How to Unclog Your Home’s Guttering

Do you think you might have a blockage going on in your guttering? Perhaps the water isn’t draining away quite as it is meant to, or you’re getting dripped on by an annoying leak each time you dare to walk beneath it? There are lots of little signs that point in the direction of a blocked gutter system, or perhaps even a broken one, but they’re problems that are quite easily solved once you have the know-how.

Step one: You must work out where the problem lies. In some cases, this will be obvious — a visible leak from the connection of two guttering sections, during a spell of heavy rain. In other cases, however, the damage won’t be obvious. It will call for a trip up the ladder (that you’ll need to borrow, buy or hire if you don’t already own one) to get up close and personal. There’s a chance you might also need to take the guttering apart, and potentially reinstall it/a new one.

When was the last time you took a closer look at your guttering?
Step two: Make a note of all the things that appeared to be wrong with the guttering, to the best of your knowledge. This could be things like — moss starting to form, garden debris and leaves, standing water, splits or breaks, sections that don’t meet properly, and more. While you’re clearing out your guttering, it just makes sense to attend to any other problems while you’re there. Otherwise, you’ll only need to do it yourself, or hire someone to come in and do it when it gets worse. (Which it will, if you ignore it.)

Step three: Make sure that you have all the tools you’ll need for the jobs noted down. Gloves are a smart choice, and you should also consider wearing some protective eye gear … just in case bits of guttering mess go flying, which they can and probably will. You’ll also need to consider the kind of tools you’ll need. A jet washer can work to clean the roof and guttering, but the sharp force can actually do more harm than good, causing bent or completely broken eavestroughs, busted shingles, and more. We don’t recommend using a jet washer up on the roof (any part of it), unless you have received guidance from a professional. Even some professionals are wary when it comes to using high-pressure cleaning systems on these vulnerable areas. Moss and other hard-to-grab mess in the gutter can be removed using a scrubbing brush (soft bristled), but you’ll want to be fairly light with the amount of force you use. It doesn't take a lot of pressure for things to start going wrong.

Step four: If you’ve done all of the above — removing all of the trash and debris that has built up in your guttering — but you still seem to have a blockage somewhere, it’s time to check the downspout. The good news is that the downspout can be removed from the rest of the structure fairly easily, and then reinstalled just as easily. You can also push things through the downspout to force out whatever has clogged it up, or use a jet washer to force it through. You should be careful with this, however; it is not uncommon to find birds, mice, rats, and other critters inside the downspout, adding to the blockage.

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