Clean gutters ward against the accumulation of water against the structure of your home, which is why many experts suggest cleaning gutters at least every other year. When standing water builds up in your gutters, it puts your home at risk for significant water damage and even forms breeding grounds for pests like mosquitoes. The average person is capable of performing the task of gutter cleaning, although those who are afraid of heights may opt to hire a professional to do the job.
Part 1 of this article describes how to prepare for home gutter cleaning. Part 2 outlines the steps to achieve clean gutters. Part 3 covers what to do to properly clean up after the task is complete.
Part 1 of 3: How to prepare for cleaning your gutters
- Garden hose
- Trash bags or bucket
Step 1: Gather your tools. To clean gutters, you need a ladder, trowel (or similar tool), and something in which to collect the debris removed from the gutters.
This may be a sturdy trash bag or large bucket. A lengthy garden hose is another necessity. Optional items may include plastic gloves or safety goggles.
Step 2: Test your ladder. Cleaning gutters is supposed to prevent harm to your home, but this should not be at the cost of your own safety.
Examine your ladder for any cracks or breaks in the frame and steps, and also look for any rusted out hinges. I
f there is any doubt about the safety of your ladder, borrow or purchase another one.
Part 2 of 3: How to approach the task of gutter cleaning
Step 1: Remove debris. Use a garden trowel or similar tool to scoop out leaves and other unwanted bits from your gutters, placing the trash in a bag or bucket for later disposal.
Step 2: Move the ladder as needed. You must move your ladder every few feet to reach all parts of your gutters. Make sure the footers are well-grounded before you scale up your ladder again.
Step 3: Rinse thoroughly. Use a garden hose to rinse out remaining grit and grime from your gutters, moving in the direction of your downspout (the part of the gutter that leads from the edge of the roof to the ground).
Part 3 of 3: How to clean up after the gutters have been cleared out
Step 1: Dispose of your collected debris. Bag up all of the leaves and debris from your gutters for your trash day, or empty it into a burn pile.
Step 2: Store your tools. Put up your ladder and other tools, then give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
When cleaning gutters, use your bird’s eye point of view to scan your home for needed repairs or maintenance that you may not notice otherwise. Oftentimes, a fresh angle brings attention to areas needing TLC, such as roofing damage or even segments of gutter in need of replacement.