How to Clean Gutters Step by Step

When did you last clean your gutters?

Part of being a homeowner is consistent upkeep and maintenance around your home. While some responsibilities such as changing air filters or having your sprinklers blown out are easy to remember, gutters are often the least thought of and can fade to the background. To ensure the longevity of your gutter system it is recommended to clean your gutters twice a year at the end of the spring and fall seasons.

Why is it so important?

In order to tell if your gutters are functioning efficiently you’ve got to get up there and look. Sometimes gutters can pull away from the fascia board, leak, sag, etc. In order to prevent any potential damage to your homes and control where the water is directed ensuring your gutters are properly installed and clean is crucial.

Safety Always Comes First

If you are comfortable and able to stand on a ladder or roof to clean out your gutter system, GO FOR IT! If you are not able to safely do this project please give Affordable Rain Gutters a call and we will be happy to come out to provide a free estimate for the work you’d like to see done.

You’ll Need Some Supplies

Before getting started, make sure you have all the necessary equipment to clean out your gutters. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck up on the top of a ladder or standing on a roof without a pair of gloves to grab the gutter junk.

Here's a list of suggested supplies:

  • Ladder - one tall enough to reach your roof. A step stool is not the same as a ladder.
  • Bucket - a five gallon bucket is light and easy to use on a ladder.
  • Rubber Gloves - you don’t want to get more dirty than you have to right?
  • Trowel or Gutter Scoop - no one wants to use their hands the whole time.
  • Hose with a Spray Nozzle - using water to help unclog downspouts saves time.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Cleaning the gutters when it is warm and dry outside not only makes the gunk easier to remove but also makes climbing up and down the ladder safer.
  • Use wire or a hook to attach your bucket to the ladder it will free up your other hand to scoop out gunk. Make sure to use your gloves.
  • If the leaves and debris in the gutters are dry, bone dry, use a leaf blower to blow everything out. Using a leaf blower can save a lot of time.
  • Including water in the cleaning process will also help you discover if have any corners that leak and need to be resealed.

Let’s Get Started!

Now that you have collected all of the needed supplies you can start cleaning your gutters.

1) Once you are at the top of the ladder take a moment to assess the area you are working on. Do you have any gutter covers to remove before you clean? If so, do that now. With gutter covers on you will have a hard time getting your hand into the trough to scoop out the debris.

2) After removing the gutter covers you can work on clearing out any leaves, sticks and other debris, this is where you are going to need gloves! Animals like to make their homes in and around gutters, keep an eye out for nests that might belong to birds or wasps. If you were able to hook your bucket onto the ladder this will free up your other hand to either scoop out stuff or hold onto the roof.

3) The next step will require your hose, so lug that thing up to the ladder with you and make sure you have the spray nozzle attachment. Now that you can start spraying your gutters out. Make sure to direct the water toward your downspout to encourage any left over junk to move down and out. Using water to clean out the gutters will help you visually see the flow of the water. You don't want standing stagnant water or leaky corners.

4) Cleaning the upper straight runs of the gutter should be done first and the downspouts done last. Move your ladder over to the downspout and using the spray attachment on your hose spray water directly down the downspout. Watch the bottom of the downspout to see things get flushed out and the water returns to a consistent flow.

5) If you are unable to clear a downspout completely from the top head down the ladder with the hose. Take off your spray attachment and guide the hose up throughout the bottom of the downspout until any stuck debris comes loose.

6) Finally the last thing you want to ensure that all of your gutters are securely attached to your home and nothing is loose or falling off. Once you are confident your gutters are in good shape you are done cleaning out your gutters! Good job!


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