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How To Properly – And Safely – Clean A Blocked Gutter

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Many homeowners do not realize that their gutter is blocked until it is too late. Often, the first time this is noticed is during torrential rain, with liters of water fall down the wall as the gutter is blocked and overflowing. Fixing a blocked gutter is a fairly easy DIY job, as long as you work methodically. Additionally, as most gutter unblocking requires use of a ladder, personal safety must be kept at the forefront of your mind. Let's look at the proper and safe way to unblock a problem gutter.

Ladder Safety

Falls are the most common accident around the home. Thousands of people are injured every year from falling from ladders. To prevent this happening to you, remember the ladder positioning rule: for every four measures high, ensure that the feet of the ladder are one measure out from the wall. Other things to remember are:

  • Always rest the ladder against something solid
  • Always place the feet of the ladder on flat and stable ground
  • Never allow the ladder to move sideways – don't rest it against a window sill or the guttering itself
  • Have another person secure the base of the ladder as you work
  • Attach hooks or similar kit to the ladder to make it really secure

Clean The Gutter

You can now inspect the down pipe and remove any twigs, moss and debris. To do this, use a good, solid length of stick, or a stiff wire. You may wish to fashion a hook onto the end of the wire, so you can remove any stubborn debris. You could also purchase an extendable pole, which can be used to clean the lower parts of the pipe. A torch will allow you to see further down the pipe when cleaning with this tool.

Remember to place a bucket at the bottom of the down pipe to catch any debris that falls. Continue to work with the implement of your choice, removing as much debris and blockages as you possibly can.

Create A Blocker

A gutter blocker is a perforated ball that fits in the gutter to catch any debris in the gutter before it reaches the downspout. It will prevent not only the gutter from becoming blocked again in the future, but will avoid the need for you to climb a ladder for a long period of time to remedy it. Get some chicken wire, and fashion a ball the same size as the width of your gutter. Pop it in the top of your gutter, making sure that it won't slip down the pipe. This will trap moss and other debris, meaning that you just need to remove the ball of wire and clean, instead of having to clean the length of the pipe.

It is sensible to check the condition of the gutter as you clean it, and replace any cracked or damaged sections. For more information, contact a company like Aussie Plumbing & Gutters.