Why and how to maintain a gutter?

Once a year, it is recommended to inspect all of its rainwater evacuation equipment and to remove the waste that cause obstructions. 6 tips to clean, repair and protect your gutter.

Why maintain gutters?

Exposed to the surrounding nature, the gutter clogs over the seasons with dead leaves, fir thorns, small branches… The weight of the water can cause significant damage such as you were or a broken from the gutter. Then the water can flow along the wall, damage the facade, infiltrate the walls and even weaken the fondations of the building. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of the gutter and avoid substantial and expensive work caused by repairs or changes of equipment. We advise you to clean your gutter during the summer to take advantage of the best weather conditions.

1. Have the right equipment

Work in height is no small feat. Before starting maintenance work, make sure you have the right tools:

  • Gloves
  • A scaffolding or a ladder with front spacer
  • A safety harness
  • Several buckets or containers to collect waste
  • A hook to hang the buckets
  • A gutter shovel
  • A cylindrical brush that scrapes the inside of the profiles
  • Handled pliers for straightening gutters
  • A garden hose long enough to reach the gutters
  • A pressure washer (optional but if you have one it will be very useful)
  • Namely that cleaning kits gutters are commercially available. Ask a salesperson for advice on use and to find out if these products are suitable for your type of gutter.

No scale?

If you do not have a ladder or if you suffer from vertigoyou can use commercially available tools – like cylindrical brushes or gutter scrapers – mounted on handles telescopic. These make it possible to work up to 5 meters high, with great precision since the tools are adjustable to the desired angle.

2. Secure access to gutters

The gutters are mainly located in height. To clean and maintain them, you must access them safely. security. If it is imperative not to be subject to vertigo, it is also necessary to equip yourself correctly to accomplish the different stages without putting yourself in danger:

  • L’scaffolding is the best option because this installation ensures a more comfortable and safe intervention. Alternatively, you can use a ladder.
  • L’ladder – with non-slip feet – must exceed your gutter by more than one meter to allow you to access the interior without difficulty. Avoid leaning the ladder against the gutters at the risk of damaging them and falling in the event of breakage. Take care to maintain a sufficient angle between the ladder and the wall and for this, use a retractor of facade. Wear gloves.
  • The harness safety is a mandatory precaution if you are working more than 6 meters away.
  • The presence of a second person is strongly recommended for all work carried out at height. This reinforcement at the foot of the ladder will increase safety conditions.

3. Clean the gutters

Take the pressure washer or the garden hose, push it down the descent and let it progress to chase the corks and clean the walls. Particular attention should be paid to the level of elbows where the leaves and small branches gather. Once the downspouts have been emptied, rinse them with water. Then place the scaffolding or ladder at the top entry of the downspouts. Once you are up high, remove the plant waste using your gutter shovel. If moss has become encrusted, scrape it off with the brush. Complete this cleaning with a water jet. The water must circulate and evacuate without difficulty. Then move your ladder one meter and clean each new area in the same way.

4. Inspect the gutters

When your gutters are clean, it is time to check that they do not contain any you were. To do this, block the flow on either side of your gutter (using a container turned upside down towards the drain, for example), then run water. If you find no leaks, you can proceed to stripping. This last step will give your gutter a second life. You will need to use a stripper suitable for your aluminum, zinc, PVC or galvanized steel gutter. Apply the product using a cloth and rub the exterior until it takes on a sparkling appearance.

5. Repair leaks and other damage

Did the cleaning reveal any anomalies? If the repairs seem too important, it is best to seek the advice of a specialist. If it’s small holes or fine cracks, quick and easy solutions exist.

  • A leak: check that all the parts of your gutter are properly fitted.
  • A defective connection: resolder or glue the two parts.
  • A faulty seal: replace it.
  • A pierced gutter: seal the crack or hole using resistant patches or a mastic special cover.
  • A major crack: if the putty does not hold, cover the crack with a sheet of glass and seal with putty.

These solutions remain temporary, it will be necessary to consider replacing the damaged part as soon as possible. On the other hand, zinc gutters are difficult to repair as they require soldering with tin or aluminum sheets. In this case, call a professional.

6. Protect your gutter

Products available in DIY stores guarantee the protection of your gutter so that it is not clogged or damaged by external hazards:

  • The plate is placed at the top of the evacuation duct. The accessory allows water to pass through and, thanks to its rounded and curved shape, retains deposits likely to obstruct the passage.
  • The leaf stop comes in the form of a tube mesh to clip along the gutter. A simple and effective method.
  • The dolphin hoops constitute an effective barrier to reinforce the descent and protect it from breakage.
  • The duct protector is a semi-cylindrical accessory to be placed on downspouts likely to be damaged by shocks.

These easy-to-use accessories will save you time when maintaining your gutter.

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