It’s not your favorite chore, but fall weather means the time has come to clean out those gutters. Homes here in Portland, Oregon, deal with an average rainfall of 40 inches every year, so it’s important to make sure that your roof’s drainage system flows free and clear. Stay safe while you work, keep the job simple, and enjoy the view of Mount Hood while you’re up there. Leafguard shares some of the easiest and most efficient ways to get the job done.
Get Off to a Smart Start
If you don’t trust your old ladder, put a new one on your supply list, and head for the nearest home improvement store. You’ll also need a couple of big plastic buckets, ladder horns and heavy wire hooks. The horn attachments keep the ladder stable while you work, and they protect the gutters too. The hooks let you suspend one bucket for holding tools and another for the debris you’ll be digging out of the gutters. Check weather reports for clear skies, and get started by cleaning leaves and twigs off the roof.
Dig In and Clean Out
Pull on your non-slip shoes and a pair of rubber gloves, and mount your buckets. As you head up to the roof, double-check the ladder’s stability one more time. Start digging out debris near a downspout, and clean away from it as you remove leaves, twigs and slime with a trowel or gutter scoop. Deposit everything in your trash bucket taking care not to splash walls and windows below. Follow up by flushing the gutter with a hose from a point farthest away from the downspout. Keep an eye out for any gutter leaks, and make sure that the downspout drains well.
Don’t Complicate the Job
Some homeowners use shop vacs or power sprayers to handle the heavy work, but the mechanical muscle that blows debris out of gutters also scatters it back up on the roof. Pressure from a power sprayer can loosen hangers and damage seams, and even gutter-cleaning robots can do more harm than good. Tongs that extend your reach don’t eliminate the ladder because you have to visually check the work when you’re done. The temptation to make a job easier often makes it more complicated, so keep your cleaning routine simple.
As long as Portland’s weather stays wet and our urban forest graces the landscape, gutters will always need cleaning at least twice a year. We want you to be careful up there, and we’re here for you when you’re ready for an alternative. LeafGuard by BELDON® installs seamless, covered gutters all across Multnomah County, so just give us a call for more information. We’re always happy to help you come down from the ladder.