Scoop out the Gunk
For the past 6 months (or longer), your gutters have collected everything the weather has thrown at you: twigs, wet leaves, and mud have accumulated into layers of sludge that are now filling your gutters and preventing them from working correctly. The first thing you need to do is grab a tall sturdy ladder, some rubber gloves, and a hand shovel.
Bring a sturdy bag or lay a tarp below you to collect the debris and start scooping. Work your way through the length of your gutters dislodging and removing any muck that has collected.
Take Advantage of the View
Now that you have empty gutters, take a moment to survey your entire home from the roof down. Look for loose shingles and signs of water damage around the roof, windows, and siding. Inspect your gutters for wear and tear, and be sure that there are no areas that are bent or sagging. Ensure that all joints are intact and secure, and immediately repair or replace any problem areas.
Give Them a Test Run
Once you have cleaned out all visible debris and inspected for damage it’s time to grab your garden hose. Run water through the gutters from several locations to observe each length of gutter and downspout. Flushing the gutter system is important for several reasons.
First, it helps to wash away any remaining dirt and debris. Second, it helps you identify any worn areas that may leak or sag—and third, it flushes out your downspouts.
If you are uncertain about a hidden clog, drop in a small rubber ball or other object that should be able to pass through the downspout freely. If the ball doesn’t pass through, there is some debris stopping up the works.
Stop Worrying About Gutter Maintenance Once and For All
Let’s be honest—that was awful, right? The ladder was high, the gutters were gross, and you still haven’t had the opportunity to start on your garden. Consider investing in gutter protection to keep your system clog-free all year long. Gutter guards such as SmartCover are easy, affordable and virtually maintenance free. They are more reliable than any fast fix from the home improvement store, and they are the best way to keep you out of the gutters next spring.