There is no doubt that a good-looking commercial or residential building makes an impression upon a customer or a potential buyer. That is why it’s essential to keep all parts of your property in a well-maintained condition every season.
Regular gutter cleaning is important for keeping any type of property in a good condition. If you leave your gutters uncleaned for a long time, this may have negative effect for your property.
Different types of debris get caught inside the gutters and they need regular and proper clean ups. As debris accumulates inside our gutters over time, we need to clean it regularly. If this isn’t done, when a rainy season occurs, the excess of rain water cannot easily flow through the gutters due to the debris blockages.
The result can be water damage to different parts of the building’s structure and also mold and mildew damage. Also, the lack of regular gutter cleaning can damage the hangers and the brackets as the weight of clogged with debris gutters increases.
When cleaning aluminum gutters, you should not ignore the outside of the gutters too. Although they are made of aluminum, aluminum gutters require careful handling.
Gutters tend to clog with leaves and debris more often especially when there are trees and shrubs around the building. When the troughs of the gutters are filled with debris, the area outside the gutters is also likely to get stained with time if we aren’t cleaning them regularly.
One good way to protect your gutters from clogging is to use gutter guards. They can be easily attached to the gutters and will save you a number of clean-ups.
The cleaning method you are going to apply for your gutters should depend on the gutters’ material. In the case of aluminum gutters, you need also special cleaning approach. The process of cleaning aluminum gutters isn’t too complex. It doesn’t take much time in general and you should be ready cleaning your gutters in the same day.
To clean our aluminum gutters we don’t need to buy special equipment, we just need some basic cleaning supplies and a ladder.
So here we offer you simple steps to clean your aluminum gutters the right way
Prepare your workspace
Getting safety measures is important when cleaning aluminum gutters. It’s important to make sure you have a stable ladder that is tall enough to reach the gutters. Choose an area of the building where you think you will be most comfortable to clean the gutter lines.
Set a ladder
Place your ladder on a solid ground. If the area around your property is soft or landscaped, one good way to provide stability for your ladder is to use plywood. Put a piece of plywood under the ladder’s feet. This will decrease the risk of falling from the ladder.
Place a large tarp or a trash bin on the ground close to the ladder to throw easily the scooped up leaves and debris there. You can discard the leaves on a compost pile too.
Find the spot where the gutters are attached to the building with long nails and put the ladder there. The sturdiest spot for ladder support is around those attachment points.
You can either place the ladder against the gutters or the main structure of your property. If you choose to place on the building’s façade, do not lean it on the gutters.
If you place the ladder at a large distance from the nails, you may not be able to clean properly the gutter and also the ladder’s weight may crash the gutter.
If you choose to lean your ladder against the gutters, you should lean the ladder against the gutters close to a nail. Because at this spot the ladder will be most stable.
Finally, test the stability of the ladder. When you think it’s secured in place, climb on it and reach the spot you plan to work at. You should be able to lean to right and left safely without losing balance.
Cleaning the debris
Put gloves on your hands before starting to work as debris contain different particles and twigs that can hurt your hands. Get a small garden trowel. Then scoop out the clogged debris and leaves inside the gutters. Take as much gutter debris as you can in one scoop.
If you don’t have a small trowel at hand, you can use a plastic bottle for the debris instead. Pick up a bottle with a sturdy handle and cut part of its side and the bottom so that it’s shaped like a scoop.
When working with the trowel, be careful when you clean around downspouts and joints. Do not use too much pressure as it can cause damage to the connections of the downspouts and joints.’
Moving the ladder
You need to move your ladder around your home to clean all of the debris collected in the gutters. You need to perform a couple of cleaning steps for each gutter section before moving on to another section. When you are ready cleaning up one section of the gutters, move the ladder to a next section to continue scooping out debris.
Since scooping alone may not help us remove all of the debris build-up, you may need to use a garden hose to flush the left debris out of the gutters. Use a sprayer attachment to do this.
Rinse the gutters by spraying them from the ground. You should spray one gutter section at a time. Otherwise your gutters will dry before you have cleaned them properly.
Another way for rinsing your gutters is to spray the entire gutter line. Then turn off the hose and use a wet rag or cloth to wipe up the gutters. This will help you remove the stains and dust build-up on the gutters properly. Do this step before the application of the cleaner.
Now the next step is to apply a gutter cleaner. Spray gutter cleaner on a small section of your gutters on their outside surface. Most home stores offer such cleaners.
There are some general purpose cleaners that are suitable for cleaning aluminum gutters. Depending on the severity level of dirt on your gutters, you should pick up the right product.
Avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia or some abrasive particles. You should also stay away from products that have paint removing abilities. These products are harmful to aluminum gutters and can damage their structure.
Use the gutter cleaner by holding the bottle a few inches from the gutter surface. Use an ample amount of spray cleaner to remove all of the dirt build-up on the gutter.
Let the cleaner work for around 10 seconds and then wipe it off. This will allow the solution to dissolve properly the debris build-up. If you see that the cleaner starts to run off, wipe it quickly.
If you found out there are mildew stains on your gutters, you can use a bleach cleaner solution for spot-treating them. Spray the bleach solution on the gutter spot that is dirty. Let it soak for about 5 min. and then get the hose and rinse the cleaning solution.
This will guarantee immaculate result. When there isn’t debris inside the gutters, rain water will pour freely inside them and you will avoid water damage.
Get a brush that has rough bristles and it’s important to be non-metal. By scrubbing you can easily remove any dirt build-up or stains. A standard household scrubbing brush will do the job.
Avoid using a brush with metal bristles because it can cause scratches on the gutters’ surface and damage a protective coating for gutters.Be careful when you clean with the brush around joints. If you apply too much pressure with the brush, you risk damaging your gutters.
If there are stubborn stains on your gutters, you may need to scrub for a minute or longer to clean the stains completely. If your gutters have mild stains, then the dirt should go away easily only from the gutter cleaner’s action.
Now as you are ready with the scrubbing, you should wipe the cleaner from the gutters. Fill a medium size bucket with hot water and get an old cloth for cleaning.
Rub the aluminum gutters with the wet cloth. This will help with loosening any remaining debris on the surface of the gutters leaving them perfectly cleaned.
Now, you should rinse the gutters for one last time to clean any dirt residue or remaining cleaner solution from them. You can use your garden hose if you don’t have an easy access to hot water on the outside of your property.
Find a hose that can reach all sides of the property so that you can easily spray your gutters with the hose as you stand on the ground.
All these steps should be repeated for each section of your property to get your gutters in tip-top condition. So, depending on the size of your property and how dirty your gutter lines are, you should be able to complete your gutter cleaning in a couple of hours or longer.