When the colder seasons roll around, homeowners need to make sure they're prepared for the weather ahead. One important task you should take care of? Inspecting and cleaning your gutters and downspouts - all that rain needs to go somewhere, and gutters and downspouts direct it away from your house. With that in mind, take a look at these steps of cleaning out your gutters and downspout before fall:
The first step to cleaning your gutters is setting up a sturdy ladder and using it to support you as you clear away leaves and debris with your hands or a small tool, like a trowel. Just remember to wear some gardening gloves - over the spring and summer seasons, leaves, sticks, rain and other materials likely all combined to create muddy gunk, so the job will be pretty dirty. If there are lots of leaves and other pieces of debris on your roof, it's a good idea to clear those off as well, since they can easily slide into your gutters and block them.
Don't feel like you have to do the whole cleaning job with your hands - a high-powered jet of water from your hose is a great way to clean out some of the gunk remnants and wash the interiors and exteriors of your gutters. Aim the jet down each of your downspouts, as well - this will clear them out, but it will also allow you to test the downspouts to make sure they're working properly. Just be careful with this step - some gutters are made of lightweight plastic, which can crack or rupture if your water stream is too powerful.
Finally, walk around your home, and check all of your downspout drains to ensure nothing is lodged in them. All of the drains should be set up to direct rainfall away from your home's foundation, which is crucial for avoiding flooding, so make sure they're discharging water properly.
If you aren't comfortable on a ladder or your downspouts aren't working they way they should be, you may want to consider calling your local Roto-Rooter professional - Roto-Rooter offers several outdoor plumbing services, including downspout cleaning and repair.
Need more outdoor plumbing tips? Check out our list of outdoor plumbing tips and tricks.