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Blog
04/12/2017
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts is a maintenance task you should regularly perform to protect your household from water damage and mold development. Learn how to do it with this tutorial.

How to Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

April showers bring May flowers, but they can also bring a whole lotta trouble if you haven't been maintaining your home as you should. As you know, your gutters and downspouts have the crucial job of bringing down rainfall and snow from your roof. Keeping them dirty, however, increases the risk of mold development and water damage to your home. If you don't want this to happen, follow this tutorial so you can clean your gutters and downspouts successfully.

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What You’ll Need

While this is a fairly easy maintenance job to get through, you will still need a few different items to perform it effectively. For starters, you will need a sunny day, so before you begin, check the weather to ensure you won't get caught in the rain while you're out on the roof. After that, you will need the following supplies:
  • a sturdy ladder
  • a scooper
  • trash bags
  • a high-pressure hose
  • an auger
  • comfortable clothing that you don't mind getting dirty
  • sunscreen
  • a hat
  • gloves

Prepare for the Job

Once you have all of the necessary supplies, there are still a few things you should do before you start cleaning the gutters. This is to be certain that you'll be as safe as possible while doing it. For example, you will need to place the ladder in a secure position before you hop on it, to avoid falling down or having an accident. If it feels a bit wonky, have a friend or family member hold it for you while you're on it. As mentioned above, you should be working under the sun; to protect your skin, prepare by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and even sunglasses.

Work on the Gutters

As you're probably aware, dust, dirt, dead leaves, snow sludge, debris, and all sorts of random garbage can make their way up to the gutters, clogging them completely, and preventing rainfall, snow, or other liquids from making their way through them and down the downspout. To help this system fulfill its function once again, you will need to grab the scooper and start cleaning out all of the trash you find up there. It's a good idea to have trash bags handy, so you can deposit all of that gunk in them, and throw them out once you're finished.

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Wash Them

You'll surely find that not all of the nastiness will be easy to remove. Some of it has been up there so long, that's it's now completely stuck and/or sticking to the surface of the gutters. Removing them won't be that complicated, though. All you need is to use a high-pressure hose and to aim it at it to force it out. If needed, employ the scooper once more to finish the job. Since you're already flushing water onto the gutters, this is also a good time to verify if the downspouts are leading the water to the floor appropriately. If they aren't, continue with the next step in this tutorial.

Unclog the Downspouts

If upon washing your gutters, you notice that the water isn't flowing easily through the downspouts, the reason is probably because there's something stuck in them (for example, more trash). Since this can also mean trouble for your home, it's recommended that you use an auger or plumber's snake to clear the downspout. You just need to stick it into it, and pull or push the barrier out of the way. It's a good idea to flush more water down the tube, to verify that you've unclogged it successfully.

Go Over This Task on a Regular Basis

Clogged gutters and downspouts can result in water damage to your home, mold growth, ruined belongings, and much more. To keep those problems at bay as much as possible, it is imperative that you perform the steps mentioned in this tutorial every once in awhile (for instance, twice a year). As you can see, it is a simple procedure, so don't neglect it. This, alongside other important home maintenance tasks and preventive measures, will ensure that you'll have a functional, beautiful, and safe household, where you can live happily with your family for years to come.

If you ever do need professional assistance to restore your home, call Walker & Frick Construction Co., Inc. DKI in Richmond, VA at 804 282 1281 to request a free estimate.

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