Removing gutter guards is one of the most vital steps in gutter cleaning. Gutter guards are designed to help keep your gutters free of debris and maintain a more consistent flow of water. However, when it comes time for gutter maintenance, these guards can become a real obstacle. In this article, we will discuss the proper steps for removing gutter guards for cleaning.
Identify the type of gutter guard
Before attempting to remove gutters and gutter guards, it is important to properly identify the type of guard that is protecting your gutters. Most gutter guards are either plastic mesh or perforated sheet metal guards, but some may have been custom-made for your home. Carefully inspecting the material and evaluating the situation can help you determine which type of guard you have.
Once you identify the guard’s construction, take steps to carefully remove it from your gutter system while preserving the integrity of your roof line. Depending on the structure and stability of your roofs and gutters, this task will vary in complexity. Certain types of plastic mesh gutter guards can be easily pulled away when loosened with a flathead screwdriver and utility knife. For sheet metal guards, use a pair of lineman’s pliers to gently unsnap them from their installation points located along either side of the gutter.
It is important to proceed with caution in removing any type of gutter guard as failing to do so could cause permanent damage to your roof and siding; which would then cost more time and money for repair or replacement. Always wear safety glasses or goggles when working outdoors in potentially hazardous conditions; this includes removal of any kind of debris found in or around your gutters.
Remove the screws or nails
Once all the guards are off the gutters, you will need to take out all of the screws or nails holding them in place. This is an important step as it can be dangerous if these fasteners remain in place with your guards off. The fasteners need to be completely taken out so there is nothing left of them remaining in the gutter.
Doing this step carefully is crucial, as any damage you do to the gutter while removing fasteners can lead to leaks, and water entering your home resulting in further more costly damage down the line. To make sure no harm comes to your gutters, you should use a screwdriver or pry bar that fits properly over each fastener and without too much force applied so that no damage may occur.
Remove the gutter guard
Before you begin the process of cleaning and unclogging your gutters, it is important to remove the gutter guard from the gutter itself. Gutter guards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all generally adhere to the gutter in one way or another. Using a flat-headed screwdriver, a pair of pliers, or even your hands, pry away at the gutter guard until it loosens and slides off the edge of the roof onto the ground below.
Be sure to take care not to damage the gutter during this process. In some cases, depending on how secure the guard was installed in the first place it may be necessary to use a heat gun or other tool to loosen any caulking or adhesives that were used. Once removed, set aside and begin muck-outs or any other form of cleaning needed as outlined in this guide most appropriate for your situation.