Fall is finally here, and people nationwide are preparing their homes for the new season with pumpkins and wreaths, putting away their shorts and flip flops for another year.
Don’t forget to take care of your home this season, too, especially your gutters! Gutters that aren’t cleaned at least once a year stand a better chance of becoming rusty and clogged, and they could cause a good deal of problems for you. Take the initiative and clean your gutters like a pro with the following 7 tips!
Choose the Right Ladder – If your home is a single story home, you will more than likely need to use a four-legged ladder for the job. If your home is a two stories, you will probably need to have an extension ladder. Remember to check your ladder to make sure that it’s safe and sturdy and that the steps are in good condition before you climb on. Place your ladder on level ground and get to work! Never lean your ladder against the gutters!
Wear the Right Clothes – When you’re setting out to clean the gutters, be sure to wear thick work gloves to protect your hands from leaves, dirt, animal waste, and any sharp debris or hazardous materials that could be present in your gutters. Leather and suede gloves will give you the best protection. If you need to walk on the roof at all, be sure to wear rubber-soled shoes.
Protect Your Eyes Properly – Your eyes need to be protected, too! Wear protective goggles or eyewear in order to prevent any possible eye injuries. A host of animals and insects could be living within the leaves and debris in your gutters, and they will be disturbed when you remove the debris, so it’s best to make sure your eyes remain unaffected by any potential surprises!
Use the Right Tools – Aside from you gear and ladder, be sure to use the proper tools for the job! We recommend using a plastic gutter scooper to help you remove large debris from your gutters. It will give your hands a bit of a break in the long run! Also, consider securely attaching a bucket to the shelf of your ladder in order to help you collect leaves and debris from the gutters.
Pay Attention to the Downspouts – Keep an eye on the downspouts! If leaves and debris are clogging it up, the water won’t drain properly. This could cause your gutters to sag and mildew and mud to overtake your gutters.
Look For Any Sources of Leaking – Take a peek at your gutters when you’re cleaning them out and be on the look out for any holes or cracked calking in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape out the old caulking, dry the area thoroughly, and use new silicon sealing to prevent rotting and rust. Try the ultimate test in finding any leaking sources – slowly pour a bucket of water into the gutters and watch it drain!
When in Doubt, Hire a Professional – Cleaning gutters can very much be a simple, do-it-yourself task, but it still can pose a high risk of injury for anyone undertaking the ordeal. If you don’t have the proper equipment or time or if you feel as if you are unfit for the job, don’t be afraid to hire a professional to clean your gutters! Better to be safe and have fantastic gutters than to try it unprepared and wind up going to the hospital for injuries.
Want to learn more home improvement tips for the fall? Need to go over a home insurance policy with us? No problem! Just call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com!