Home Inspection Tech Tips: How To Clean Your Rain Gutters- Roofs cover a lot of square footage which means they catch a lot of rain water. If all that water is allowed to run off the edge of the roof, it could cause some serious problems for the home and it's foundation. Rain gutters should be mounted at the edge of all downward sloping roofs to catch all that water and move it away from the foundation.
Unfortunately, gutters also catch a lot of leaves and debris. An annual cleaning is all it takes to keep this important system working properly. Although rain gutters near trees may have to be cleaned twice a year. Cleaning rain gutters requires working either on a ladder or from the roof. If you are not comfortable doing this, or have a two story home, you should hire a professional.
Three methods for cleaning rain gutters are:
1. Scoop out the debris: If you choose to scoop out the gutters, you can buy a special scoop designed to fit inside a rain gutter. It is much easier than using your hands or a small garden shovel that doesn't quite fit. To keep the mess to a minimum, you can scoop into a bucket hung from your ladder.
2. Blow out the debris: If your roof has minimal pitch and you feel comfortable doing so, you can use a leaf blower from the roof to effectively clear the gutters of debris. This method will make quite a mess on the ground below, and you should wear a dust mask and goggles to protect yourself from flying debris.
3. Hose out the debris: I recommend using a hose with a pressure nozzle that you can turn on and off at the usage end. Wash out the gutters and make sure the downspouts are clear as well. If a downspout is clogged, you can use the hose (with the nozzle removed to avoid getting it stuck) by slipping the hose down the spout until you push out the clog.
Home Inspection Tech Tips: How To Clean Your Rain Gutters- Steve Stenros- First Choice Inspections is a CREIA-certified inspector with the MCI designation. He is available for home inspection appointments in San Diego, Orange, and Riverside counties in southern California by calling 888-335-3040. Clients receive our free bi-weekly tech tips upon request.
Steve Stenros, MCI
Master CREIA Inspector #0115
ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439
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