Step by Step Guide.
Cleaning your rain gutters is one of those jobs it's easy to put off but the longer you wait the bigger the job can get. Just follow these tips for cleaning your gutters and making simple gutter repairs by thoroughly cleaning your gutters every spring and fall will help keep them working like they're supposed to. Debris can build up and clog the downspouts which can cause water damage to your roof and your fascia. The reason being is all that water pouring over the gutters can end up next to your foundation and ultimately in your basement or crawl space. Now before you tackle the cleaning, check your weather forecast, if you clean your gutters after a few dry days the debris isn't quite as heavy and makes cleaning a lot easier.
Here are the materials that you will need to clean your gutters:
For any rain gutter repairs you will need the following:
- Gutter sealant
- A drill with bits
- Touch up paint
- Any additional hardware as needed*
Cleaning your gutters means working on a ladder, so if you're not comfortable doing this please call a professional for help. Also be careful when working your power lines, you want to use a stepladder whenever possible on solid level ground and don't climb above the second to last step for two-story homes. .. You might have to use an extension ladder to make your job a little easier. Use two buckets; one for gathering debris, and the other for carrying your tools. Remember to always carry your tools up one at a time, hook them to the ladder, and never try to carry your tools in your pockets.
*Additional material(s) list can be found at www.lowes.com.
Now let's begin cleaning your rain gutters!
Start near the downspout. You can clean up any large debris like leaves and twigs. Additionally, you can use a trial to clean out smaller or packed in material. Remember to remove and clean any downspouts trainers too. Keep in mind that breathe and sweat can soak through your gloves and give your hands a bad odor, so please wear latex gloves under your work gloves to protect your skin.
Once you remove the large debris, flush out whatever remains with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. If you prefer, you can also use a gutter cleaning attachment and if the water doesn't drain there's probably a clog in the downspout. For gutters that run into an underground tiling system you want to remove the bottom end of the downspout. You may have to temporarily remove some of the bands if the nozzle on your hose will fit into the downspout. Set it at full pressure then turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this still doesn't clear it or your nozzles are too big try using an electrician or plumber’s snake.
Attach your downspout and flush the entire gutter one more time. Any standing water is a sign that the gutter is not sloped correctly. The length of the system should decline at least one-quarter inch every 10 feet toward the downspout. If yours doesn't attach, use the hangers to adjust the gutter enough to drain properly and then reattach. You might need additional hangers for support and it should be spaced every two feet on the gutters.
If you have any leaks you can easily fix them but wait until the gutter is dry for at least 3 days depending on the weather. At the seams make sure the gutter links are tight against each other. Next run a bead of gutter sealant on all of the joints for leaks. At the end caps seal inside around the entire cap. Some areas of your gutters may have a few blemishes which can be easily covered up with just a small amount of touch up paint. Now your rain gutters are clear of debris! Please be sure to go to www.lowes.com for additional information and videos.
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