Living Around a Fireplace InstallationLiving Around a Fireplace Installation

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Living Around a Fireplace Installation

I happen to know a thing or two about living in a home while a new fireplace is being installed. It takes some time for the process to be completed, and the inconvenience can feel pretty intense, but there are tips and tricks you can use to make the process easier on the entire family – like turn a bedroom into the living room (if the living room is where your new fireplace is going, of course) when the construction gets a little loud. In the fifty years that I've lived in this home, I have experienced my fair share of home improvement projects. I decided that maybe some of my experience can help others who are looking to complete their own projects, like installing a new fireplace. Enjoy!

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How to Clean Aluminum Gutters

If you have aluminum gutters, cleaning them occasionally is essential. Your gutter provide a way for the water to run off, and cleaning them ensures the water drains properly. Aluminum gutters are durable, but they can quickly get clogged by debris, leaves, bugs, and limbs. Here are tips to clean aluminum rain gutters.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • cloth
  • ladder
  • garden hose
  • buckets
  • garbage bin or tarp
  • trowel or small hand spade
  • non-metal hard-bristled scrub brush
  • liquid dish soap
  • cream of tartar (optional)
  • white vinegar (optional)

Set a ladder on flat ground so you can easily reach the gutters. Get an assistant to hand you tools and hold the ladder. It is best to set the ladder close to a nail where it is better supported, since gutters get weaker as you move further away from the nails. If possible, place the ladder to avoid leaning on the gutters.

Clean Debris From the Inside of the Gutter

Use a small hand spade or trowel to rake twigs, leaves, insects, or limb pieces into a garbage bin, or throw it on tarp. You may also add the debris to a compost pile. 

Rinse the inside of the gutter with a garden hose and sprayer attachment, and rinse the outside as well. Aim the hose toward the downspouts, and ensure water is flowing freely through them.

Wash the Inside and Outside With a Cleaning Solution

Mix a gallon of hot water and several drops of liquid dish soap. Fill a second bucket with clean water. Scrub the exterior and exterior of the gutters with the scrub brush, rinsing the brush in clean water as needed.

If you prefer a natural cleaner, mix a cup of white vinegar per each three gallons of warm water. Cap the gutters and pour the solution. Let it sit for an hour and then rinse with the hose. Buff the gutters with cream of tartar for a luxurious shine.

You may also use a commercial gutter cleaning solution, but avoid cleaners with abrasives, such as ammonia. Spray on the solution and let it stand for several seconds so it has time to cut through dirt. Use a cloth and a bucket of hot water tot rinse the solution and let it dry.

Give the gutters a final rinse after you clean them. If you don't trust your skill, or the gutters are damaged, contact a gutter service like Rocky Mountain Roofers & Gutters.