More of an observation, or series of rhetorical questions.
But is there any worse task than cleaning gutters? I used to think so, but
after doing it for the first time I'm wondering. Standing on a ladder with
a high-pressure hose in your hand, manually removing compacted Douglas-fir
needles with your sopping wet-gloved hand. Just waiting to jam your fingers
in that one spot where the wasps decided to over-winter. I was lucky enough
to not strike wasp when pulling that muck out of there, but when I swung
around the front of the house to clean them I was swarmed by wasps and
wisely decided to come back another day. Maybe after the first hard frost.
I finally discovered why my drain system wasn't working, and also discovered
why that big tall strong Douglas in my backyard isn't such a wonderful thing
afterall. Those things shed needles like MAD.
Uggghhh, maintaining the gutters before the Seattle rains come is probably
the only important thing I need to do this year.
They make an attachment for the shop vac. That way you can stand on
the ground (away from the wasp) and either vacuum or bow the needles
out. It works best if they are dry and you don't let them get to bad...
but it would keep you a good distance from them..
Damnit, I didn't even think of using my Shop-vac. It sure beats getting all
the pine needles soaking wet trying to pressure wash them out.
Well I still have to do the front gutters, so maybe I'll go for it.
Honestly I was strongly considering replacing the gutters. I still have
those old 1960's rain gutters that aren't nearly large enough to catch the
runoff from the roof and the downspout it all of 2 inches in diameter. Man
when you live in Seattle you need SERIOUS rain gutters.
I still have mine to do. They will, as usual be near full with
dirt/leaves. I use a putty knife and flip them over the side, no
sopping wet mess to deal with that way (other than what is already
there). Of course it does require moving the ladder several times per
2" diameter downspouts are fine, especially in Seattle. While the
Pacific NW is known for rain, it is long-duration, low-intensity rain.
The intensity is the least of any other place in the U.S. No
hurricanes. :) I think round downspouts look nicer and make it easy to
bridge compound angles with one run.
That said, it wouldn't hurt to put those bulbous wire strainers at the
tops of your downspouts. I like to walk around my roof a few days
after every heavy rain spell, and about once a month during the wet
season, and clean out my gutters. It's pretty easy. Then again, my
roof isn't super steep.
Eh, the top part was dry, the lower levels were decomposing - so damp maybe?
I'll try the shopvac trick. The person who put the new roof on has it
hanging half-way over the actual gutters, so there isn't much space to fit
anything in - although a shop vack angle attachment would get in there.
BTW: It rained last night and what do you know - actual water flowed down
my gutter drains? Whoever said that Seattle only has gentle rains needs to
live here in November, December, January, February, ......
Yeah I probably shouldn't argue, I've always felt Seattle's reputation for
rain is largely undeserved, but when the winds come in November it sure
feels like a monsoon. Heck, today my area started out with a drizzle, then
turned to rain, then to snow, then sleet, the clear skies.
No Gutter Helmet ends easy cleaning of your gutters forever! In my
experience, all of the little things, maple seeds, pine needles, and
eventually leaf pieces get under there and make a mess. And now you
can't just easily scoop them out. Plus the larger pieces build up on
top when wet and wick the heavy water flow up and over the gutters onto
the ground. But at least they charge a lot of money for the privilege.
That's strictly my opinion.
I can think of one... ever clean a septic tank?
No, I haven't either -- but every time I watch (and smell) one being pumped,
I'm glad that I'm the guy with the pen and checkbook, not the guy with the
truck and hose.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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