How to Do Your Own Gutter Maintenance

Here is a simple how to guide on gutter maintenance. It is one of those easy home repairs that many people would like to do themselves but need to take some precautions.

Get Your Materials Together

First, make a list of all the things you will need:

  • A ladder that reaches above the gutter.
  • A bucket to deposit the debris.
  • Gloves, to avoid contact with the debris and protect your hands from blisters.
  • A trowel to remove the gunk.
  • A leaf blower to get rid of any dry leaves on top.
  • Safety glasses to protect your eyes.
  • A garden hose to wash everything out when you’re finished.

Never Do Second Story Work Alone

Any time you are up on a ladder it is important to have a spotter with you.  Many accidents that occur during a home improvement project such as this are due to improper ladder safety.  Most do-it-yourselfers are not construction certified and falls from a second story can result in serious injuries.  It may be better to call a professional if you are not used to working at heights greater than eight feet.  There are many professionals who will be more than happy to help you with your gutter maintenance needs.

How to do Gutter Maintenance

Once you and your spotter are in position, cleaning is actually quite simple.  After using the leaf blower to remove any loose and dry debris, use the trowel to scoop up anything left over and put it in the bucket.  Be careful not to scrape the gutters since that can lead to weak spots and induce corrosion.  Once all the debris is gone, wash out the system and keep an eye out for blockages and leaks.  Gutter maintenance should be done twice a year to prevent corrosion and blockage.

Fixing Leaks

If you notice any leaks while you are washing the gutters, locate and mark the spots.  Once you are finished cleaning out them out, take a look at each leak and assess them for either spot repair or patching.  Very small leaks or leaks at joints can be caulked quickly and easily.  Larger holes will need to be patched.  Make sure to do any patch work when the weather is expected to be clear for a couple of days.  The epoxy and roofing cement will need a bit of time to dry.

Shore Up Sagging Gutters

Gutter maintenance doesn’t begin and end with clean and patching.  Gutters can also start to sag as the nails used to install them work their way out.  Sometimes all that is needed is a tap with a hammer to reseat the nails.  When that doesn’t work it may be better to install longer-lasting screws.  Screws don’t come out as easily as nails and will secure your gutters for a longer period of time.

Call a Professional

As you can see, the mechanics of gutter maintenance are simple, but working that high off the ground can be dangerous.  Those that have poor balance or are not accustomed to working on ladders just shouldn’t attempt it. They should call a professional instead.  Professionals will be able to provide all the service you need and in most cases, the cost is very reasonable.

Guest writer Olger Fallas is an experienced house painter in Maplewood New Jersey. He has over 10 years of experience in interior and exterior residential painting as well as commercial industrial painting. His company is committed to providing the highest quality service at the most affordable price. Their motto is: “We don’t cut corners, we paint them!”

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