Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cleaning House.....

North side of the house - Hanging on for dear life!
It is actually not as bad as it looks from the ground but it is not a job for weak knees.  This was Monday when I decided to get outdoors and get going with the job of cleaning the gutters (eaves trough, for the sophisticated readers out there) and washing the house exterior walls.
Six long years of gunk in the gutters.
The eaves and house had not been cleaned since it was built about six years ago.  It was seriously due.  The gutters were packed with gunk and there was a heavy coating of dirt staining the vinyl siding.  I could not stand to look at it any longer.
This is going to take some work to get done.
I would normally use my pressure washer to accomplish this task but I had to clean the  gutters the old fashioned way - with a bucket and a little scooper.  Whoa!  So much gunk to remove.  This necessitated going up and down the ladder several times just to empty the bucket.
With the gutters cleaned, I moved on with washing the exterior of the eaves, soffits and house walls.
The gutters and vinyl siding were seriously stained and the only way to really clean this up was the old fashioned way - a bucket of hot, soapy water and a good brush.  Phew!!!  What a job.  After about six hours in a rain suit, hose in hand and hard brushing, my arms began to seriously cramp up.  It didn't help that I was quite wet - in spite of the rain suit - and quite cold too.
It is much easier to access the second story on this house than our previous home.
Having managed to completely clean all the gutters and wash the north and east side of the house, I called it a day.  A hot shower and a good cup of coffee was needed to relieve the muscle aches in my arms.

Yesterday was a day off from house washing to visit the dentist for the first 90 minute job to prepare a tooth for a permanent crown.  Gosh....that's more taxing for me than spending an entire day washing the house.  By the time I was done with the dentist, running several errands, looking at re-registering one of our vehicles, it was time to watch the NHL Vancouver Canuckians  get seriously beat by the Chicago Blackhawks.  What an awful game to watch.  It was excruciatingly painful.  Washing the house is less painful.....!        

With just a bit of a sore jaw and arms somewhat healed from the first day of house washing, today was the day to complete the task.
Set myself up to wash the 2nd story front and west side.
Got all dressed up with the rain suit and headed back on the roof for round number two of house cleaning.
Ugly gunk that could only be removed by hand.  Yuk!!!
After a few hours of up and down with several buckets of gunk, I was finally able to use the hose and finish cleaning the inside gutters.  What a job?
Don't slip....!
Finally finished emptying the inside of the gutters and then began washing and scrubbing the exterior of the gutters and the vinyl siding.
Offering to change places with the official photographer.  Imagine my shock when she came out to ask if my life insurance policy was up to date.  Can you fathom that?  Unbelievable!  Then she took this photo.
I heard a comment from the peanut gallery (aka...photographer) about sitting down on the job!!!  Aarrgh!!!
The peanut gallery finally offered some lunch so I took fifteen minutes to gulp down some much needed energy before continuing with the job.

Now to the west side gutter cleaning.  Will this ever end???
The west side is all I have left to complete.
Almost ready to get off the roof and wash the first level vinyl siding.
This was a good day to tackle this job - weather wise.  It was a cool start to the day.  Wearing a rain suit was more comfortable than working on a hot day. 
Finally completed the work on the second story.  Now on terra firma!
This photo was the last one taken by the peanut gallery - from inside the living room window.  She dared not step outdoors at the risk of receiving a cold shower.

Seriously though, the task of removing gutter gunk, washing, scrubbing and rinsing the entire house took 12 hours, over a two day period.  Cleaning the house on an annual basis will be much easier and certainly much quicker from now on.  Yippee for that.

Parked the dually and the Nissan trucks in their rightful places.
One more shot.
With the hose put away, the bucket cleaned, the rain suit removed, it was time to call it a day.  One more major task completed.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. you are brave man, Rene!..hate heights!..and you wouldn't catch me up on the roof..I would much rather be the 'peanut gallery'..did you ever wish you bought a smaller house? :)

  2. Good job, Rene! Nice to have that all done before summer gets here. I know how much work that is as I did our gutters and roof last summer!!

    The Canucks?? Sad, sad, sad!!

  3. We are surrounded by trees and the gutters get plugged with needles at least three times a year so I know of which you speak. I use the hose (and my hand) to clean the gutters but the falling needles attach themselves to the siding on the way down so this adds a few more hours onto the job!

    The pleasures of home ownership!

    We will be back home in a few days and will be facing similar tasks. But first the taxes!

  4. That is one dangerous job, but I can see that you enjoyed it so much. Good move to clean your gutter. It will surely function well when it rains. You have a big house. I’m sure it takes a whole day to finish all your tasks. Anyway, how’s your trip to Yuma? I’m sure you had the best time there. :)

    Tiffany Larsen

  5. Cleaning your roof and gutters is one way to prevent them from being easily damaged. I just hope that you’re satisfied with your clean exteriors. Also, congratulations on a major task completed! :)

    -- Jere Leach

  6. I'm amazed on how you cleaned the whole exterior your house by yourself in an old-fashion way. It's a huge house, and I could imagine how tiring it is to do it. If I have this kind of house, I'll phone a pro to do it for me. Well, you did a pretty good job on making it look clean and dirt-free! Kylee @