Gutter cleaning is very important and should be taken seriously. Guttering ensures that water flows properly and drains away from your home, this prevents dampness around the home which can cause damage to your building over time. There are a number of ways that you can clean the guttering yourself to ensure they stay in working order without needing professional help, the right tools are necessary for the job to be completed successfully.
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What Gutter Cleaning Tools Do I Need?
There are a number of guttering cleaning tools that you can buy to ensure that your gutters are cleaned out properly, including:
Gutter Scraper – A flat knife with a wooden handle is all you need to scrape the gunk out of the gutter.
Gutter Guards – Gutter guards prevent leaf and dirt build-up in the guttering, they can be found for either round or square gutters. The leaves and dirt that collect on top of these need to be manually removed and disposed of, this can save you money because you don’t have to pay someone to clean them for you.
Gutter Vacuum – A Gutter vacuum is a compact, convenient tool that allows you to suck the debris out of your guttering, thus saving on cleaning time. It can be attached to either a hose or onto the mains water supply so it saves you effort as well as mess. This attachment is used along with a long pole that can reach up to around 10 meters. A gutter vacuum is the most expensive of the tools and some people find it more convenient just to hire a professional cleaner.
Gutter Scraper and Gutter Guards
A gutter scraper is basically a flat piece of metal, sometimes plastic, with a wooden handle attached. The metal is flat so it can be used to scrape the gunk out of the gutter, think of it as a shovel but with less of an angle on the edge, similar to how it would appear if you flattened out your spade. Gutter guards are placed over the top of existing gutters in order to prevent debris from falling into the gutter. There are two types of guards that you can buy, one is square with holes in it for water to pass through and another is round which is made up of long pieces of plastic that look like sharp fins. The square gutter guards will need manual cleaning every so often whereas the round ones don’t need cleaning at all and will save you money.
Gutter Hose and Gutter Vacuum
A gutter vacuum is a piece of equipment that you attach to either your hose or mains water supply, then suck the debris out of the guttering. Some people would rather hire someone to clean their gutters than give it a go themselves so if this sounds like you, contact a local cleaning company. If you want to try it yourself make sure you have the right equipment which will include the vacuum itself along with a pole that can extend up to around 10 meters in length. You can get both telescopic poles or ones that are long and made of metal, but these will cost more than the plastic ones. A gutter hose is used in conjunction with a gutter vacuum and simply allows you to attach the hose with the rubber part at the end to either your mains water supply or your garden hose, depending on what type of vacuum you buy.
How To Use The Tools
Using all of these tools will require a bit of patience and the right equipment. Make sure you have the proper equipment and that you read all of the instructions for whichever tool or tools you decide to use in order to clean out your gutters. The process does not differ much when using each type of tool, it involves widening the opening by pushing back any branches growing over them so they can slide up and down freely without obstruction. Once this has been achieved it may be necessary to use a screwdriver in order to loosen any additional junk. If you have bought a gutter cleaner then you can attach the scraper at the end and push it through in order to scrape off all of the build-up. You should make sure that you wear gloves when using a gutter cleaning so that you are not putting yourself on the debris. If you have bought a gutter vacuum or hose then these can be attached and it will suck out all of the dirt for you, making your job much easier.
You should also wear gloves when using any of these tools just in case anything sharp protrudes from the gutters as you are cleaning them. If it is a particularly wet day make sure you have some waterproofs on as well as the rubber boots as the gutters will be slippery and if you don’t have these then your shoes might just slide right off of your feet!
These tools can save you a lot of effort and time if used properly, however, if you consider hiring a professional cleaner then make sure you know how much it will cost and the timeframe in which they will be cleaning your gutters. If your gutters are looking particularly dirty and choked then it might be advisable to hire a professional as opposed to buying all of the necessary equipment yourself. Check with different companies that offer this service as some of them might be willing to give you a discount if they can clean your gutters on the same day as one of their other jobs.