Blocked downpipes? Or rainwater leaking into your ceiling cavity?
Looking for the best way to clean gutters but finding it an awkward job?
Then, no matter it’s a plastic, metal or seamless guttering, this guide on how to clean gutters will be a lifesaver for you.
Here, I’ll share some vital information with you and show three simple but useful ways to get the job done by yourself.
Don’t miss the top tip and safety tip that I’ve included in the post.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
How to Clean Gutters- Must-To-Know Facts
1. How A Guttering System Works
During showers or storms, rains falling on your roof run down it. When rainwater reaches the eaves of the roof, it falls into the gutters. Water then reaches a downpipe through the horizontal guttering sections.
Next, it runs down into the surface water drainage system that you have.
If water flow gets blocked at any point in the above process due to the fault of the guttering system, water easily finds its way down onto the external walls.
Water may also find its way into your interior due to damaged wall or if there is any cavity in it.
2. Why Is Cleaning Out Gutters Important?
Simply to say, a clogged gutter can cause lots of severe damage to your properties and home.
Few common issues are:
- Clogged rain gutter may cause water to collect around the base of your home, which may seep into the basement. It may lead to do more work in the long run.
- Leaves and debris may cause to sagging gutters which may cause them to pull down from the attachments.
- During winter at freezing temperatures, clogged gutting system may cause ice dams which may rip it right off your home.
- The clogged guttering system may cause damp issue associated with water and moisture.
- Damp or clogged guttering may become an inviting spot to various types of pests, rodent, mosquitoes and ants. There’s a chance that these insects and pests may make their way into your home.
In summary, by controlling the flow of rainwater a gutter system ensures the proper flow of rain water. Thus it protects your landscape, home’s walls, foundation, and roof.
If clogged, it may lead to mold growth, sagging the trim, wet basement, rainwater leaking which may damage both the exterior and interior of your home.
All these situations may lead to costly maintenance and repair work. On the other hand, regular cleaning will prolong the longevity of your homes.
3. How Often Should Your Gutters Be Cleaned?
In fact, the time frame depends on some factors, such as where you live and what surrounds your house.
However, you may need to clean it at least twice a year-once at the end of spring and next in the fall.
Why need to clean during spring?
Well, at this season trees and flowers expel lots of pollen and seeds which may build up in the guttering system. Of course, this process decline at the end of spring. So, I recommend cleaning your roofing system at this time.
Why need to clean during fall?
During fall season all the foliage and leaves start to fall. If you have plenty of trees near your house, you’ll need to clean the gutter. I recommend to clean it when all the surrounded trees nearly bare. It’ll help you to be sure that you have removed as much leaf as possible in one go.
But what if you have plenty of pine or overhanging trees over your roof, you may need cleaning every three months to decrease the potentiality of clogging.
Moreover, after a couple of month of wind and rain or a big storm, you may need to clean them up.
Of course, if you live in a dry, hot area or if there are no more plants near your home, cleaning once a year is enough.
It’s also a good idea to wait until your gutters are dry before you get up there to continue the cleaning process. Otherwise, it’ll be quite filthy and harder to de-junk.
But how to tell if your gutters are clogged and need to be cleaned
Well, if you experience any of the following signs, it’s time to continue the cleaning process-
- If water isn’t flowing freely through the drainpipes
- Water spilling over the sides of the gutters
- Staining on the exterior walls of your house
- Plant growth in the gutter
- Sagging gutters
How to Clean Gutters – What Are The Available Options?
Fortunately, you have several options for cleaning the guttering system.
In this post, I’ll explain three ways plus professional service you can choose from.
Method 1: DIY gutter cleaning from the ground
Telescopic gutter cleaning tools method
Method 2: Cleaning gutters by using a ladder
Hosing Method, Vacuum Method
Method 3: Cleaning gutters from the roof (DIY cleaning)
Leaf Blower Method
Method 4: Hire a professional
How to Clean Gutters- Steps By Steps Guidelines
Step 1: Collect the necessary tools and materials
In this post, I’ll explain the three DIY cleaning method. Depending on which method you plan to apply to get done the cleaning process, collect the necessary supplies. No matter which is your preferred way, you should wear essentials PPE.
Step 2: Assess the state of the clogging contents
No matter what your chosen method is, the pre-step is to assess the state of the clogging materials. Check how much clogs exist and the causes- twigs and dry leaves, dirt or decomposed organic matter or small seedlings.
Next, depending on the conditions (damp or soggy or dry and loose) of the clogging contents, you have to decide how you’re going to collect them.
If the clogged contents are wet, you’ll need scoop, and bucket to clean them out.
If the clogged contents are dry, you’ll need a bag to collect the dried leaves and sticks.
Step 3: Safety first
If you plan to clean it yourself, wearing the PPE is a must.
Gloves- for hand protection from sharp objects in the gutter
Dust mask- to prevent you from breathing in the dust of dried contents
Safety goggles- to keep your eyes safe in case the debris fly back
Step 4: Try the most comfortable one from the following methods
DIY gutter cleaning from the ground
Telescopic gutter cleaning tools method
(Best way to clean gutters from the ground)
Necessary supplies: Telescopic gutter cleaning tools
Cleaning the guttering system is an easy DIY job if you have a single-story house.
If you have a two-story house and not comfortable on ladders, you can clean gutters without a ladder. What you’ll need is a high reach or telescopic gutter cleaning kit to get the job done.
Combined with your height, the total length of the pole of this type of tool is sufficient for reaching high gutters of most homes.
These kits include pressure nozzles that blast away debris and leaves. Thus it allows your gutters to flow freely. It also lets the water flow through.
A lot of gutter cleaner and cleaning tools are also available. You can try those too if need be.
Advantages: It’s the safest option since you don’t need to climb up the ladder.
Disadvantages: You can’t clean the gutter thoroughly, and there is no way to check your work. It’s also a messy method as debris will fall down the ground.
Cleaning gutters by using a ladder
(Best way to clean gutters)
Necessary supplies: Step ladder (for single story house) or extension ladder (for a 2-story home), scoop or hand trowel, trash bag or bucket, garden hose or vacuum cleaner.
For cleaning the gutter of a single-story house, you’ll need to use a step ladder.
But for a two-story house, you’ll need an extension ladder. Select the right size ladder for your two-story house to ensure your safety and convenience.
First, place the ladder on sturdy and solid surface. You can use a ladder stabilizer to keep your ladder in place. You should always have someone nearby to ensure your safety and hold the ladder for you.
Safety Tips 1
Check around for any power lines in your way. Avoid climbing above the top three rungs of the ladder.
Second, collect large debris such as twigs and leave by hand. Some debris may get stuck, and you may need some effort to remove them. Use gutter scoop or trowel for compacted debris.
Top Tip- 1
Be careful not to damage the gutter while using a scoop or trowel.
Place all the debris in the trash bag or bucket. If possible, hook up the trash bag so that your hands remain free to remove the debris safely.
Third, get down and reposition your ladder to another spot of the guttering system to continue the process.
Safety Tip- 2
Avoid overfilling the bag once in a while. If it gets very heavy, it’ll make you fall off.
Third, flush out the gutter.
At this stage, use a garden hose to flush the gutters with water to clear out any remaining debris.
Advantages: It ensures complete and proper cleaning.
Disadvantages: You requires a ladder to get on, and the process might take up some time
If you don’t want to collect the debris by hand, you can use a vacuum cleaner to pick the mess. You can do this while standing on a ladder.
Cleaning gutters from the roof (DIY cleaning)
Leaf Blower Method
Necessary supplies: Extension Ladder, Leaf blowers
It’s the easiest way to clean gutters. But this method also involves using a ladder to climb onto the roof.
Many leaf blowers include nozzle attachment that releases a narrow stream of air. It’s perfect for the purpose of gutter cleaning.
Walk along the edge and blow the leaves out of the gutters as you go.
Be careful not to blow the leaves toward the downspout.
Advantages: If you’re not comfortable standing on a ladder, you can follow this method.
Disadvantages: Debris splatter everywhere in the surrounding. Moreover, you have to climb up the roof which may be risky.
Get Help with Professional Gutter Cleaning Service
If you find it difficult to clean your gutters yourself or to get on ladder is not comfortable for you, you should leave this job to a professional.
Advantages: Cleaning high gutters increase your risk of an accident. So, the best is to call a professional.
Moreover, if you notice ice dams on your roof, it may be dangerous for you to attempt to remove the ice dams by yourself. In this situation, it’s a good idea to hire a professional.
After a storm, you may need to conduct a complete roofing inspection as there might be damages to the gutters and roof that you might not aware of. So, it’s safe to call professional to clean your guttering system.
Professionals are specially trained up to clean the gutter safely. They also check your gutter for damage, leaks or misalignment.
Hiring a professional will save your time in gathering the right tools and figuring out the proper methods.
Disadvantages: You have to spend around $100 to 300 for the service. It may cost more to clean two-or three-story house.
Is There Any Proven Solution To Avoid Gutter Cleaning?
Yes, there is.
Gutter guards/leaf guards are effective that act as filters to keep the debris and leaves from getting into the gutters. Alternatively, you can use gutter hedgehogs to prevent blockages caused by debris and leaves.
As a result, the guttering systems will remain clog-free.
So, have you found the best way to clean out gutters?
Make sure you use all the equipment appropriately and safely when following any DIY method.
Thanks for reading our post on how to clean gutters.