Cleaning the gutters is a necessary home maintenance task. Gutters direct rainwater away from your home to prevent water damage. Gutters can fill with leaves, sticks, dirt, debris, and occasionally even sprout plants. You might be overwhelmed cleaning gutters yourself, but with some preparation and these tips, you can do it safely and effectively.
4 Tips for Cleaning Gutters
Prepare Your Materials
Prep your materials first so you don’t have to climb up and down the ladder as many times. You’ll need a ladder tall enough to extend past the gutters, a scoop to remove the debris, and a bucket or bag for collecting debris. It’s much easier to clean your gutters when it’s dry because the leaves aren’t as heavy and messy. Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself.
The first thing to do when cleaning gutters is to clear out all of the gunk that’s collected over the months. Use a scoop, a small shovel, or your gloved hands to remove dirt and other debris. Place it in the bucket or bag, or even drop it down onto a tarp spread out on the ground.
Examine the Downspouts
Don’t neglect downspout maintenance when cleaning gutters. Water needs a clear path to flow down and away from the house. While looking at the downspout, spray the hose down it to flush out the debris until it flows through cleanly.
Flush Them Out
Once your gutters are cleared, use a garden hose to put a slow and steady stream of water through the system. Watch for it to come out the other end of the downspout. The water will help rinse out the last bits of debris and dirt that were too small to scoop out by hand.
Power Solutions for Cleaning Gutters Yourself
Some leaf blowers include a gutter cleaning attachment. You can use it to blow obstructions out of the gutter. Be careful not to blow anything into the downspouts and clog them.
A power or pressure washer can be used for caked-on grime. It is especially useful for unclogging downspouts. Use the nozzle to spray water through the clogged downspout until it flows freely.