Cleaning Your Eavestrough Safely

Posted by Derek Perzylo on August 31, 2017

Cleaning Your Eavestrough: How to Do it Safely

The purpose of your eavestrough is to drain water from the roof, directing it away from your home to prevent any water-based damage.

While most homeowners are well-versed in clearing blockages and removing foliage, far fewer perform the job with much consideration for their own health – let’s look at how to clean your eavestrough safely and effectively, the best of both worlds.

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Get a Proper Ladder, and Secure It

The vast majority of serious injuries related to roof maintenance come from improper use of a ladder. First off, always try to have someone mind the base of the ladder if you can – this makes sure that any slips are countered immediately, considerably reducing the risk of a fall.

Keep your centre of gravity near the ladder (i.e. don’t reach out too far) and make sure to place the feet on flat, solid ground with a high amount of friction between the two. Wooden ladders are not recommended they are generally the least dependable – try to buy an aluminium or fiberglass.

Wear the Right Clothing

The main piece of apparel is a good, strong pair of protective gloves. Gutters are rarely filled with just leaves and twigs – you may have to contend with small animals (like mice, bats, birds, rodents and manner of insects), faeces and old foliage, all of which could have been fermenting for months.

Safe to say, there will be some bad bacteria in there – the gloves are designed to protect any of that contacting your skin.

In addition, there will be sharp edges on the eavestroughs, tiles, screws and flashing, and if you’re scooping by hand you’ll be thankful for the protection. In addition, a cut with that amount of bacteria could easily lead to infection for an uncovered hand.

Use a Scoop and Some Tarp

While you may have to use your hands for some remnants, using a scoop will be very effective for removing the bulk of debris.

Unless you don’t mind showering your garden with all your eavestrough gunk, get a large bucket or sheet of tarpaulin and lay it on the ground – do your best to aim every handful into that space so it can be easily collected at the end of the day.

Wash It All Down with a Hose

Once you’ve removed all the debris, dig out the garden hose and flush anything remaining into the downspouts – also direct the hose on high-power directly into the downspouts to clear any remaining muck from in there. This is just performs a final cleanse to ensure you’ve done a thorough job. In addition, you can hose down the roof before starting so get any extra debris taken care of.

Consider Gutter Guards

These are designed to cover your gutters from debris but allow in rainwater through their porous or meshed skin. We install Alu-Rex leaf guards due to their incredible strength and proficiency in keeping eavestroughs clean.

Most gutter-guards, including the Alu-Rex system, require that they are installed at the same time as the eavestrough. In the case of Alu-Rex, they act as hangars as well as gutter-guards.

In Eavestroughing, Maintenance & Repairs