Gutter guard and roof cleaning is one of the hardest things to do for most home owners. While some people like the experience of getting their hands dirty and maintaining the home themselves, going up the roof presents different challenges. At best, it is a very tedious experience, and at worst scary and very difficult to pull off successfully. Safety is one of the things that put most people off, and it starts with ladder safety.
Before going up the ladder, it should be inspected first. Wooden ladders are generally unsafe because they become unstable and wobbly. The ladder used has to be strong enough to support both the weight of the person climbing and the bucket used in collecting the debris. A four legged step ladder is recommended and should be preferred to a three legged one which could be unstable. The ladder should be thoroughly inspected for defects, loose parts or dents.
Sometimes people inspect the ladder but forget about the soil on the region it will stand. If the soil is unstable, the ladder might slip or sink in, which might unsettle the balance of the person using it. When up on the ladder cleaning the roof and the leaf guard personal safety should also be maintained at all time. Sometimes accidents happen not because of the equipment but because of carelessness. The three point rule when using a ladder can be helpful. One should try as much as possible to have both legs and one hand firmly on the ladder at any one time.
The gutter guard cleaning process should begin step by step. The first step should involve cleaning out the downspout and making sure there is no clogging. This way when the actual cleaning begins, the water and dirt is able to run down. The roof should also be raked out completely lest another downpour bring things back to the same situation it was before the cleaning began.
Protection is important when cleaning the gutter guard and the roof. Eye protection is the first step, since one never knows what will come flying out of the roof and the gutter. There have been cases of birds, bats, rats and even bees flying out of the gutter or the roof. If the cleaning process involves walking on the roof, shoes with rubber soles tend to stick onto the roof and prevent slipping. For wooden roofs, a good option can be spiked shoes. Gloves can also protect the hands from damage from dead leaves and painful cuts.
First, there should be scooping of solid materials and debris. There is specialized scoop equipment which can be purchased from the typical hardware stores. This removes the thick and solid particles from the gutter guard first. The next step could be scrubbing the gutter guard down or hosing it down with a pipe with water at high temperatures. Metal scoops can damage the bottom of the gutter and result in leaking. The downspout should also be hosed down to make sure it is as clear as possible.