All about rain gutters and downspouts and rain gutter installation in the Los Angeles & Orange County areas.

Clean Your Gutters for Spring

Filed under: Rain Gutter Maintenance, Rain Gutters & Downspouts — Administrator at 10:46 pm on Thursday, October 4, 2007

By Gary Wells

Spring-cleaning does not have to be restricted to indoor chores. If you own your property or are renting a home, it is a good idea to inspect the outside of your house and perform the annual maintenance chores that will keep it in good shape. One of the most important tasks facing you is cleaning your gutters. Don’t let fall leaves and wind-blown debris pile up in your gutters, because when the spring rains hit, there could be a backup that might cause excessive dripping, especially after winter thaws. This drainage can trickle under the roof and become a leak in your ceiling, or make a path down the side of the exterior and leach into your basement to cause damage there. It may be hard to believe, but a handful of clogged leaves or twigs or an out-of-place bird’s nest can create major problems requiring expensive repairs.

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The best time to clean your gutters is in early spring, but any time during the year is fine. Plan your work for a good-weather day. Check the forecast and start early in case it starts to rain later. Assemble your tools and equipment first. You will need a sturdy stepladder, a trowel, a hand-held leaf blower or a rake, along with gloves to protect your hands.

Secure the ladder in a stable, level area near the house. Check to make sure it won’t slip. Wear sturdy shoes that will help to keep your balance while on the ladder. Take the rake with you and climb as far as you need to in order to reach the gutter. Use your hand-size rake to gently loosen mud, debris, and leaves from the gutter, taking care not to push too forcefully, which could cause breakage. Use your leaf blower as needed to scatter collected foliage. Remove as much as you can. Then carefully descend the ladder, move it a few feet to the right or left, and repeat the process until you have cleaned all the gutters along the roof.

Aim to spill the debris into a central pile below, on the ground, if possible. You might want to lay out a large, disposable tarp for this purpose. Then simply wrap it up when you are done, and discard it in the trash. Or you can use a permanent, re-usable tarp by gathering the debris with a shovel or rake and bagging it for the trash or transporting it by wheelbarrow to the compost heap, if you have one. Then clean off your ladder and tools, putting them away where you can easily find them the next time a task of this sort comes along.

If several tall trees overhang your roof, you may need to clean the gutters several times a year to prevent leaf and twig buildup. Those who are wary of heights or who lack the proper tools should hire an experienced worker to do the job for them. It’s not worth having an accident if you are uncomfortable with heights or lack suitable equipment.

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What To Do About Clogged Gutters

Filed under: Rain Gutter Maintenance, Rain Gutters & Downspouts — Administrator at 10:42 pm on Thursday, October 4, 2007

by Jim Ames

As seasons change from one to the other, gutters can clog all too quickly. With rain, wind, sleet, heavy spring and winter storms, area animals like birds building nests and scattering debris around, it’s no wonder that your gutters get clogged. But now you can say, “Good bye!” to all that and clean them up yourself.

Get your gutters in shape with these tips that focus on how to get safely topside your home to clean your gutters. Please read them thoroughly before starting that climb up the ladder to your roof.

Equipment Safety

Check for equipment safety before heading up your ladder. Make sure your ladder is securely in place: the foot pads need to be snug, firmly in place with the ground and the ladder frame needs to be free of bent areas.

Also before you go up on the roof hook, you need to hook up your water hose plus check for possible leaks in the hose. Make sure any and all attachments and spray nozzles work well. You also want to make sure you have enough water pressure at full power in your line so that you can effectively clear or spray out debris from your gutters.

When possible, keep someone extra at ground level in case you need help. A ground person can help clear away kinks and knots in your water hose, for example, that could severely limit your water pressure as you move about the house top.

Clothing Safety

Check for clothing safety before heading up, too. Grab a good pair of work gloves and wear a sturdy tool belt with plenty of pockets for your tools and make sure to tie it securely around your waist.

Also check your footwear. You don’t want to stub your toes or slip and fall wearing plastic flip-flops or other inappropriate work wear. Instead, opt for sturdy foot wear with laces that are tied firmly and tucked away so you won’t trip and get them caught.

Tools Needed

These tools can come in handy for the job:

* Bucket - for placing debris into for disposing of later.

* Screwdriver or Trowel - for scooping out thick debris like mud from your gutter.

* Straightened Wire Hanger - for poking debris from or through tight areas like clogged downspouts.

* Adjustment Items, Coating, Seal or Flush Fixtures - Items like these from local hardware stores can help you apply a coating inside gutters to help flush the debris, help prevent rust and damage, and help keep out debris in the future.

Take shop around and get your safety features in check first. Extend your gutters’ life and you own.

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