If you noticed your gutters overflowing in a recent rainstorm, then gutter clogs are probably to blame. Tree seeds in spring and falling leaves in autumn collect in unprotected gutters and eventually halt the flow of water. How to clear clogged gutters depends on whether the debris is wet or dry. Cleaning out dry debris is always easier, but sometimes wet muck needs removal before the next rain. Otherwise, water overflowing from your gutters could penetrate your home’s structure.
Ladder Safety is Important
Always place your ladder on firm, level ground. Wear nonskid shoes to lower the chance of a foot slipping off a rung. When cleaning gutters, you may feel the urge to lean away from the ladder. Do not do this. Leaning out to reach farther into a gutter could unbalance you. For your safety, climb down and move the ladder instead of leaning and reaching.
How to Clear Clogged Gutters Step by Step
For wet gutter debris:
- Decide whether you want to use a bucket or tarp. With a tarp, you spread it on the ground and scoop wet debris onto it.
- To use a bucket, cut its wire handle in the middle.
- Bend the handle wires so that you can hang them over the edge of the gutter.
- Put on gloves.
- Position the ladder carefully below the gutter.
- Climb the ladder with your bucket and trowel.
- Hang the bucket over the gutter.
- Scoop debris into the bucket.
- Move your ladder and bucket as you work your way down the gutter.
- Alternatively, if not using a bucket, move your tarp as you clean the gutter.
For dry gutter debris:
- Cut the wire handle of the bucket.
- Bend the ends of the wire so that they can hang from the gutter.
- Cut out the bottom of the bucket.
- Push a trash bag through the bucket.
- Overlap the bag’s opening over the edges of the bucket.
- Position your ladder on stable ground.
- Climb the ladder with the trowel and bucket.
- Hang the bucket with trash bag from the gutter.
- Scoop dry debris into the bucket.
- Move the ladder and bucket while working your way along the gutter.
- Replace the bag when it gets full.
- How to clear clogged gutters includes cleaning the downspouts. They likely have debris lodged inside them where you can’t see it.
- Remove any downspout extensions on the ground.
- Spray out the extensions with the hose.
- Climb the ladder with the hose.
- Aim the hose into the downspout. The water pressure should dislodge the clogs.
- Continue spraying water until it flows freely through the downspout.
- Spray the gutters out and confirm that water still flows out the downspouts.
- Reattach the downspout extensions.