’re preparing to enjoy all the upcoming months summer has to offer.
The thing is, a lot of people believe that they are capable of performing this project on their own and don’t realize that there are a number of factors that make this task both complicated and dangerous for an untrained individual. So, while you may not want to fork up the cash to hire a professional, if you see any damage or red flags, you should contact one immediately to avoid further damages. In the meantime, however, you can do some simple and safe spring cleaning to restore your gutters to a healthy condition.
With any DIY project, there is a certain amount of preparation that you should go through. Whether it is making a checklist or ensuring that you have the tools necessary for successfully tackling your upcoming project, you don’t want to be halfway through cleaning your gutters and realize that you don’t have everything you need. So, set up a time when you are going to start this project and make sure you plan ahead. This is the best way to not only make cleaning your gutters easier, but to not put on the stress that can sometimes come from taking on a task of this caliber.
You’re going to need sunblock. Yes, sunblock. You’re going to be standing out in the sun all day long while cleaning the gutters, which mean you run the risk of sunburn. This may not seem like a high-priority item to add to your list, however, sunburn can be extremely detrimental to your wellbeing, causing harmful burns and even sun poisoning when you leave your skin unprotected.
Also, be sure you have proper the eye gear. While you’re cleaning out your gutters, debris can fly out and inadvertently cause damage to your eyes. Gloves, eye gear, and a good hat are all seemingly small items, yet all the professionals will tell you that these things are essential when cleaning out your gutters. Don’t forget, have plenty of bottles of water with you, so that if you become parched at some point, you can take a quick sip and keep yourself properly hydrated.
Secure the Ladder
To get up to your gutters, you’re going to need a ladder. I’m not sure about you, but heights make me a little uneasy, so while you are up on that ladder, you may feel a little bit of that uneasiness as well. Two ways to help that feeling go away is to either have someone with you to stabilize the ladder and keep a lookout, or get a ladder with a stand-off. Not only will the stand-off secure everything better, it will also prevent denting or even collapsing your rounded aluminum gutter.
On top of this, also make sure you are looking at where you are placing the ladder, that way you can ensure it’s nowhere slippery that could cause a complication with the ladder. And as an extra precaution, make sure you step up on the ladder with dry shoes – you don’t want to cause any problems that will make you fall and hurt yourself. This may seem like common sense, but we all run the risk of becoming a little careless in our preparation.
Use a Hose
You’re going to want to use a hose in order to dislodge and remove some of the leaves and gunk that have built up in your gutters over the winter. Loosening up any of the debris will be the first thing you want to do and it will save you a lot of time when you go to scoop out the remaining debris. And make sure you use some sturdy gloves after so that you don’t hurt yourself. You don’t want to risk stabbing yourself with anything sharp that may be in there.
While you are also cleaning up your gutters, keep a lookout for any holes that may be present and if you spot one, be sure properly patch them up. If you leave these unattended, it could cause long-term problems that you will just have to fix in the future. Anything that could cause long-term damage to your gutters could cause an expensive fix, where you will have to call up and pay a gutter repair professional – so be sure to look out for these things and save yourself a headache later.
Take a Break
This may seem a little silly to suggest, but if you work yourself to the bone, you are not going to have any energy to keep going. Not only does this mean that you could start doing less than perfect work, but you could start being a little careless and you run the risk of getting yourself hurt because you’re so tired that you miss safety protocols. So, take break. It’s perfectly fine to take a step off of that ladder and go get a nice cold glass of water or even take a break to get a bite to eat. If you need to stop because it’s getting too late, then just pick up what you were doing the next day.
Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or you’ve been paying people all this time and decided to do it yourself this year, you can never be too prepared. Cleaning your gutters can be a tedious task and it’s certainly not pretty, but it’s necessary to do in order to maintain your home and not only keep it looking nice, but also ensuring that you are not setting up for future, pricey damage that comes with not properly maintaining your house.