Roofing & Siding

Radio: Unclogging Gutters

When clogged gutters overflow, they can get so heavy that they pull the gutters loose and rot your home's trim and siding. In cold climates, they can eventually cause ice dams on the roof that force water inside the house. Even if your gutter doesn't fill to overflowing each season, leaving decaying debris in there is an invitation to carpenter ants and mosquitos.

Listen to ON UNCLOGGING GUTTERS, or read the text below:

There are lots of ways to clean gutters. You can find inventions like tongs on an extension pole, shop vacuums with gutter nozzles, or even a remote-controlled gutter-running robot. But most methods involve getting on a ladder, so if you're not comfortable on one, you're better off hiring a pro.

If you're doing it yourself, wear gloves, a dust mask, and safety goggles. Scoop the debris into a garbage bag with a garden trowel, then rinse toward the downspout with a high-pressure nozzle on your hose and scrub it clean. Next, clear clogged downspouts with a hose or auger.

When it rains, mark any leaks with a china marker so you can make repairs when it's dry.

Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to-or reading-Bob's 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on outdoor maintenance, consider:

3 Essential Fall Lawn Maintenance Tasks
The Right Rake for the Job
10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips