We understand, gutters probably aren’t something you think about too often. A bit like the ears on your head, we often take them for granted. But when they stop working properly we can find ourselves in all kinds of trouble. The same is true for the passive protectors of your home; the gutters.
When we experience wet weather events, typically in the autumn and winter months, we rely on our roof to keep us dry. But all that rainwater has to go somewhere. If it was just allowed to run off the edge of the roof it is likely to cause untold damage to the walls, foundations and surrounding landscapes.
That’s why you have gutter systems.
In our blog entitled ‘Your Gutter Health Matters’ we talked about the health considerations of not maintaining your roof and gutters. We encourage you to read that article but, in this one we’ll talk about ‘how’ to clean your gutters in five easy steps.
Think of these ‘Top 5’ recommendations as a guide to maintaining good working order of your guttering system – feel free to make notes or refer back as often as you like.
Of course, if this is not a job you want to undertake yourself you can always ask your local professional plumbing and roofing company, such as our team here at Parrish Group who can take care of this for you.
Warning: Always take care when using a ladder to access your gutters. 62% of the 1,600 Australians hospitalised each year after falling from ladders did so at home.
Here are 5 ways you can make the process of keeping your gutters clear easier and more effective:
Most of the materials you’ll find in your gutters comprises dead leaves and other rotting organic material that is likely in various stages of decomposition. This can mean that it’s quite slippery and even congealed which makes it hard to pick up by hand effectively (not to mention it’s pretty gross too!).
Using a plastic scoop means you are less likely to damage the painted surface of the gutter itself which could then corrode and lead to leaks and accelerated replacement costs. Make sure you wear gloves – we find washing up gloves can work well as they keep all of the yuk away from your hands and can be more easily cleaned than most gardening gloves.
Just because what you’re pulling out of your gutters is natural, that doesn’t mean you should chuck it onto your lawn or flowerbeds. Your plants and garden won’t thank you as the sludge you’re removing may well have the choking effect. You can either throw the debris into a tarp that you’ve laid out already or use a bucket.
If you want to give your gutters the love they deserve then don’t just rely on scooping out the debris. Don’t be shy, grab your hose and give your gutters a really thorough rinse! This helps to flush away any of the smaller debris the scoop can miss. It also gives you a clear visual reference that the gutters and downpipes are working well.
We’ve talked about the merits of gutter guard in the context of bushfire protection in another article which you can read HERE. But it follows that as the gutter guard provides protection from ember attacks, it keeps leaves and twigs from entering your gutter system too.
Whilst the installation of aluminium gutter guard can be seen as an expense if it stops your gutters becoming clogged and causing damage it could also be considered a wise preventative investment.
As a professional plumbing and roofing company, we recommend to our clients that they check and clean their gutters twice a year. This is typically at the beginning of Autumn and the end of Winter, the seasons which see increased debris delivery and higher rainfall. If you have gutters that are immediately underneath trees or other plant life we suggest quarterly inspections.
Remember, if you would rather have this service provided for you contact the team at Parrish today and one of our professional plumbers can be with you in no time.