Professional services are rarely cheap and sometimes certain businesses are even up to take advantage of your urgent need and take their quote a couple of notches higher. Even gutter cleaning prices that are not even traditionally that expensive can cause a substantial dent in your budget especially if you do not know how to properly negotiate.
But, say, you really just do not have the budget to hire professionals to do the job and your gutters and down pipes need urgent cleaning (and perhaps even some repair); the good news is, you can actually do the job yourself. There are so many instructions for DIY available online anyway and you definitely will find a method that’s very doable for you. If your effort pays off, then that’s just great, but if it doesn’t, then you can begin saving for professional gutter cleaning because you have no other choice – but the thing here is to give it a try.
There are tips you can find online but to help you with your DIY attempt, here are basic tips on cleaning and maintenance.
- It’s all just a matter of getting the goop out. What’s the goop? Well, that’s a combination of dust, twigs, leaves, dead insects, small animal excrement, and other tiny, random debris.To do this bit, make sure that you have all the important tools with you (trowel, gloves, ladder, etc.), then climb a ladder (make sure you have someone spotting you) and scoop the goop out. Once all dirt has been scooped out, blast the gutters and down pipes for further cleaning; this will reveal if there are remaining clogs that prevent water from flowing out properly or parts that require replacements or repairs.
- Commercial water blasting is effective, especially for really dry debris and for cleaning remnants of the goop in your gutters and down pipes. The full force of water of an ultra- high pressure hose can easily push a lot of elements out (blasts of water are great window cleaners as well), but if you do not have a commercial water blaster at home, a regular garden hose with a heavy-duty nozzle (the type with different water release settings) would do; the aim is not as precise, but the pressure is often enough to push debris out.
- You also need to consider installing gutter spikes to prevent birds and other animals from turning your gutter into their home. Spikes also offer the advantage of easier cleaning; just slide them out and dirt slides out with them.
- Address sources of leaks in the gutters and downspouts. With a chisel, scrape the old caulking out, and clean and dry the area completely. Use a good sealant to cover the cracks and holes.
- Now, if the gutters are very old and covered with rust, choose aluminium and vinyl replacements. But if you’re dealing with budget constraints, get the rust off by sanding the gutters down, then paint them with a good primer and follow up with rust-inhibiting paint.