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OutdoorHow To Clean Gutters (The Safe Way)

Kennards Hire is encouraging Australians to get their mind in the gutters this season by giving them a good clean-out. But while it sounds easy, cleaning gutters can be dangerous work. So, we’ve asked the experts to lay down some handy tips on how to clean gutters safely and effectively.

But first …

Why Do Gutters Need Cleaning?

Gutters have the important job of managing the flow of rainwater away from your home, so they must be kept clear. If they become blocked with plant debris, a range of issues can crop up, including damage to the interior and exterior of a property in the event of heavy rainfall.

Also, blocked gutters can be a serious fire hazard in the warmer months, which is why it’s a good idea to clear them out ahead of peak summer.

Gutters full of plant debris

How To Clean Gutters: A Step-By-Step Guide

Luckily, gutters usually only need to be cleaned twice a year. And although it’s time-consuming, it’s crucial to do it safely to protect yourself and your home.

Kennards talks us through the steps involved in cleaning those gutters the right way.

Check Your Surroundings

Gutters filled with leaves

Before you start, check the area for powerlines that may get in the way of you working safely and, if you have any concerns, call in the professionals. It’s also best practice to let someone know you are heading up on the roof.

Set Up Your Ladder Safely

Ladder resting against house to clean gutters

There are several safety tips to remember if you’re using a ladder to reach your gutters and roof. Firstly, do not take shortcuts when setting up; it is essential to take time out to plan where you intend to ascend safely. Also, don’t lean your ladder against an unstable surface (especially if you are using an extension ladder). Don’t set it up in wind or rain, and don’t have any more than one person on the ladder at a time.

Firm, dry and flat ground is the way to go when you set your ladder up and if possible, have a mate give you a hand and hold it steady where needed.

If your home is too high or has an awkward angle for a ladder, or even if you just want to ensure you are choosing the safest option, you could consider hiring some scaffolding. This stable structure can be helpful for jobs that require you to be up high for an extended period, including cleaning your gutters, washing windows or painting.

Don’t Overreach When Cleaning Gutters

Using a ladder to clean the gutters

Once your ladder is up, ensure your actions don’t jeopardise your safety. It’s tempting to get as much done as possible without readjusting your ladder but reaching too far on either side is a major safety hazard.

Protect Your Hands And Eyes

Always hold onto the ladder with one hand while cleaning gutters and ensure your other hand is protected using gloves, as you never know what could be lodged in there.

Eyewear is also advised for the same reason, as there can be small plant and dirt particles that you don’t want to blow into your eyes. You can also choose to use a small plastic scoop such as a trowel to help you remove the debris.

Ensure you have a bucket handy to place all debris in while you go along so you don’t have to collect it all from the bottom of the ladder towards the end of the job.

Flush Out Remaining Debris

cleaning gutters with a hose

Once you’ve removed as much as you can by hand, use a hose to clear the remaining debris. This will also show up any leaks in your guttering system.

When you have removed and scrubbed all areas of debris, dismount safely and slowly. Ensure you are holding onto your ladder or scaffolding at all times.

All done! Now that you know how to clean gutters properly, your home will look tidier and be less susceptible to fire or rain damage. So bring on summertime!

Your local Kennards Hire branch is an excellent place to learn more about the right equipment for tackling a roof DIY and other outdoor projects.

Need to improve your home’s perimeter? Check out how to build a timber fence in just one weekend!

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