Feb 9, 2010

How to Clean Rain Gutters

There was a high fir-tree in front of our house. Because of it, we have problem with rain gutters; it full of dried leaves and branch. It’s a pity I still didn’t know how to handle this problem, so, my father decided to cut the tree down. If you face the same problem with rain gutters; this post may help you.

During a rainstorm, gutters route runoff from a very large surface—a home’s roof—to where it can drain away from the house. By doing so, they protect iding, windows, doors, and foundations from water damage and help prevent flooding in basements.

To do their job, gutters and downspouts must be clear of leaves and waste. If they aren’t, drain outlets will dam up and rainwater will fill the gutters, back up, overflow, and eventually pull gutters loose from their mountings. Water that pools in troughs will rot wood gutters and rust sheet metal ones.

You can hire a service to clean your gutters, but doing the work yourself can save you $100 or more. Plan to clean gutters at least twice a year—more often if the roof is directly beneath trees or you live in a region with frequent storms. But only take on this task if you know you can work safely from a ladder or the roof.

Choose a sturdy ladder, and place it on a firm, level base. A tall stepladder can be easier to use than an extension ladder. If you must lean an extension ladder against a gutter, protect the gutter from bending by placing a short piece of 2 by 4 inside it. Stand on the ladder with your hips between the rails, and don’t lean out over the sides. Never stand on the top two rungs.

If you’re comfortable working from the rooftop and your roof has a very low pitch, this can be easier than working from a ladder. But only do this under extremely safe conditions. Never work on the roof in wet, icy, or windy conditions. Wear non-slip shoes, and never lean over the edge or work near power lines.

When cleaning gutters, wear heavy work gloves to protect your hands since gutters often have sharp metal parts or screw points sticking out into their troughs. Also wear safety glasses.

To clean gutters:

1) Scoop out loose debris.
Starting at a drain outlet at the low end of a gutter, use a narrow garden trowel to scoop out loose debris, working away from the drain outlet. It’s usually easiest to do this when the debris is slightly damp and pliable, not soggy or dried and encrusted. To minimize cleanup later, you can scoop the debris into a plastic garbage-can liner.

2) Blast out the gutters with a hose.
Using an on-off high-pressure nozzle mounted at the end of a water hose, wash out each length of gutter, working toward the drain outlet. This can be a messy job; try to avoid splattering mud all over your house. If necessary, use a stiff scrub brush to breakloose encrusted dirt.

3) Clear obstructions in drainpipes.
If water doesn’t drain freely through drainpipes, try flushing debris down them with a hose. If that doesn’t work, use a plumber’s auger (snake) to free and pull out debris from the bottom.
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1 comment:

tentangku said...

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