Four tips to spring clean your gutters
Are you working your way through your spring cleaning list? As well as de-cluttering your wardrobes and dusting those often forgotten gaps in the shelves, cleaning your roof gutters should be high up on the agenda as a priority for getting your home spring-ready. Here is everything you need to know to get (and keep) your gutters in good condition from our expert home insurance partners RSA.
Why should you clean out your gutters?
Your gutters protect the roof, foundation, landscape and walls of your house, so keeping them well maintained is key for your overall house-health. Over time and particularly during the winter months, debris like sticks and leaves can build up and create blockages. These blockages can lead to water spilling over the pipes and not reaching the drains, which could result in localised puddles and water damage to your home.
What is the best way to clean out gutters?
You should aim to clean out your gutters around twice a year, once in autumn and once in spring. If you are in an area where there are lots of surrounding trees or somewhere prone to rain and storms, it might be worth clearing them more often. However, it goes without saying that the more often you clean them, the less build-up of debris and the easier it is to clear them effectively.
Clearing the gutters can be quite daunting if you don’t know how to go about it, but here are a few tips to help you get started.
Use a ladder correctly
Ladders are a simple solution to help you get up to gutter-height. However, when not used properly, ladders can be dangerous with the risk of sliding around or falling over. Make sure that the ladder is fully fixed in place with all bolts and screws tightened to keep the risk levels down. You may even want to have another person at the bottom holding it steady when you are on it. Aluminum ladders are strong and light, making them ideal for carrying around your building to ensure all the guttering is seen to. It may also be worth looking at ladders with shelves to keep your tools within easy reach.
Wear protective gloves
Although the majority of what you’ll find in your gutter will be leaves, sticks and branches, there could be some sharp surprises. Wearing protective gloves will keep your hands safe - you never know what you might find!
Use a scoop
Scoops are the perfect tool for picking up the debris and there are gutter scoops that are designed entirely for this purpose which you’ll find in most hardware stores. Gutter scoops fit the shape of the gutter, making them ideal for collecting the debris that’s built up and tackling those hard-to-reach places!
Flush the debris out with a garden hose
Once you’ve removed the debris in your gutter, you can use a hose to wash out the remaining dirt. Use the spray nozzle attachment to shoot strong streams of water along and out of the gutter to clear it.
You can keep your gutters in good shape with regular cleaning and maintenance, but you can’t predict what the future brings. Having building and contents insurance in place keeps you covered should the unforeseen happen. Check out 'Take Your Pick' from our home insurance provider RSA and get an online quote today to protect your valuable items and your home.
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