Gutter cleaning is an important home maintenance task that prevents water damage to the house, foundation and structure. If you have trees near your home, it is recommended to clean your gutters bi-annually (or more frequently if there are lots of leaves in your area). Gutter cleaning can be difficult and dangerous if done incorrectly since you will likely be working on a ladder. Luckily, there are many options for homeowners to make the job easier and safer.
One of the most popular options for homeowners is to rent a power washer from a local hardware store. There are also professional Reston power washing services that can be hired by the hour or by the job. These groups may have special detergent solutions that are formulated to be used for different types of house siding, such as vinyl, brick or wood.
When using a power washer for house siding, it is recommended to start at the top of the home and work your way down. This ensures that the nozzle is not too close to the surface and avoids damaging it. Additionally, it is always best to use a nozzle with a wide coverage pattern and not a narrow one, which will only target small areas and won’t remove the dirt as well.
Another option is to hire a professional Reston gutter cleaner. This service will usually charge by the hour and will include the use of a truck-mounted power washer and a ladder. These services are typically a more cost effective option than renting a power washer and doing it yourself.
If you decide to do it yourself, the following are some tips on how to clean your gutters:
Make sure the ladder is placed in a safe location and secured. This is especially important if the gutters are high off the ground and if you have overhanging trees nearby. Always have a buddy with you in case something goes wrong while you are on the ladder. Wear safety gear to protect yourself from debris, pests/insects and chemicals. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants and rubber gloves.
Lastly, use a garden trowel or a shop vacuum outfitted with a gutter-cleaning attachment ($30, The Home Depot) to scoop out the light buildup of debris and deposit it into a bucket. For heavy buildup, a pressure washer with a fine-mist nozzle may be required to blast away the grime.
After your gutters are cleaned, it is recommended to rinse them with a hose until the water runs clear. You should also rinse the downspouts and check that they are clear of clogs. A clogged downspout can lead to water damage to your roof and foundation. A plumber’s snake or a garden auger can be helpful for removing clogs, but if the problem persists, contact a professional to handle it.