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Posted by: Samuel Hirshfield on March 3, 2013
Though often overlooked, cleaning out your gutters can be essential in protecting your wallet in the long run. So what are some long term problems you may encounter if gutters become too full?
Why clean out gutters?
The first and most obvious problem when gutters become cluttered with debris and then rainfall, is sheer weight! Though sturdy, too much material can cause a complete collapse of your drainage system which can be very costly. Another damaging result of clogged gutters is water's natural tendency to move towards a path of least resistance. If it just so happens to be easier for water to creep into your roof / house, it can cause rot and decrease gutter reliability.
Safe and easy steps for gutter cleaning
Step 1: Determine the scope of the project
Step 2: Rent a Boom Lift
Renting a boom lift for gutter cleaning is much faster than using a ladder. Head over to your local The Home Depot Rental and rent a towable JLG T350. Be sure to procure a safety harness prior to leaving The Home Depot.
Step 3: Place lift in a strategic location
When cleaning out your gutters, safety should be a top consideration. Situate the machine on level hard earth and ensure the area is free from overhead obstacles and power lines. Make sure you have read the Tool Tips and Owner’s Manual before heading up to clean!
Step 4: Prepare materials before ascent
Before you go up in the boom lift, be sure to have a hand trowel or a small tool for cleaning out those tough to reach spots. You will also want to use safety gloves and bring trash bags for disposal of the gutter debris and any rotted wood you may incur. A five in one tool is perfect for removing problem rot spots. If you have rotted wood, you should consider replacing the boards.
Step 5: Begin cleaning out gutters
Begin by removing material away from the gutter mouth. This will prevent any debris from falling down your downspout and clogging the system. You will incur quite a bit of dirt which can become heavy quickly, so don’t be afraid to cycle through garbage bags quickly.
Step 6: Add material to compost pile
The material found in your gutters can be a great addition to any compost pile. Generally made up of dirt, twigs and leaves, these moist materials will decompose quickly and can provide a great source of nutrients for future garden projects.
Step 7: Inspect and touch up gutters
Once cleaned out, spray down any remaining debris with a hose and inspect your gutter for damage. Keep an eye out for dings, loose screws, or any signs of rotted wood. This inspection could be the difference between changing a screw now, or having to replace your whole drainage system later!
These seven easy overview can save you money in the long run. With the ease of rental, and safety provided, renting a boom lift can turn a tough job into an efficient project. Have any questions regarding gutters or cleaning? Let us know!
* Pricing subject to change at certain locations.
The documentation within this section provides general safety information and operating instructions by equipment type. Specific controls, functionality and operating instructions can vary by brand, model and year. It is up to you, the operator, to ensure your own safety. This documentation is secondary to the manufacturer’s instructions provided to you within the operations manual located on each machine. If an operations manual is not available on the machine, please contact our 24/7 Customer Care Center at 1-888-COMPACT. The manuals can also be viewed and downloaded from our website at the following address http://compactpowerrents.com/Safety/.
Product specifications and prices are subject to change without notice or obligation. The photographs and/or drawings in this document are for illustrative purposes only. Refer to the appropriate Operator’s Manual for instructions on the proper use of this equipment. Failure to follow the appropriate Operator's Manual when using our equipment or to otherwise act irresponsibly may result in serious injury or death.