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How to Clean a Blocked Gutter?

Does your house have blocked or damaged gutters and downpipes? Have you noticed that when there is a large downfall of rain that the gutters on your flat roof will often overflow with gallons of water?

When there is an overflow of water down the outside walls of your home it can penetrate to the interior walls of your house causing dampness. This in turn can cause damage to your brickwork and/or mortar joints.

To avoid this problem, you will need to clean your guttering by clearing out moss and debris which can block the gutters, causing them to overflow.

When was the last time you checked your gutters?

Often the best time to clear your gutters is the end of Autumn once the leaves have fallen, and before the winter rains.

Spring/Summer is also a good time to check them as the good lighting provided by the sun allows home owners to check for any cracks or areas of slight damage that may not hold up during winter. This gives you an opportunity to fix the problem spots now, before any serious damage is caused down the track.

However, most home owners haven't cleared their gutters for several years so anytime of the year is a good time of year if that's the case.




Here are some tips to help you with cleaning and checking your gutters for damage:

First and foremost, when cleaning your gutters you must ensure your own personal safety. You will need to use a ladder, so it is best to do it in dry weather conditions and when it's not too windy.

It is important that all home owners are aware of the safety issues, so we have listed a few here for you.

* Do not struggle with an extension ladder on your own. Get help

* Remember the leaning ladder rule: position the foot of the ladder one measure out at the bottom for every four measures in height.

* Position the ladder on a firm, level surface.

* Make sure you rest the top of the ladder against something solid.

* Never lean a ladder against guttering or on a window sill as these will allow your ladder to slide sideways.

* If you need to work in these areas, use a pre-fitted stand-off which maintains stability.

* If you're planning to work above single story height, secure the bottom and upper part of the ladder with rope or straps around the stiles, never from the rungs, remembering to keep loose ends away from your feet to avoid tripping.

* Move the ladder rather than over-reach.

*It is extremely dangerous to lean out to reach a part of the gutter.

* Make sure you wear sensible shoes and never wear sandals, high heels, slippers or work in bare feet.

What You will Need?

* A small garden trowel.

* A poking stick

* A bucket

* A length of stiff wire or a net curtain wire.




What to do next?

1. Look inside your gutter and scoop out any debris into your bucket.

2. Check the gutter for cracks or broken brackets.

3. Any broken or cracked parts can be fairly easily replaced and all parts are sold in most good DIY shops. If there is a blocked gutter or downpipe

If you have a blockage in your down-pipe, get a length of stiff wire or net curtain wire and poke this down the pipe until the blockage is cleared and all the debris and leaves and anything else fall out at the bottom.

Prevent blocked gutters and downpipes

To prevent your down pipe from becoming blocked - form a ball from some chicken wire and place this in the top of the pipe so it is wedged and does not slip down into the pipe. This will trap leaves and moss so all you need to do next time is clear this wire / filter ball.


Copyright (c) 2013 Strong Life Gutters and Roofing

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