Cleaning gutters is not the most pleasant of chores, but it is important as malfunctioning gutters can lead to damp and mould, which can seriously affect your health. This means that cleaning guttering should be done regularly, and in the recent warm weather you’re ideally placed to make a go of it and complete the job before the next rainfall.
The first thing you want to do is clean out the gutters. This means physically removing any debris, usually leaves, sticks and other bits and pieces that have fallen onto your roof and been sluiced into the guttering by rainfall, the wind, or simple gravity. This can be absolutely disgusting work, so wear a pair of marigolds if you’re squeamish. Slinging it onto the floor makes more work for later, so bring a bucket to the top of your ladder and fill it up with whatever you find. Be careful and gentle; you don’t want to knock the guttering off the wall, and if you have wooden guttering you certainly don’t want to break any of it.
Once you’ve cleared out all but the smallest pieces of debris, get your hose up there (or a few buckets full of clean water – sounds like a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it in terms of the issues you’re avoiding down the line) and rinse the guttering. Rinse it well – anything worth doing it worth doing right, and especially if you have wooden guttering the rinsing is important in terms of subsequent steps.
Survey your now-clean guttering for cracks and breaks. Repair them as the material requires; plastic guttering can be replaced where breakages have occurred, wooden guttering needs to be allowed to dry and then painted over with bitumen. Do this once a year to maintain your guttering, but definitely try and clean out your gutters at least twice. Once in the spring and once in the autumn is great, but once per season would be perfect and help you to prevent damage in the first place. Wooden guttering can rot if it’s left to its own devices and replacing it can be quite costly so don’t leave it too late.
Cleaning guttering is a bit of a chore, but you could save thousands of pounds in terms of later repairs. Don’t put it off – get it done regularly and save yourself the money and the hassle of more involved repairs later.