Gutter Cleaning–Someone Has to Do It!

Gutter Cleaning–Someone Has to Do It!

Have you noticed lately that your gutters need a little TLC? If you decide to clean your gutters yourself, there are some tools that you should have to make the process much easier and more effective. Through the course of this blog, we’ll give you the best tools to use, as well as the most effective gutter-cleaning process.

First and foremost, why go through the trouble of keeping your gutters clean?

The “Why”

The purpose of gutters is to guide rainwater runoff away from the roof. Only if gutters are empty will they function in this way. If they get clogged with leaves, twigs, toys, shingle pieces, etc., water cannot pass from the roof to the location the gutters lead. Instead, water overflows from the gutters onto anything below the roof: driveways, walkways, decks, porches, etc. 

Most Effective Gutter Cleaning Tools

Some of the tools below are essential (*) while others are optional yet recommended.

  • Extension ladder with gutter grips*
  • Yard waste bin or garbage bags
  • Gloves
  • Trowel (hand spade)
  • Garden hose with sprayer accessory
  • Wheelbarrow
  • A leaf blower, including gutter cleaning attachment
  • Pressure washer

Five Steps to Clean Your Gutters

STEP ONE: Flush Out Downspouts

If there are extenders attached to the downspouts, remove them. Feed a hose as far up into the downspout as possible and flush it out with water. If the water doesn’t run through the downspout, you may need to loosen the blockage with a snake or similar tool. 

STEP TWO: Set Up Your Ladder

You will need an extension ladder to gain access to your gutters from above. Lean the ladder against the gutter and use ladder grips to stabilize it so there is no sliding off while you’re on it!

STEP THREE: Remove the Big Stuff First

Large debris such as tree branches, smaller twigs, shingle chunks, baseballs, Frisbees, and Mutant Ninja Turtles need to go first. 

STEP FOUR: Spray or Hand-Remove Debris

Spraying your gutters out with a water hose tends to shoot debris everywhere—a messy situation. Taking out debris by hand and tossing it onto the ground is a much neater process. The choice is yours! 

Gutters that have been neglected will not only have leaves loosely resting in the gutters, but those leaves will be resting on top of a layer of decomposed and compacted leaves. The decomposed layer is very dense and heavy. The most effective way to clean this layer is by hand or with a pressure washer. The latter tool will shoot that layer absolutely everywhere—onto the roof, across the lawn, into the neighbor’s yard, you name it. 

gutter cleaning by hand

STEP FIVE: Rinsing Out Downspouts & Gutters

When you’ve mostly cleared out the debris, rinse your gutters and downspouts out with either a water hose or a pressure washer on a light setting. When water flows freely out of the downspout both gutters and downspouts are officially clean.

STEP SIX: Clean Up the Mess

Depending on the method of cleaning you use, you may have a mess to clean up. Rinse off your home walls, windows, air conditioners, etc. Collect the gutter debris and bag it, or put it in yard waste trash bins—however your area collects natural debris or yardwaste.

Another Option: Call Expert Gutter Cleaners

Don’t want to deal with the mess, the commitment, or any of the above? Use this site to find a local roofing company and call the pros to clean your gutters.

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