how to clean gutters

How to Clean Your Gutters in 4 Easy Steps

Effortless Maintenance

A clean gutter – while the notion seems ironic, it’s necessary. When it's about gutters, a pressing question surrounds their cleanliness. Unfortunately, most of us are okay with putting off the cleaning process until serious problems arise, which cost a lot of money to fix. According to Forbes, getting your gutters cleaned professionally costs between $70 - $425.

Are you wondering how to clean gutters? Don’t fret — if you have the daunting task of cleaning your gutter but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a simple, step-by-step guide. But first, let’s find out why you need to keep your gutters clean, and what tools you’ll need to do the job.

Why Do I Need to Clean the Gutter?

There are several reasons a homeowner needs to keep their gutters clean. Here are our top three:

1. The Curb Appeal of Your Home Matters

Clogged gutters will ruin your home. The water could seep in through the walls and ruin the paint and you’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars to fix it. Cleaning the gutter at home will save you time and money in the long run.

A cracked foundation could cost a lot of money, but you won’t ever have to spend it if you frequently clean your gutter.

2. Ice Dams Can Be a Hassle to Deal With

Ice dams can especially be a nightmare during the winter season. After a heavy rain or snowfall, the water refreezes on the edges of the gutter.

In the worst possible scenario, it can exert additional pressure on your roof, resulting in your roof collapsing. Thus, cleaning the gutters regularly can prevent the water from gathering in one spot and save you the hassle of cleaning and spending money on repairs.

3. Maintenance Makes Them Last Longer

Another amazing benefit is that gutters that are maintained properly and cleaned occasionally can last 20-50 years (depending on the materials used).

So, why not clean it beforehand while the ball is in your court?

Pro-tip: The ideal time to clean the gutters is during the fall season, and we recommend you clean them at least once a year.

Tools and Equipment Checklist

Before you begin, having a checklist ready will make it easier to ensure you have all the items you’ll need for the task.

  • Ladder
  • A few buckets
  • Bucket hook
  • Gutter scoop
  • Nozzle
  • Pressure washer
  • Work and latex gloves
  • Gutter hardware
  • Ladder stabilizer — to ensure that the ladder stays in place
  • Gutter guards
  • Screwdriver and screws

Pro-tip: Use a telescoping wand if you’re cleaning while standing on the ground. However, if you’re using a ladder, then we recommend you go for a scoop.

How to Clean Gutters

Before the leaves start falling and your gutter clogs, let’s learn how to clean gutters in four easy steps.

Step 1: Dress Up for the Job

Cleaning a gutter is messy, and you don’t want to ruin your clothes in the process. If you have any old clothes or ones you don’t mind getting a little dirty, it’s best to put those on. Preferably a long-sleeved shirt, comfy pants, and rubber gloves.

Step 2: Get Rid of the Debris

First, place your ladder on one end of your gutter run. Then, climb on top till you're at a reasonable height to clean—you should be at eye level with your gutter.

Now, scoop out the debris with a gutter scoop and dispose of it in a bucket (you should attach the bucket to the ladder with a bucket hook to keep your hands free). Once you’re done with that, run water through the gutter towards the downpipe, using a garden hose to eliminate any remaining debris. This may take a bit, depending on the water pressure you have.

While you’re at it, safety should be at the forefront of your mind — wear your safety gloves. Also, don't forget to use a ladder stabilizer to ensure the ladder stays firmly on the ground.

Lastly, remove any last bits of twigs, leaves, or moss clumps.

Step 3: Fix the Flow of Your Gutter

Once the debris is cleared, check if the water is flowing through easily. Take advantage of the garden hose you kept handy to run water through the gutter. This is to ascertain there’s no blockage.

In case the water stands still or slows down in certain spots, you should use either heavy water pressure from the hose to clear the blockage or increase the grade of your gutters by simply bending the hangars. That’s an easy way to ensure your gutter systems are flowing properly.

Step 4: Check the Downspout/Drain Pipe

Typically, this is where another common problem arises — you may find the drain pipe clogged. See if you can look through the pipe; if you cannot see through the other end, it’s an indication that the pipe needs more cleaning. In that case, use your garden hose and flush out the debris from the drain pipe using a constant jet of water. And, you’re done!

In certain situations, your downspout might be badly clogged and needs to be removed from the elbows and cleaned thoroughly. In instances such as these, it's best to contact a gutter cleaning service provider. You can search 'gutter cleaning service near me' for that.

Pro-tip: The accumulation of debris and leaves can lead to a spill in the long term. However, installing gutter guards can prove to be a great long-term investment as it prevents spills.

Streamlined Gutter Care

We understand that cleaning the gutter may seem daunting for most homeowners. But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll have no issues ensuring that your gutter is the cleanest on the block.

Use the tips mentioned above to clean your gutters and save yourself from the long-term hassle. Of course, if you feel overwhelmed, you can always reach out to professionals for gutter cleaning services. Consider it a little investment to save yourself from the long-term costs down the road.

Happy Cleaning!

Are you looking to clean your house but can't find the time? Check out some amazing benefits of hiring a house cleaner.