It’s easy to take your gutters for granted when they’re working properly. Gutters prevent water from streaming down your home’s siding and pooling near its foundation. If your gutters don’t guide the rain safely away from your home, however, you could experience a myriad of problems. Clogged or damaged gutters can lead to siding discoloration, ice dams, foundation damage, basement and crawlspace flooding, landscape erosion, and other serious issues.
To avoid these disastrous events, make sure you have your gutters cleaned at least twice a year. If you plan to clean them out yourself, you’ll need the right toolkit. Here’s a list of seven essential rain gutter cleaning tools, in no particular order, that will help you tackle this project like a pro.
Make sure you have (or borrow) a ladder tall enough to reach your roof and stable enough to allow you to work safely. As a precaution, we highly recommend asking someone to hold the ladder for you while you work or using a ladder stabilizer—also known as a stand-off—which mounts on extension ladders.
Don’t forget your pair of durable working gloves to protect your hands against sharp sticks and other debris. Your gloves should also be waterproof to keep your hands dry and thick enough to keep them warm.
3.Bucket, Tarp, or Trash Bags
Unless you’re planning on spending considerable time cleaning up your mess afterward, you should have something to keep your work area tidy as you go. You could use a bucket that you hang from your ladder or stuff the debris into durable trash bags. Another option is laying a tarp on the ground below you to catch anything you drop. Sometimes it’s easier to simply throw what you grab from the gutters to the ground rather than holding a trash bag in one of your hands as you attempt to balance on your ladder.
You could remove at least some of the leaves and sticks from your gutters using a leaf blower. If your gutters are filled with wet, heavy debris, however, this could be much less effective than digging in with your hands.
5.Trowel, Scoop, or Tongs
Any of these tools will help you dig in deep and dislodge debris that’s packed down tight inside your rain gutters. They will also help you pick up the sludge hiding under the pine needles, sticks, and leaves that’s harder to grab by hand.
A plumber’s snake can come in handy when you get to your downspouts, especially if they’re clogged with hard-to-budge debris.
Once you remove as much debris from your gutters as you can, grab a hose with a high-powered spray nozzle to loosen any remaining gunk and wash your gutters clean.
Pro Tip: As you spray down your gutters, watch how the water flows through them. If you notice any leaks, you can pinpoint the holes or cracks at this time and either seal them yourself or call a professional to repair damaged areas for you. To learn more information about your gutters, subscribe to our blog.