So you’re wondering how to clean your gutters?
Or maybe you’re currently saying to yourself, “Oh wait a minute, I have to do that!?!”
Regardless of what you think, cleaning your gutter most likely feels just like another chore, (just what we all needed haha!), but it should be on your fall maintenance checklist.
Sometimes in life it’s those quintessential chores that we have to get done that matter the most, and I’m not talking about raking leaves or pulling up weeds in your flower bed. I’m talking about cleaning out your gutters! We most likely have heard of that chore before, but if we’re being honest, most of us don’t have a clue how to clean them!
Cleaning gutters is as simple as it looks, but it’s easy to do it and easy not to do it! Gutter Cleaning is not something that you put on the backburner, not procrastinate on! It is an issue that can grow larger and more serious in magnitude if addressed!
Get your cleaning gear and your thinking hat on and let’s get to work! Here is a step by step guide on how you can get your gutters all cleared out!
Gutter Cleaning 101
Cleaning gutters is an essential job for home exterior maintenance!
Over a course of a year, a lot of leaves, debris, and other foreign objects like bird nests can build up in your gutter and can wreak some serious damage that can not only cost you time, but money as well!
Gutters act as a drainage tool to protect your home’s exterior from rainwater where it is collected and transferred to the downspout (that big spout where all that water comes out that you’ve seen many times before!) that expels it into your yard.
When it is clogged, it can no longer effectively drain the accumulated water, which seeps into the exterior lining of your house and causes exterior water damage, and on top of that, these conditions make it the right condition for moss, mold, pests, and rodents to make their home in YOUR HOME!
Your reaction….like Dikembe Mutombo would say “Not in my House!”
6 Steps to Clean Your Gutters
- Check the forecast. Water-soaked gutter debris is heavy and difficult to remove. If you wait for a few days of dry weather, the debris won’t be as soaked, making cleaning much easier.
- Assemble the right tools. You will need the following tools to clean gutters: a trowel, ladder, two buckets with wire hooks, a garden hose with a nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment, work gloves, latex gloves and safety glasses.
- Use the right ladder. Cleaning your gutters means working on a ladder, so if you are not comfortable doing this, contact a professional for help. Use a sturdy step ladder placed on solid, level ground whenever possible; an extension ladder may be needed for a two-story home.
- Use the two-bucket method. To make the job easier, use one bucket for gathering debris and a second to carry tools. Putting tools in your pocket could cause you to lose your balance and result in injury. Carry the buckets up one at a time and hook them to the ladder.
- Clean out debris. To clean gutters, start near the downspout and remove leaves, twigs and large debris, placing it in the bucket. Use a trowel to remove packed material and smaller debris. Wet debris can soak through gloves and leave a bad odor on your hands, so wear latex gloves under your work gloves for protection.
- Flush the gutters and downspouts. Once large debris has been removed, use the garden hose to wash out remaining dirt and grime. If the water doesn’t drain, there is probably a clog in the downspout. Use the hose and heavy water pressure to flush out the spout, then flush out the entire gutter system.
Gutters & Pressure Washing tip:
Heavy pressure wash should only be used to clear out debris from inside the downspout, which will require you to disassemble the latches holding it together and pulling it out from its fixture first! Other uses of heavy pressure wash could dent material, so be careful!
Point to note on gutter cleaning:
When it comes to cleaning gutters, you may be presented with the obstacle of using an extension ladder in order to clean the gutters on the 2nd story roof. Not only can this be difficult, but also it can be very dangerous and is a risk that could result in bodily injury or death.
If you are inexperienced with gutter cleaning in a higher level story, then it is recommended to always play it safe and contact a professional to help assess your situation and apply the best possible solution to it!
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
When it comes to cleaning your gutters, the normal goal is shooting for 2 times a year: One in Fall and the other in Spring. While two times is the standard, more or less will be required depending on your situation. If you are unsure yourself, it is easier to contact a professional to come look at your situation!
If you find yourself cleaning your gutters alot, it might be wise to invest in a gutter shield that can help stop the accumulation of debris in your gutters and/or downspout.
Final Thoughts about Gutter Cleaning
Gutter Cleaning is not a chore intended to be complicated, but it will require some attention and focus! Many choose to push it off, but it’ll come back to haunt you if you do not take it seriously!
Built up debris in your gutters stops it from drainage, which can lead to some pretty nasty effects including all the way up to compromising the structural integrity of your home leaving you with wasted time and a hole in your wallet so don’t delay!
A general rule of thumb is that if you are not sure if you’re gutters are clogged and/or you need some extra eyes and hands to be able to get the job done, contact a local gutter cleaning company that will help make sure you are on the right foot to success in cleaning out your gutter!
Of course, as always if you have a question about cleaning the exterior of your home, simply reach out below!