Your lake house is the place that feeds your soul and refreshes your spirit. It is the place to be to recharge your batteries and reaffirm that life near the water is amazing.
When you are at the lake house, you want to kick back and enjoy life at the waterline with family, friends, or solo. The lake house is your sanctuary. Just as it enfolds and welcomes you, you protect and preserve this haven.
Gutter Cleaning Is A Must
While it sounds mundane, one of the most important ways to protect your oasis is by attending to the gutters on a regular basis. Maintaining your investment goes part and parcel of being able to enjoy it for years to come.
A basic function of owning a lake house is making sure you have a gutter system in place. Gutters are an indispensable part of the home’s exterior. The gutters are a shallow trough, usually made of vinyl or metal, that is fixed beneath the edge of a roof.
Gutters Protect Your Investment
Gutters serve the function of diverting rainwater away from the walls and foundation of your lake home.
This diversion helps prevent foundation erosion, wood rot, and damage to your landscaping.
Leaves, twigs, and other debris will clog gutters, and if the gutters are not cleaned out, in cold months you run the risk of ice dams forming at the edge of the roof.
The ice dam can seep underneath shingles and down into insulation and ceilings, creating quite a lot of mess and damage. Translation: expensive repairs.
Let’s say that your lake house is located where the only white stuff around is not the snow on the roof, but the sand on the beach.
There are still hazards to be avoided. Without gutters, or if your gutters are clogged with debris, damage can occur to your lake house foundation.
The undiverted rainwater can erode the ground next to your footings. When this happens, the water can seep down along the foundation. If you have a basement, this can create leaks, and even if you don’t have a basement on your lake house, you risk structural instability.
When To Clean Your Gutter
It is best to clean your gutters twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall before winter arrives.
However, depending on where your lake house is located, and if there are a lot of trees in the area, you may want to check the gutters more frequently.
Wait until it rains and pay attention to how, and if, water is running through the gutters while you are waiting for the chicken in your smoker to be done. The water should run freely out of the downspouts.
Safely Clean Your Gutters
Now that we have established that gutter maintenance is necessary and essential to protecting your lake house, how do you go about it in the easiest, safest manner possible?
While caring for and preserving our happy place at the lake house is a given, we also don’t want those tasks to become another line item in a long laundry list that eats away our precious time at the water. Scratching gutter maintenance off your list is quick and easy when you have the right tool and you do it yourself.
Hiring someone is always feasible, but it will cost you more and will tie up your day hanging around onshore while the job is being done.
The DIY Method Of Cleaning Gutters
If you do the job yourself in a conventional way, and unless you are over 12 feet tall, you will need a ladder.
There are many types of ladders out there to choose from, and a few things to consider before using one.
A four-legged step ladder would be good for a single-story lake house, but you will need an extension ladder for a two-story house.
A wooden ladder is not recommended as it can be wobbly and harder to balance than a metal ladder.
Fiberglass ladders are among the sturdiest, but unfortunately, they are also the heaviest. The weight will be a matter to contend with as you move the ladder around the lake house.
Be Safe, Not Sorry
Anytime you are going to be up on a ladder for any reason, the first thing to do is to let someone know that you will be on a ladder working on the gutters.
It is better to be safe than sorry. Accidents can happen quickly and having someone watching out for you that is able to call for help if needed can save your life.
Fortunately, there is a simple, inexpensive tool that will allow you to attend to those gutters on your own time, safely, and, the miracle of miracles, no ladder required!
That last item is a big one for me, as heights are a challenge. I don’t mind standing on the second-floor patio overlooking the lake, or on the upper deck of a cruiser, but put me on a ladder and I can feel the entire world tilt.
This ladder phobia can prove to be a problem when the dog’s frisbee lands on the roof, or the kid’s glider ends up in the gutter. Again, there is one tool to both clean the gutter and retrieve the wayward toys with ease.
To avoid the whole ladder climbing, ladder hauling thing, this indispensable tool can be used to remove leaves and debris while standing safely on the ground.
Gutter Fingers Will Clean Your Gutters Safely
The Gutter Fingers tool is both effective and efficient in removing debris that is clogging gutters.
The Gutter Fingers tool grabs leaves and debris that are trapped in the gutter. It can also be used to pluck items, like toys or branches off the roof of your lake house.
The grabbing mechanism of Gutter Fingers operates by the simple sliding, tightening, and loosening of its rope.
The tool itself slides onto the end of your own extension pole, and we all have an extension pole at a lake house.
The height of your extension pole will determine how high you can reach, and my experience is with a 16 footer.
Easy To Use
What I like about the Gutter Fingers tool is that it requires no setup. I can name my own time to clean the gutters on my lake house.
I just slip it on the end of my extension pole, grab an empty bucket with a garbage bag liner, and I am off and running.
If I want, I can do the entire lake house in one go. Or I can do the back of the house today and the front of the house on a day when the fish are not biting.
For me, it makes it seem like less of a chore when I break it up and spend half an hour here or there cleaning the gutters.
Cleaning Gutters On A Ladder is Messy
In the past, I have done gutters in an old-fashioned way. With the aforementioned ladder, bucket, and gloves.
Again, the ladder was the issue for me, both hauling it around and feeling unsteady when I was at gutter level.
Suffice it to say, the gunk in the gutters is a stinking, slimy mess. Remember that there might be all manner of objects…or living things…in the gutter.
Worms, small birds or mice might be roaming around. Bees and wasps will search out the trapped water in a gutter.
Cleaning Gutters On A Ladder Can Be Hazardous
When cleaning gutters in a conventional way, you have to protect your hands from the debris that you will be removed from the gutters.
There can be sharp debris, even glass or metal, and bird and squirrel droppings in the gutters. You don’t want to get poked with the bacteria-filled gunk that inhabits the bottom of the gutter and have to make a trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot.
There has been more than once that a creature (imagined or not) has startled me. Those were the times that I dropped the bucket holding the previously retrieved gunk and splashed it down the side of the lake house, creating another job when I just wanted to be swaying on the hammock, not the ladder.
Cleaning Gutters With Gutter Fingers Is Not Yucky
The beauty of Gutter Fingers is that you don’t touch any of the yuck that you dislodge. The tool itself does that unenviable job.
The “fingers” on the tool grab all debris, both moving or inert, allowing you to drop it in your garbage bag for disposal without getting your hands dirty. Just rinse the tool off before you put it away.
Another nuisance that you avoid by using Gutter Fingers is having to have specific shoewear. Sandals and flip-flops should be the only footwear around at the lake house.
With Gutter Fingers, You Don’t Need to Get On The Roof
However, if gutter cleaning is done the old-fashioned way, on a ladder, you will also need rubber-soled shoes.
Rubber soles shoes should be used as you need a good grip on the rungs of the ladder or (heaven forbid) a good grip on the roof if you are going after the frisbee. Roofs can be slippery.
While you might argue that a fall off a roof will not hurt you, I can guarantee the sudden stop will do major damage and keep you out of the game.
Saves You Time And Money
Hard to believe, but there is yet another advantage of having a Gutter Fingers tool. It is so easy to use.
With your extension pole, you can reach your gutters while you are safely on the ground. No ladder is needed, no hauling a ladder around, no falling off of it, no rubber-soled shoes required.
Protective gloves can be left on the shelf as you will not be touching any gunk, and not being poked by anything lurking unseen in the gutter.
I find that being able to choose when I want to check the gutters and clean it in stages, or in one fell swoop, to be a huge advantage.
It makes it seem like less of a chore and more of a choice to me. I think that is because there is virtually no setup involved in getting Gutter Fingers ready.
It does not seem like a “project” doing the gutters this way.
Yet another advantage of the Gutter Fingers tool is that it is inexpensive. No need to take out a second mortgage, no need forgoing fuel for the boat, or meat for the grill.
No need to schedule and pay for someone to come do the job. Your piggy bank probably contains the entire sum you would need.
The tool becomes part of your lake house protection arsenal. Besides saving you money, it saves you time.
As we said at the beginning, cleaning out gutters is one job that should not be neglected. Left unattended, the damage can cost thousands to put right.
Your lake house protects your sanity. Take a bit of time to protect the lake house itself.