Follow These 3 Steps to Clean Your Gutters
Winter in the Pacific Northwest means rain, and rain means potential water damage outside and inside your house. To ensure that the roof over your head keeps you warm and dry all winter long, you need a working gutter system. In the case of gutters without a leaf guard in Seattle, regular cleaning is vital to preventrain runoff from stopping up in debris dams, causing leakage and spillover.
Get the Right Equipment
To reach most gutters, you’ll need a ladder. While a stepladder may suffice for single-story homes, a full-sized ladder is required to reach higher gutters. Be careful to prop the ladder against the roof, not the gutters themselves, to avoid damage. You’ll also need some extras:
1. Work gloves
2. Safety goggles
3. Heavy-duty garbage bag
4. Garden trowel or gutter scoop
5. Garden hose
Begin cleaning by climbing to the gutter and clearing out the solid debris of leaves, sticks and mud with the trowel. Start at the downspout and work backwards, upslope, to avoid pushing material down the spout. Protect the lawn below by dumping the refuse into the garbage bag. Installing a gutter leaf guard in Seattle can help prevent a buildup of debris, though make sure your gutter shield system is rated for Northwest weather conditions.
Flush the Pipes
After you’ve removed as much solid material as possible, clean out the pipes with the garden hose. Use a pressure nozzle to aim a stream of water along the length of the gutters and down the spouts, washing away remaining dirt and mud. As the water flows, watch for any leaks or overflow in the gutters. Small leaks can be patched with a silicone sealant.
Well-maintained gutters are key for any house to endure the Northwest’s winter rains. Unless your gutters are protected by an effective leaf guard in Seattle, a full cleaning should be included in anyresponsible homeowner’s seasonal routine.