DIY Tips on How to Clean your own Gutters
So you’ve looking up at your roof and are just shaking your head! “How on earth am I going to get up there and clean out those ghastly gutters! I’m not Spiderman after all! Well. do not despair! After reading this guide you will either know everything (well nearly) there is to know about cleaning out your gutters out at home, or you will call us in a hurry!
3 Step Process to Cleaning out your own Roof Gutters
Ok, so we’ll break it down into the following:
- The Tools (everything you need)
- The safe roof access plan (so you don’t die)
- How to clean them gutters out (so you don’t go up there for nothing!)
1. Gutter Cleaning Tools
- Leaf Blower
- Rubbish Bags
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
You will want to be sure that your ladder is high enough for your houses roof. The ladder will need to be in good condition – free of rust or damage. The ladder should also be sturdy or solid enough so that it doesn’t easily topple over in the wind. Adjusting ropes too should be free of excessive wear. Good brands are Indalex or Baileys.
The blower should ideally be petrol operated as you don’t want a trip hazard up on the roof from any electrical cords. It should be light and easy to hold and manouver. Good brands are Stihl or Husqvarna. You should get familiar with the start and stop functions before getting on the roof.
Any household garbage bags should do. But you wouldn’t want any too big as they will get to heavy and dangerous to move around on the roof. Also, they should of course be of a decent quality so they don’t tear too easily.
A plastic scoop with an extended handle. This will help you to scoop out all the debris out of the gutters.
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
They will be needed as the leaf blowers can run quite loud. Up to 98 decibels in fact. Some earplugs will get you a 30 decibel reduction. We recommend going for the highest grade. Of course, if that is not enough then you can opt for earmuffs as well.
These will provide extra grip for areas where you may need to walk on all fours on the roof. And of course provide more grip for the ladder and blower. And avoid cuts and abrasions when you are scooping out leaves from the gutter.
Sun Protective Equipment
Slip, slop, slap. The sun is fierce in Australia and Sydney is no exception. Make sure to wear a hat, sunglasses and wear sunscreen too.
If you are going onto the roof, we recommend you follow all the WHS guidelines as per the government website. Harness selection, how to put it on and how to fasten oneself to the roof safely are beyond the scope of this article. We suggest you check the above link and follow all the directions given.
2. Safe Roof Access Plan
This is the most important section. (See WHS guidelines for detailed information – this is just a rough guide.) You will want to find a section of the roof that is quite low and that allows easy access to other sections of the roof. Also you want to find level ground. An area free of obstructions is ideal too.
- Place the ladder so both feet are on level ground and is parallel to the wall. In other words so that the ladder can rest square up against the wall. Have both your feet or toes up against the base of the ladder legs and begin extending the ladder upward. Once the ladder top is 1 meter above the roof gutter line, release the rope and let the ladder rest up against the gutter.
- Have your partner hold the ladder with both hands and have their feet resting on the ladder legs. Begin climbing. Have both feet and hands in contact with the ladder at all times. Once reaching the top, raise one leg slowly and find a safe, solid place to rest your foot on the roof. Then move the other leg and then let go of the ladder.
- While on the roof, do not walk in the middle of the tiles. Only walk on the overlapping parts – where one tile overlaps the other tiles.
- Follow WHS guidelines on harnessing in.
- Plan out which sections of gutter to clean and in what order.
3. How to Clean them Gutters Out
Cleaning the Gutter
You will need to switch on the leaf blower. Walk along the edge of the roof line (not too close!) and direct to nozzle of the blower towards the gutter. This should blow out any leaves. It there is still stubborn dirt, mud or hardened leaves, then you can push the nozzle of the blower into the gutter as it blows and you walk along. This process should blast out any debris. Once finished you must be sure to blow the blower down any down pipes to make sure these are clear. The gutter scoop can be used to dislodge any hardened muddy areas of the gutter and to shove down the down-pipe to make sure it is clear.
Cleaning up the Mess
Once down the ladder, you will want to blow the leaves and debris into a pile. Any remains can be collected with a rake. If any mud is on the walls you can hose this down. Use gloves to collect the pile of leaves into the garbage bags and take it away for disposal. Collapse the ladder and pack up.
There you have it, a simple outline as to how roof gutter are cleaned. It may sound simple but in reality it takes a lot of getting used to. Perhaps you do not feel confident in attacking the job yourself. That is understandable. If you have any doubts we recommend getting a professional. So if you live in the Sydney Eastern Suburbs or the surrounding areas and would like a free assessment, inspection or quote then do not hesitate to call. We would be only to happy to help.