Have you looked up at your gutters lately? If not, it’s time. Left unattended, gutters not only clog on the inside, but they become unsightly on the outside as well. And, if you do have clogged gutters, the entire system is only going to become even dirtier. Due to the overflow mixed with the organic materials sitting in your gutters, you may see streaks of grime, moldy spots, or even algae and moss growth on the outside. So, how do you clean outside of the gutters? Follow these four tips for cleaning house gutters to get them sparkling clean.
1. Practice Safety
Just like cleaning house gutters puts you at risk of ladder falls, so does cleaning outside of the gutters. There are a few steps you can take to make yourself safe while tackling this dangerous task. First and foremost, follow these ladder safety tips to ensure you remain safe while cleaning outside of the gutters.
You should also protect your skin and eyes from harm. Gutter cleaning chemicals are often very strong, which can irritate skin and eyes. Gutter grime can also be an irritant, especially for individuals with environmental allergies. It’s important to wear gloves and eye protection to protect yourself from harm. For added protection, you may also wish to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling any of the chemicals and allergens.
2. Have the right equipment
Cleaning outside of the gutters requires some equipment. You’ll obviously need a ladder to be able to reach the house gutters, but that’s not all you’ll need. As mentioned in the section about safety, you’ll also want to have a thick pair of gloves, eye protection, and face mask handy. In addition, a cloth or sponge will help you remove the tough grime, but avoid using abrasive materials like metal brushes or steel wool pads. These abrasive materials can cause aluminum gutters to dull or scratch, which is unsightly.
In order to thoroughly clean the gutters, you’ll want to have a long hose that can reach up that high, but plain old water might not be enough to get the buildup off your house gutters. That’s why a gutter cleaning solution is a must-have. There are several gutter cleaning solutions you can buy at your local home improvement store, but a cheaper option is to mix your own solvent.
If you have aluminum gutters, you’ll want to be careful when choosing a chemical, as some may cause aluminum to corrode. A simple solution of water and white vinegar works very well for cleaning the outside of the gutters, and won’t corrode aluminum. You can also make a paste with a small amount of water and cream of tartar, which will act as a cleaner and gentle buffing agent in one.
3. Use some elbow grease…or a power washer
Cleaning house gutters can be a tough job, especially if they’ve been neglected for a while. Some good old fashioned elbow grease may do the trick, but you may find it difficult to remove all the layers of buildup. A power washer can come in handy if your house gutters are particularly dirty. Be careful not to point the nozzle too close your aluminum gutters, as the high pressure can cause them to dent. Instead, use the power washer while standing on the ground, aiming at the gutters. This method can save you a lot of time and effort.
4. Prevent cleaning house gutters altogether
Like we mentioned before, clogged gutters can cause the outside of the gutter system to become caked with grime like mold, algae, moss, and streaks of other organic material. Once you’ve cleaned the outside of the gutters, you can prevent further cleanings by installing gutter protection. A good gutter protection system, such as LeafFilter, will prevent gutter clogs for life – meaning you’ll never have to worry about cleaning house gutters again. This means water won’t overflow and cause those unsightly streaks anymore. Don’t let all that hard work getting your house gutters sparkling go to waste. Invest in a gutter protection system today and enjoy squeaky clean gutters for life.