Clogged Gutters Leaking Gutters Don't Worry About Nothing

by Clarence Boddicker
(Detroit)


Clogged gutters leaking gutters don't worry about nothing. All that's really required to do this job is the where whatever to get up on a ladder, and somebody to help you maneuver the ladder. If you feel queasy about the whole thing, don't do it. Nervousness could cause an accident. If you do go up, make sure you use a good ladder. If you're getting a new one, get aluminum it's light, yet strong. A 16-foot extension ladder can handle the jobs on most homes. Also, while you're up there, have someone hold the ladder at the bottom while you're at the top; or put something heavy against the bottom of the ladder on the outside. Then there's no real chance the bottom an slide out. (Caution: Be careful using an aluminum ladder near power lines.)


Gutters usually become clogged in spring and autumn from leaves, twigs, bird nests, and assorted debris. If you don't clear them, collected water can make the gutter sag. Also the water may back up and run down inside house walls. Lean the ladder against the house, or against the gutter if that's necessary for proper ladder placement. Sight down the gutter. Wherever you see debris, move the ladder into position and scoop it out with a garden trowel or other implement. You can drop the material in a plastic bucket hooked to the top rung (with a piece of hanger wire) or simply drop it on the ground and clean it up later. Proceed around the house as above.

When all the blockages are cleared, lug a garden hose up the ladder and run water into each gutter to clear it completely. If the water does not run quickly out the downspout, it means the downspout is clogged. Try to clear it with a steady stream of water from the hose. If this doesn't do the job, you can use a "snake" the same thing you use to clear a clogged sink drain. Simply feed the pointed end of the snake down into the downspout. When you hit a blockage, move the snake up and down to shake it loose. Follow by shooting a stream of water down the spout. For greater water force, you can hold your forefinger halfway over the hose nozzle.

Leaking Gutters Gutters made from galvanized metal eventually develop leaks; aluminum ones don't, and wood doesn't. At any rate, experience should have told you where the leaks are. If you don't know, wait until the first rainy day, then grab your umbrella and go outside and look. Note where the leaks are. First sunny day, repair them. To repair a hole in a galvanized gutter, you use roofing cement and ordinary burlap. (Your local food market should have some.) Various companies sell roofing cement for, all you'll need for the job.

First, use a wire brush to remove all rust around the hole, down to absolutely clean metal. To make sure you get it all off, follow the wire brushing by rubbing with emery cloth, a special sandpaper for metal. It is available at hardware stores. Using a spatula, scraper, or trowel, lay a good glob of the cement over the hole, and spread it three inches on either side of the hole. The coating should be about a quarter inch thick. Cut a piece of burlap as wide as the cement, and press firmly and flatly into the cement.

Cover the burlap with another thin coat of cement, overlapping the edges about an inch each. The reason you get the burlap and cement flat and smooth is so water can flow freely by. If the leak is at a joint where gutter sections join use the same procedure as for a hole.

To make a repair in a metal gutter, scour away all rust with wire brush. Apply a layer of roofing cement, lay on a burlap patch, then add a fresh application of roofing cement. Get the cement smooth not bumpy so water can flow freely.
Jereme You know what time it is.


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