The leaves from fall and the snow and gunk from the winter all seem to accumulate in your gutters. This can lead to a lot of wear and tear on your eaves and overhangs. There is also the fact that the backed up gutters can cause water damage to your roof and it makes the entire house look bad and run down. All of this should be enough motivation to have your gutters cleaned out and the current economy is enough motivation to do it yourself. Cleaning out your gutters may sound like a nasty and difficult task but it is actually simple. There are a few simple steps and a couple tools that can help you in this. A little preplanning can also help to save you a lot of work every year. A pressure washer, a ladder, a hair dryer, small rubber mallet (any light hammer will work), a teacup, a coat hanger taped to a broom handle, and a little whisk broom is all that you will need for this.
The first thing that you will want to do is to climb up on the roof. Once you get all of your tools together, you can start to drag them up on the roof. If you are married, this is where you exaggerate back pain, drop the unbreakable tools a couple times, and act as if it is the hardest thing you could ever be asked to do. This will increase the guilt factor and lead to just about any meal you want that evening with all of the pampering to go with it. Once you get everything onto the roof, you will want to start by clearing the larger debris out of the gutters. The whiskbroom will be the best for this. The first thing you will want to do is place the teacup over the gutter drain hole. This will allow you to sweep the gutters clean without clogging the drains. If you use a cup that has a rounded bottom you can fit it snugly in the drain hole and use it to plug as you blow out the gutters as well.
Now that you have all of the large debris out of your gutters, you can either use a pressure washer, air hose, or even a garden hose to rinse, blow or spray out the gutters. This is the most crucial part to ensure that your drains are plugged. You can use a coffee filter or old piece of screen to do this if you do not have a teacup. Using one of these will also allow water to drain down and keep the chunks that will stop the drains up out of the drains. Now you are done cleaning the gutters. The rest of this article will be dedicated to the more difficult part of cleaning the storm drains. Once again, the married man can use this chance to capitalise on the task. You can sit on the roof for at least an hour and just relax as the clouds go by. You may want to make the occasional movement so that the wife still believes you to be hard at work. You may even call down to her to request another beverage or sandwich. This is after all, backbreaking and hard labour.
Now you can turn your attention to the problem of the storm drains. This can be the hardest part of all. If you have a clog in your storm drains, they may be very difficult to remove. The first step will be to find the clog. Once you have discovered the clog you can start to get it loosened enough to remove. There are many times that you can jar the clog loose with some light taps from a rubber mallet or light hammer. You will want to be careful at this point not to crack open your drain. Just some light taps. If the clog is near enough to the ends, you can also use a coat hanger to fish out the larger chunks. This will hopefully, loosen it enough to clear the entire mess. If it is a ways down the drain, you can use the coat hanger taped to the broom handle. A pressure washer or air compressor may be able to build up enough pressure to knock the clog loose. You may have an easier time with this method if you try to push the clog back up the drain. All of these methods will work for a stopped up drain.
There are some tricks and tips that can help you in this task as well. One tip that you may want to keep in mind is to stretch some old screen or even buy some gutter covers to keep the debris out of your gutters. This will keep your gutters clean year round. You will still need to “sweep” the tops of your gutters to keep them clear but you reduce any problems that you can encounter. One trick to clearing a thick clog in the drain is to use earthworms. You must ensure that your clog is organic first. If it is, you can drop several earthworms into the top of the drain. The worms will burrow into the debris and start to mulch it. This method takes some time (2 days to 2 weeks) but can save you some money on the repairs in taking the drain off the house. There are several other tips and tricks that you can learn about at your local hardware store. Your local Home Depot will know more about quick fixes and tricks for some of the local problems.
Gutters can be easy to clean and even easier when you maintain them. Remember that the best part of this job is the fact that many think it is difficult. This allows you to “play it up” with your significant other. Even if you don’t use the job this way, it is a simple task that can improve the look of your home.