Owning a home is all fun and games until you need to clean the exterior parts of your property. One component of your exterior structure is the gutter system. When you’ve noticed some moss and debris in your gutters, it’s now the time to grab your ladder and get rid of the gunk.
However, cleaning gutters requires skill and the correct equipment. Many things can go wrong when you attempt a DIY gutter cleaning or repair. You don’t want to end up falling off your ladder and getting severely injured.
We’re here to break down the most common gutter cleaning mistakes that you should avoid. Read on to learn more:
Using Harsh Cleaning Materials
Yes, there’s a lot of cleaners available in the market. But it doesn’t mean that you can simply use anything on your gutters. Any sort of harsh chemicals can speed up the degradation of your gutters and cause discoloration. Using chemicals can also result in harmful runoff that might drain somewhere onto your home.
Commercial-grade cleaners are effective in removing moss. However, they can also cause the gutters to corrode and break down. Before you buy any cleaning products, you may create a DIY mixture of water and white vinegar.
Choosing the Wrong Tools and Equipment
When you’re aiming for a less messy way of cleaning gutters, leaf blowers might seem the best option. However, they don’t remove the gunk—they simply blow the debris elsewhere in your yard and landscape. This will only result in half-cleaned gutters and downspouts.
To properly clean your gutters, you need a gutter trowel to scoop out debris from your gutter. A garden hose with a spray nozzle will also allow you to flush all the debris and dirt. And lastly, a sturdy ladder is required to be able to reach your gutters safely.
Wearing Inappropriate Clothing
When doing a DIY gutter cleaning, you need to protect yourself from all sorts of debris. Wearing the right attire is one of the gutter cleaning safety tips you should know about.
Always wear protective clothing and gear like goggles and gloves. Wear rubber-soled shoes to increase your grip and avoid slip-and-fall accidents. You should also avoid wearing any loose-fitting clothing and shoes that could get caught in tools or corners of the gutters.
Ignoring Ladder Safety
Climbing a ladder while cleaning your gutters is no easy feat. You need to be extra careful, especially if you’re not an expert. When doing this chore, make sure to use a good ladder and safety harnesses. A lot of homeowners suffer from ladder injuries every year. Before you become one of them, follow ladder safety tips when cleaning out your gutters yourself.
If your home has two or more stories, choose an extension ladder. Never attempt to place a stepladder on the roof due to safety concerns. Moreover, never try to overreach or extend yourself too far over the ladder. Overreaching shifts the ladder’s center of gravity, which might lead to tipping. Here are some safety precautions you should follow:
- Use a study ladder and place it on firm, even ground.
- Wear rubber-soled and slip-resistant shoes for better grip.
- Use both hands to climb up and down.
- Do not climb a ladder during bad weather.
- Stay off the ladder if you are not feeling well.
- Always face the ladder and hold on with one hand.
- Carry your tools using a tool belt.
- Do not lean on one side.
Not Having a Spotter
Having a trusted spotter next to you is good for your safety. Regardless of which type of ladder you use, there should always be a second person who holds the ladder steady at the bottom. An extra hand is always helpful for additional stability.
Before you start with the job, always have someone who can assist you and identify any potential hazards. In case of an emergency, your spotter will be able to ask for help immediately.
Skipping Gutter Cleaning
Gutter cleaning is a time-consuming job, which is why some homeowners skip them completely. This is a mistake that you shouldn’t commit. Skipping your gutter cleaning schedule can lead to several issues like roof leaks, foundation issues, and basement flooding.
So, how frequently should you clean gutters? Experts recommend that you work on your gutters and downspouts at least two times a year. Once during late spring and another one when late summer or early fall rolls in. If you don’t have a lot of trees around your home, there’s no need to clean your gutters more often than that.
Routine checkups and repairs are also needed during storm and rainy seasons. Regular gutter cleaning can prevent any piled-up debris every spring and prolong your gutter’s lifespan of up to 20 years.
Contact Our Licensed Gutter Professionals
Avoiding gutter cleaning mistakes is the key to having well-maintained gutters and downspouts. To ensure safety and proper cleaning, hire our experts at Pittsburgh Gutter Cleaning today.
We are here to help with all of your gutter cleaning and repair needs! Our main goal is to remove leaves and other debris, so you won’t have to worry about climbing ladders and risking injuries.
Call us today or complete our contact form to get a free service quote. We will get back to you to further discuss your gutter cleaning project!