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How to Clean Your Gutters

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Step 1: Get to Your Gutters
  • Step 2: Remove Large Debris
  • Step 3: Remove Smaller Debris
  • Step 4: Clear it Out

The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color and falling off…into your gutter. A gutter full of leaves and debris can pose as a big threat to your home during the winter months. Your gutters and downspouts are designed to move water away from your roof, protecting your home from potential water damage. And when wet leaves freeze in your gutter over the winter, they become an ice dam that prevents drainage and weighs down gutters to the point they can pull away from the roof.

Clearing the gutter system is often overlooked when homeowners prep their homes for the winter months. Let’s take look at how easy this task really is.

What you’ll need:

  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Trowel
  • Hose
  • Bucket

STEP ONE: GET TO YOUR GUTTERS

Safely and securely place your ladder against your home. Climb your ladder high enough to comfortably reach your gutters. Do not attempt this alone. Make sure you have a friend who can hold the ladder to provide more stability and catch you if you were to lose your balance.

STEP TWO: REMOVE LARGE DEBRIS

Once you're safely level with your gutters, begin to remove large debris. You’ll want to have gloves on for this step to ensure you don’t get pricked by stems or other foliage.

STEP THREE: REMOVE SMALLER DEBRIS

For this step, you’ll need your trowel and bucket. Collect the fine and settled debris with your trowel and dump it into the bucket. However, do not fill the bucket up to the point where it becomes too heavy for you. Have a friend grab the bucket from you once you are done.

STEP FOUR: CLEAR IT OUT

Finally, hose out the remaining dirt to completely clear your gutters. Don’t forget to run the water through your downspouts to make sure they are clear too!

For more easy DIY tips like this one, reach out to your local Roto-Rooter expert. They are ready and willing to help.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS BEFORE FALL

When the colder seasons roll around, homeowners need to make sure they're prepared for the weather ahead. What is one important task you should take care of? Inspecting and cleaning your gutters and downspouts - all that rain needs to go somewhere, and gutters and downspouts direct it away from your house. With that in mind, take a look at these steps of cleaning out your gutters and downspout before fall:

The first step to cleaning your gutters is setting up a sturdy ladder and using it to support you as you clear away leaves and debris with your hands or a small tool, like a trowel. Just remember to wear some gardening gloves - over the spring and summer seasons, leaves, sticks, rain and other materials likely all combined to create muddy gunk, so the job will be pretty dirty. If there are lots of leaves and other pieces of debris on your roof, it's a good idea to clear those off as well, since they can easily slide into your gutters and block them.

FOLLOW UP WITH A HIGH-POWERED HOSE

Don't feel like you have to do the whole cleaning job with your hands - a high-powered jet of water from your hose is a great way to clean out some of the gunk remnants and wash the interiors and exteriors of your gutters. Aim the jet down each of your downspouts, as well - this will clear them out, but it will also allow you to test the downspouts to make sure they're working properly. Just be careful with this step - some gutters are made of lightweight plastic, which can crack or rupture if your water stream is too powerful.

CHECK YOUR DOWNSPOUT DRAINS

Finally, walk around your home, and check all of your downspout drains to ensure nothing is lodged in them. All of the drains should be set up to direct rainfall away from your home's foundation, which is crucial for avoiding flooding, so make sure they're discharging water properly.

If you aren't comfortable on a ladder or your downspouts aren't working the way they should, you may want to consider calling your local Roto-Rooter professional - Roto-Rooter offers several outdoor plumbing services, including downspout cleaning and repair.

Need more outdoor plumbing tips? Check out our list of outdoor plumbing tips and tricks.

CALL A ROTO-ROOTER PLUMBING PROFESSIONAL

Often times, it is best to call in the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter. We can address your downspout issues and get them working again in no time. Your local Roto-Rooter plumbing expert can perform all of your routine outdoor plumbing maintenance promptly and, at an affordable price.