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Safety On The Roof Is Mandatory, Not Optional

Safe roof cleaning

Once you decide to tackle the gutter-downspout job, it's important to keep safety in the front of your mind. Too often, we read of terrible accidents because someone cut some safety corner to complete the job as quickly as possible.

Don't be that person - you know them - the one who uses an 8-foot step ladder, climbs to the top rung, and attempts to hoist themselves onto the roof to perform routine roof cleaning or pressure washing. Don't be that person!

Invest in an extension ladder and make sure someone foots the ladder on your way up and on your way down is imperative. It's also vital that this person verbally communicates with you during the critical moments when you go from ladder to roof or from roof to ladder.

The same goes for gutter cleaning, a facet of roof cleaning that is more common than treating traditional or ceramic shingles or aluminum sheeting. Most homeowners grab a ladder, a bucket, and a trowel, and a couple of times a year, remove leaves, grit, and grime that often build up and slow roof drainage.

It's no fun, and hardly anyone wants to do it, but still, you push forward.

Pressure washing is one way to rid your roof's drainage systems of debris that can clog openings and drain pipes. By running a strong stream of water through the gutters, much of the gunk will either fly out or be washed out. But the job doesn't stop here. You're still up on the ladder or the roof.

Here are few gutter cleaning tips from pressure washing pros:

  • Make sure the people around you know you'll be completing this task.
  • If you're standing on the roof, wear rubber-soled shoes.
  • Wear protective equipment such as goggles and gloves.
  • Unclog the downspouts before you start; pressure washing can accomplish this.

It's also essential to remove leaves and branches from the roof before you start cleaning the gutters.

What To Do With The Crud You Remove From The Gutters

Since most substances that find their way into your gutters are natural and organic -- dirt, leaves, branches, and tree pitch -- you might consider purchasing a mulcher. The substances already have begun to rot, and anyone who's spent any time around mulch knows what it smells like.

By adding a very moist combination from your gutters to a mulching container or even your mulch pile (cover it with grass clippings and dead lives to minimize the stench), you'll have healthy potting soil and plant fertilizer in less than a year.

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