kahanaboy - morguefile

Gutter cleaning is a yucky job. Scooping up gooey leaves, sticks and who knows what else that landed up there can be time-consuming, gross and exhausting. The probem is that if you do not get the job done in a timely manner each autumn, Mother nature will hunt you down and cause those overflowing gutters to freeze.

What does this actually mean, you ask? Well, the frozen goo can work its way back into your house, thawing and re-freezing as it goes, until you, unknowingly, have a leak. If this is not nipped in the bud, it can be a costly roofing repair. Lucky you!

So, how do you avoid the damage and ensuing bill? Clean your gutters. Regularly. Religiously. That's right. You need to haul a window cleaning ladder and get some work done. Think of it as protecting your real estate investment. Think of it as getting some fresh air after a long week stuck in an office cubicle. Do what you want but get out there and clean your gutters.

A store that specializes in window cleaning equipment usually sells gutter cleaning gear. In addition to a sturdy window cleaning ladde, you'll need to make sure you get some sturdy gloves (not the yellow plastic dishwashing ones), a scoop for the leaves and some plastic bags (if you are good about re-cycling, you could get biodegradable bags and do the job right). They make gutter scoops in every shape and size imaginable. Some look like giant, plastic serving spoons while others look like a jai alai xistera (ok, strange reference but it's the best way to describe it).

GutterGetter from Detroit S...

GutterGetter from Detroit Sponge

See the resemblance?

Jai Alai ixstera
Source: Jesus Abizanda - flickr

Back To Those Gutters...

Sometimes you even luck out and all the leaves will be dry. If this is the case, fire up your leaf blower and blow that mess into your neighbor's yard. Kidding! I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

When you are finished with the gutters, head over to the downspouts. Try running water from the hose down through each downspout. If the water flows out freely, they are clear of debris. If not, there is a blockage that you need to work out. Use a plumber's "snake" (either yours or a rented one) and wiggle it around in the downspout until you can clear everything up.

That's it. An afternoon outside, standing atop a ladder and just saved you a very costly repair bill. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Now, get yourself a window cleaning kit and tackle that project next weekend.