Step-by-Step Gutter Cleaning

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eaves troughsLast time we talked about why you should clear out your gutters. We wanted our readers to understand the importance of this necessary part of the roof system. However, we also gave a few practical tips like using rubber gloves and waiting until it’s been warm and dry a few days. If you’re planning on cleaning your gutters -or eaves troughs as they are also called – by yourself and haven’t read our article already, we definitely recommend checking that out first.

Step One. You’ll want to locate your downspouts and begin there. Set up your ladder safely, and head on up. It’s a good idea to carry your tools in a bucket or box rather than in your pockets. If you fall, they could seriously hurt you if they’re on your person. Working from directly above your downspout and outwards, you’ll want to remove any of the big stuff by hand. Clear away anything you can grab easily. You may want a second bucket up on the ladder to empty plant litter into. You can compost this or throw it away. After you’ve grabbed all the easy stuff, use a small hand shovel or trowel to get the rest. Smaller or well packed gunk will be a lot easier to remove with the trowel. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but you should try to get as much as you can. If you use downspout strainers, this is the time to remove and clean them.

Step Two. Once you’ve worked your way to the other side of the eaves trough, it’s time to get your hose. This time you’ll go the opposite way, start as far from your downspout as possible and work your way over to it. You want to rinse away all the little bits that were left behind towards the down spout. Having some sort of pressure gun or gutter cleaning attachment will make this part easier, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. If the water drains away easily and your gutter is now clear of debris, you’re finished – put back any strainers and relax! However, if the trough is draining slowly or not at all, move on to step three.

Step Three. If your gutters aren’t draining properly, you can try to fix the problem yourself. You’ve just cleared away everything in your eaves trough, so the downspout is the likely problem. Go back to the ground and remove the last section. Snake your hose up the downspout, and try to clear it from the bottom. If you have a pressure gun, now is the time to use it on full blast – within reason. Once you think you’ve worked out the clog, go back up to your roof, and try hosing off the gutters again. If water is now draining properly – perfect. However, if the water continues to drain slowly or if you have pools of standing water in your troughs, it’s probably time to get some professional advice. The slope of your gutter may be off or you may need some professional help and equipment to clear away the blockage in your downspout.

It is our recommendation, that Calgary homeowners have their gutters cleaned professionally at least once a year and do a second clearing annually either professionally or by themselves. Whether you’re having problems cleaning your eaves troughs and need professional guidance or it’s just time to have a professional job done, call Roof Hospital today at (403) 457-3330.

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