How to Clean Your Gutters and Why It’s So Important

Gutter dripping water

Routing water away from your home is incredibly important. Gutters play a critical role in managing water and keeping it from ruining roofing, the exterior of your home, and ultimately flooding your basement. Clogged gutters in winter can actually detach from your home due to the weight of the ice, causing considerable damage.

Needless to say, it’s critical that you keep the gutters on your home clean and clear of any debris.

Tools you’ll need to clean your gutters

You’ll need:

  • A trowel
  • A safe ladder
  • A garden hose with spray nozzle or gutter cleaning attachment
  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles

To clean your gutters begin near the downspout

Make sure you’ve had several days of dry weather before you begin cleaning so that the debris in the gutters you’ll be removing is dry.

  • Step 1: Remove leaves and other large debris from the gutters beginning near the downspout using the trowel.
  • Step 2: If applicable, remove and clean downspout strainers.
  • Step 3: Then, using your garden hose, flush out the remaining debris from the furthest point away from the downspout.
  • Step 4: If the downspout is clogged, remove the bottom section of the downspout closest to the ground.
  • Step 5: Use your garden hose at full pressure or a plumber’s snake to loosen remaining debris by feeding the hose or snake up from the bottom of the spout until the clog is dislodged. You may need to remove additional sections of the downspout to get at the clog.
  • Step 6: Once the clog has been removed, finish clearing any remaining debris from the gutters using the garden hose.

Things to watch for when you’re cleaning your gutters

Standing water in the gutters means that your gutters are not properly slanted toward the downspout. The gutter should decline one quarter inch every ten feet until it reaches the down spout.

Leaks at the seams can be repaired using gutter sealant. Wait for the gutter to dry before sealing.

One way to prevent the build-up of debris in your gutters is by attaching gutter screens. Gutter screens let only the water through and make keeping gutters clear a whole lot easier.

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