Spring gutter cleaning is a rite of passage from cold winter weather to warmer temperatures, a perfect time to get your home’s exterior ready for summer. While cleaning the gutters isn’t the most welcome home maintenance chore, it doesn’t have to be totally awful. Here are some smart gutter cleaning tips for spring.
Make a plan: Having a detailed plan will make the whole operation go more smoothly. Pick a day that won’t be rainy or too windy – check 7 or 14-day weather forecasts. Gather together the supplies you’ll need. Include safety goggles, gloves, and a sturdy ladder.
Kinds of trees: In some ways, when you clean the gutters is more important than how often. Trees shed seasonally, annually or continuously during the year. To make the most of your spring gutter cleaning, know when the trees around your home shed seeds, blossoms, pollen, and leaves.
Trimming trees: Ideally, trees should be trimmed when they are dormant (in winter), but if they have grown too close to the roof or shrubs and low-growing trees are pushing up against the siding, it’s best to trim them back now to prevent them from dropping debris on the roof and in the gutters later on in the year. While shrubs and small trees growing too close to siding really has nothing to do with gutter cleaning, trimming them at the same time will help prevent siding from becoming dented or scratched.
Roof first: There’s more to gutter cleaning than just the gutters. Before tackling them, clear the roof off first. If you don’t, there’s a real chance that after a windy or continuously rainy spring day, the roof will be clean but the gutters probably won’t be.
Downspouts and splash blocks: Inspect the downspouts, downspout extenders, and splash blocks before actually cleaning the gutter system. Look for blocked downpipes, damaged hardware, and dented downspout sections. Replace or repair where necessary. If you’re using downspout extenders or splash blocks, examine them for cracks, splitting, and other kinds of damage, and ensure they are still positioned correctly (haven’t been moved or kicked out of place).
Pistol-grip trigger: Instead of a power or pressure washer, use a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger. It can be hung from the gutter while the ladder is being moved or debris is being scooped out of the gutter trough.
If no one’s home: If there will be no one home when you plan to clean the gutters, be careful and be as safe on the ladder as possible. Avoid climbing directly on the roof. Take breaks; don’t forget to hydrate. Whether someone’s home or not, it’s usually prudent to get someone to help you when cleaning the gutters.