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LeafGuard Iowa

Gutter Cleaning Tools for Winter

17 January 2016

Prevent Damage to Your Gutters

As a homeowner, you probably recognize the need to clean out your gutters in spring and fall. Those leaves, sticks, acorn and dirt can really hamper the effects of free-flowing water through your gutter system. However, winter is a game changer due to the addition of cold, snow, and ice.

Here we will go over some ways to clean and prevent damage to your gutters when you notice signs of a clog in the winter, such as ice dams and large concentrations of icicles. Use these helpful gutter cleaning tools for assistance.

Icicles form on gutters when the snow melts and refreezes.

ROOF RAKES

Extendable roof rakes feature long handles that can reach varying lengths, ideal for raking snow off your roof, eaves, and gutters from the ground or a ladder. This eliminates the need for getting up onto the roof in icy and snowy conditions, which poses a safety hazard. Roof rakes are available at your local home improvement store but be aware, there could be a run on those rakes after a particularly big snow storm. That’s why you should buy one early and have it ready for when you need it. Heavy snow that is allowed to accumulate on a roof can cause leaks and cave-ins, not to mention stress on the gutters.

WET/DRY VAC

If you haven’t had snow yet in your area, you can use your wet/dry vac to get out the debris. A leaf blower will also work, provided the leaves aren’t wet and compact. Heck, if there’s no snow, you can grab gutter debris with gutter tongs, a rotary gutter cleaning system, power washer, telescoping wands, gutter cleaning kits, heat tape or cables, gutter brushes, and even snow melt tabs you can throw up on the roof. However, one thing is certain, and that’s the need for a safe ladder. Speaking of ladders…

SAFE LADDERS

Extendable ladders are great for cleaning snow off the roof and gutters or removing debris; however, you can’t just use any old ladder and expect to be safe. You need one with stabilizers that are essential for working at two stories and above. Don’t stand directly on the stabilizers, as they are not load-bearing, cautions The Family Handyman. That said, it’s always best to have a buddy secure the ladder and wait at the bottom in case you need help in an emergency. A buddy can help direct you where you need to go, as well.

Hopefully, this list of gutter cleaning tools will help you prevent clogs, ice dams and other problems that can occur with your gutters in winter. If you live in the central Iowa area, consult with the professionals at Home Solutions of Iowa, and we can help you find the best solution for you.

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