Heaps of snow and rainfall affect the Greater Milwaukee area every winter. As a landlord, it’s important to take the necessary steps to avoid damage to your property’s gutters. Read on for a few gutter maintenance safety tips that will aid your spring cleaning.
How often should gutters be cleaned?
All gutters need to be flushed out twice a year – one cleaning in fall and spring, respectively. This will prevent freezing in winter and rusting in summer. Keeping potential runoff in check will also help you maintain low liability for danger to your tenants. For that reason, even gutters with gutter guards should be inspected. Any precaution is worth taking to put off costly gutter replacements and protect the investment in your Milwaukee property.
If unclogging gutters at all of your properties proves to be overly demanding of your time, consider including tenant responsibility for gutter maintenance as a clause in each lease.
What You Need to Clean Rain Gutters and Downspouts
Time to revisit those gunky gutters you haven’t seen since last fall. Now that Milwaukee’s rainy, snowy season is behind us, here’s what you need to get down to the dirty business of gutter cleaning. If your tenants are responsible for maintenance, pass along these tips and tools.
- Aluminum Extension Ladder: This job requires four sturdy legs that lock into place. Your ladder has to have enough stability to hold you and a heavy dump bucket, so avoid wooden ladders that tend to topple from rickety construction. Always check for damage or loose screws before climbing.
- Dump Bucket or Bag: Collect everything you’ll unclog from the gutter – leaves, branches, mud, rot. It’ll be easier to toss into one central location than sweeping up the debris afterward. And a shorter ditching distance will keep your muscles from getting tired.
- Spray-Nozzle Hose: This is the easiest type to hitch in the front of the gutter as you move along the trough. You’ll want to rinse as you go to encourage proper flow.
- Plastic Gutter Scoop: This will help you chip away at the tough clods. Avoid metal scoops or rakes so you don’t cause or quicken any rusting in the gutter.
- Suede Work Gloves: Invest in thick suede to avoid cuts and bacteria on your hands. Leather gloves restrict mobility and aren’t suited for wet work, while rubber tends to tear given the sharp metal.
- Rubber Shoes: Whether you’re walking along the rooftop or ascending a ladder, you need sturdy soles that give you a good grip. On that note, make sure you perform gutter maintenance in the middle of the day so you avoid any dewy covering on either surface that can cause slippage in mornings or evenings.
- Eye Goggles: Any number of animals or their remnants could have taken residence in your property’s gutters since you last took a look in them. They could endanger your eyes if disturbed during the gutter cleaning. Wear safety goggles to protect your vision.
4 Steps to Cleaning Gutters
- Trim and Train the Trees: Spring is the perfect time to cut back overhanging branches that will drop new seedlings into your gutter in the next few weeks. If the lush greenery gives your property curb appeal, tie back the branches to direct them towards the lawn or driveway instead.
- Power Wash the Shingles: Clear your property’s roof first so gunk doesn’t keep falling into the gutters over time and wipe out your hard work. Eliminating this debris will also protect your roof from long-term wear, a mutual benefit for you and your tenants.
- Bag the Buildup: Scoop it out. Bag it up. It’s all for a good return on the investment.
- One Final Rinse: Blast the gutter with the hose for the last dousing. The water should run through. Tap the gutter to unclog the drain if this doesn’t work.
Real Property Management Greater Milwaukee actually includes regular property inspection and maintenance as part of our professional services. We’ll evaluate your property conditions to ensure that your tenants are performing proper upkeep and we’ll document any needed repairs. Our extensive network of contractors will be sent out right away to get everything ship-shape in a timely, cost-effective manner. Contact us today to hire out the building maintenance for your Greater Milwaukee rental property.
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