New England is famous for many things, our die hard sports fans, our love of coffee, and our amazing fall foliage. Tourists flock to our back roads with their cameras to take pictures of the beautiful trees as the seasons change. But, for many homeowners, when the leaf peepers have all gone home and all the leaves have fallen, those beautiful leaves become a dreaded chore, cleaning out the gutters. Cleaning your gutters doesn’t have to be dreaded, or dangerous if done the right way. Here are some tips for safely and efficiently cleaning your gutters and saving your home from costly repairs due to clogged gutters.
-Always let someone know you will be using a ladder. When choosing a ladder for the job aluminum or fiberglass are the best choices because of their sturdiness. Ideally the ladder should have a small shelf strong enough to hold a 5 gallon bucket to collect gutter debris.
-Use a garden hose that allows you to change the water pressure with one hand, for example a pistol grip trigger spray nozzle.
– Use a plastic gutter scoop to scoop out leafy debris. Avoid using a metal scoop because they can damage and scratch the gutter seams.
– Always use protective eye wear. You never know what will come out of the downspout when cleaning, or how quickly it might be flying towards your face.
-Wear good gloves. Gloves can help protect against bacteria from rotting leaves and animal droppings and prevent painful cuts from torn metal on older gutters.
-Don’t forget to rake all debris off the roof before cleaning your gutters, otherwise the next rain will find your gutters clogged all over again.
-Roofs tend to be moist in the mornings so if you must climb on the roof to clean your gutters aim for mid-morning or early afternoon. Rubber soled shoes adhere best and are the safest for walking on the roof.
Gutters should be cleaned out twice a year, one in the fall and again in the spring.
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