Gutters that are not flowing properly due to clogs, especially during the winter time can be a problem waiting to happen. Gutter systems are designed for collection of rain water from the roof and to transfer/carry it away from the building. It is very important to have your gutters clean and clear every year for best results.
Cleaning gutters usually requires ladder work. Ladder woks is dangerous. Having a solid ladder that you are comfortable with is highly recommended. Using A-frame ladders to clean gutters is not recommended unless you are able to place the gutter on a level surface such as a deck. Do not place the ladder on concrete driveways, walkway or patios as these surfaces will be sloped. I highly recommend using an extension ladder with stand-off bracket/bars. The stand off bracket will make a world of difference for you. This eliminates the need to place the ladder directly on the gutter. Please see picture below of our technicians using an extension ladder with the stand off brackets. He is able to place his body above the gutter line making it safe and easier to clean the gutters out. The weight is distributed to the roof surface and not on the gutter or siding.
A 5-gallon bucket with a hook or rope to attach to the ladder or gutter during the cleaning is the most effective way to go. Manually remove the debris by hand starting with the upper most gutters first. It is a good idea to use gloves. Then use a garden hose with water to spray the fine debris and most importantly to test the downspouts/drains to make sure they are clear. If you run into a clogged downspout it is best to use the garden hose water and spray directly into the drain opening. If this does not unclog the downspout, I recommend using a plumber’s snake. You can purchase a manual type plumbers snake for $10.00-$40.00 at the home depot or local hardware store. If the snake is unable to remove the clog it is best then to inspect the downspout to locate where the clog is located. If you tap the downspout and it sounds solid, then most likely that section is clogged. I like to start by tapping the top of the downspout and working my way down until I hear a hollow sound from tapping. If you are able to locate the clog and you are comfortable taking the downspout apart doing so will most likely provide access to clear the clog. If you are unable take apart the downspout it is time to call in a professional handyman or gutter cleaning service to help. There is a possibility that the ground drain is clogged that the downspout drains into. This is another situation where you can use the snake, but most likely you will need a professional plumber to clean out the ground drain.
If you are in the Seattle area and are in need of any gutter, roof or exterior project please visit our web page chinookservices.com