It’s important for homeowners to clean leaves and debris from their rain gutters every spring and fall. Knowing how to clean out gutters is important to make sure your roof and foundation don’t experience water damage. Clean gutters ensure that water flows quickly toward the downspouts and drains away from your home. Here, PJ Fitzpatrick’s gutter specialists share a few tips and tricks of the trade:
Preparation and Ladder Safety
- Make sure that your ladder is tall enough for you to reach into the gutters comfortably. Your ladder should be taller than the gutter line. You should never stand on the top ladder rung or lean too far to either side because you could lose your balance.
- Ideally, you should have ladder standoff stabilizers for your extension ladder. These prevent the ladder from pressing directly on the gutter and potentially breaking or bending anything.
- Move lawn or deck furniture blocking your path beneath the gutters.
Steps for Gutter Cleaning
- Position your ladder at a downspout.
- Place a tarp beneath your work area to catch the leaves and gunk that you pull out of the gutters. Alternatively, you could hook a bucket on the ladder to collect debris.
- Put on gloves and use your hands or a garden trowel to scrape out dirt.
- Dump debris into the bucket or on the tarp so that you don’t leave unsightly gutter dirt in your yard.
- Never lean so far to the right or left that your waist shifts away from the ladder’s rungs.
- Make sure to clear leaves out of the downspout completely.
- To force out downspout blockages, use a hose with a pressurized spray nozzle or gutter wand to blast water down the drain.
- Once you’ve cleaned the gutter as far as you can safely reach, get down, move your ladder and tarp, and clean the next section of gutter.
- Repeat this process until all gutters are clean.
- Continue to spray the gutter as you go to remove stubborn dirt deposits.