Gutters are essential for the health and upkeep of your home; however, they can become clogged with leaves and debris. Cleaning the gutters is a challenging job, but the channels must be clear so rainwater can flow away from the house and foundation. Here are tips for removing debris from your gutters safely.
Gather Supplies Before Cleaning the Gutters
The first step is to gather the supplies for the job. You’ll need a ladder, work gloves, a bucket, the garden hose, and a trowel or gutter scoop. Wear old clothing that you won’t mind getting wet and dirty. Attach the bucket to a rope to pull the tools up to you on the ladder. It’s safer than climbing with tools in your hands.
Set Up the Ladder
Before climbing, take safety precautions. Make sure the ladder is the right height, and learn about its weight limitations. Set it on a flat surface and have a friend or family member stabilize the ladder while you work.
Once you’re on the ladder, start cleaning the gutters. Use the garden trowel or gutter scoop to gently remove debris – including leaves, sticks, pine needles, and dirt – from the channels. Use gentle pressure so you don’t damage the guttering as you work.
While on the ladder, check for animal nests or signs of pests. You’ll also want to inspect the guttering channels for rust, holes, or other types of damage.
Cleaning the Gutters Thoroughly
After removing debris, flush the gutters with water from a garden hose or pressure washer. The hose will rinse dirt and debris from the channels. Use a gutter brush or a small scrub brush to remove the remaining debris. If necessary, add a mild detergent to loosen stubborn stains so you can scrub them away.
Check the Downspouts
Check the downspouts once your gutters are clean to verify they are debris-free. Use a garden hose or pressure washer to flush the downspouts and ensure water flows freely through them. If leaves or pine needles have accumulated in the downspouts, use a gutter snake or plumber’s auger to remove them.
Install gutter guards to prevent the gutters from getting clogged in the future. Gutter guards are features that fit over or into the guttering to keep leaves and debris out of the channels while allowing rainwater to pass freely.
Cleaning the gutters doesn’t have to feel like a chore; following these steps can help make it a safe and easy process. Regular maintenance and care allow you to keep your gutters free of blockages year-round and prevent water damage to your home.