These easy steps to cleaning your guttering could save you money as blocked gutters can cause water to overflow, spilling onto the ground below, where it can undermine foundations, or it can flow back into your eaves.
The quickest and simplest way to clean out a gutter is to initially make sure that your downpipes are working ok.
Stand on a ladder near the downpipe – making sure that the ladder is standing up correctly – and pull out any leaves, sticks etc. that are blocking the top of the first downpipe. Then run water from a hose towards the downpipe and make sure that you can hear it flowing freely out the bottom and that it is not backing up.
Once you are sure that your downpipe is clear, turn off the hose and begin moving your ladder further away from the downpipe, clearing debris as you go. Once you have cleared a whole section then turn back on the hose and point it towards the downpipe, check again that the water is flowing freely out of the pipe into the stormwater drain.
Repeat this process around your house until all the downpipes and gutters are clean.
Always have the foot of the ladder on a non-slip surface.
Make sure that the angle of the ladder against the house is suitable so that you do not tip the ladder when you are standing near the top.
Never reach more than an arm-length away from the ladder when collecting the leaves as this could make the ladder slide and fall over, taking you with it, or causing you to pull down a length of guttering.
If you take any tools up the ladder to clear out the gutters, then hold them in your hand while climbing rather than putting them in your pocket. This is just in case you fall: you don’t want to be impaled on a trowel, for instance.
The reason that you need to keep gutters clean and clear of rubbish is because if gutters become clogged with leaves, for instance, they can both leak water inside your walls and also erode soil away from your foundations. (Think Grand Canyon on a much smaller scale).
Gutters that are blocked will have to carry a lot more weight than they are designed for because pooling water is heavy. This means that in extreme cases, the guttering will actually fall off your house, falling on anything or anyone below.