Spring cleaning: time to flush the gutters!

You really have to do it before the spring rains come. Just make time, get your mind in the gutters, and clean them. ☺
One reason you want to get the stuff out of them is to make sure rainwater flows away from the house. In a cold climate, it could break your home’s foundation when it freezes.
Another reason to do it now: If the gutters are clogged, rainwater will spill over and rot the fascia board, the soffits, and the plywood under the roof. It could cause a wall or ceiling to crack.
The most important factor in the project is safety. You might not like the idea of moving the ladder every few feet, but getting up on the roof to do the cleanout is a lot more dangerous. If you don’t have a ladder that’s high enough, one can be rented.
On a single-story house, you might chance going up on the roof but only if it doesn’t have a steep pitch and you have shoes with good traction.
Place the ladder on a secure base. Put it against the house, not the gutter, which can break loose.
Get a helper to hold the ladder and climb up until you can look down into the gutter. Be careful to avoid any power or electrical lines. Use glove-covered hands to scoop out the muck or use a garden trowel to clear horizontal run areas. You can empty the leaves into a plastic bag or bucket or fling them down onto a tarp.
Clean the downspouts so water has a place to go. Scoop stuff out of the top, then run water down the hole. Water pressure will remove almost anything. If necessary, remove the clog with a wire hanger or a broomstick.
Run a hose along the gutters to remove anything you missed.
Spring home maintenance
* Patch peeling paint. Look for cracking or flaking paint on the exterior of your home. Scrape off the area, then prime and paint it with two coats. Small touchups will push back the day when you need a full paint job.
* Renew your lawn. Fertilize and patch bare spots, or throw in seed before vigorous growth months come around.
* Clean the chimney. If you used your fireplace very much over winter, cleaning will prevent chimney fires and alert you to problems, such as a cracked flue, which has to be corrected before next winter. You could pay less in spring or get better service now than in fall.
* Change filters in the air conditioning unit. If filters aren’t clean, the unit will use more electricity to cool the house.

Thank you to our Home Improvement Guide Sponsor: Chehalis Sheet Metal Heating & Cooling.

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