Everything you need to know about gutter cleaning
Spring cleaning is well under-way, and we’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t skip your gutters. Regular gutter cleaning is essential to maintain your property, and avoid any potential damage caused to your property.
Leaves falling from trees get washed into the gutters. As they begin to decompose, they clump together, blocking downpipes and stopping the water flow. As a result water can cascade down the side of your house, loosening the pointing between brickwork and providing the perfect environment for algae and lichen to grow.
The weight of the sodden leaves can also pull on the gutter fixings and put strain on the guttering, loosening it from the property. Guttering can fall down, or become misshapen, failing to connect and preventing the water from reaching the down pipe.
Vast quantities of water seeping into the ground at a single point over a prolonged period could even cause severe structural damage.
Checkatrade found in 2020, use of gutter repair services were up 18% on the previous year in the UK. To help you avoid becoming part of this statistic, we’ve answered everything you need to know about gutter cleaning and maintenance.
Everything you need to know about gutter cleaning
How do you clean gutters?
- Use heavy duty gloves and any sort of trowel or scoop to remove foliage and debris from your gutters.
You can use a bucket attached to your ladders with a hook to collect this.
- Once any easily reachable areas have been covered, move your ladder along the gutter and repeat the same process.
- Whilst completing this, it would be wise to inspect the gutters for cracks or sagging to assess whether the gutter requires maintenance or repairs.
- Downpipes are where rainfall would flow towards the ground, and this often is an area prone to blockages.
You can use a drain rod to push the blockage down the pipe or alternatively a high-pressure garden hose to encourage debris to loosen.
- Use a garden hose to flush your gutters of any excess debris you did not collect in your bucket.
- Gutter waste can be used as compost for your garden, or alternative can be disposed of by your local waste collection.
You can use GOV.UK to find out more about garden waste disposal in your area.
How often should gutters be cleaned?
Ideally twice a year, in spring and autumn. However, if your property is situated near lots of trees you may want to increase this.
What are the tools and equipment needed for gutter cleaning?
- Tall ladder
- Bucket for debris
- For stubborn blockages: drain rod
What safety advice should you follow when gutter cleaning?
Statistics from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show ladder accidents send 41,000 people to hospital annually, so it is essential you follow all safety protocol.
Ensure you utilise a sturdy ladder on a level surface, propping this up securely. It may be wise to have a friend or family member close by to hold your ladder to prevent an accident.
Be wary of harsh weather conditions, and do not attempt to clean your gutters when it is extremely windy.
Do not attempt to stretch to remove debris, as this can make you ladder unstable.
Do not overfill your bucket to the point you would not be able to safely carry it down your ladder. Make multiple trips to ensure your safety.
How do I prevent clogs in the future?
Regular maintenance- the longer you leave between gutter cleaning the more you increase your chances of blockages.
Gutter guards are a type of brush or mesh you can install which will restrict leaves from clogging your gutters and entering your downpipe. This will ultimately avoid any hard to reach blockages and save you money on repairs and professional maintenance.
When to get professional gutter cleaning services
In order to prevent leaves from causing damage to your property, it’s important to arrange regular gutter cleaning.
Sometimes accessing gutters and downpipes can be difficult, for example, if there’s a conservatory or a single storey building in the way, or if the building is several stories high. In these cases, it can be worthwhile getting a professional in high access cleaning in to remove the leaves from your gutters.
Professionals that offer gutter clearing services aren’t only likely to have the appropriate access equipment to access guttering safely, but they’ll also be experienced in removing hard-to-reach leaves that may have already travelled down downpipes.
Of course, in addition to safely accessing the guttering, it’s important that anyone involved in gutter clearing looks out for the welfare of those who may be working or walking below.
Professional cleaning companies such as Rainbow that offer gutter clearing, often have the health and safety awareness and equipment to cordon off any areas necessary to ensure there’s no risk to the public whilst leaves , moss , and lichen are being removed from gutters.
To arrange your gutter cleaning this spring, call Rainbow Restoration on 01623 422488. With over 50 branches across the UK, on average we have a branch just 23 miles from any postcode, so we’re likely to have a branch near you.