Outside the Home

How to Clean Gutters

You can make a big difference to your home by knowing how to clean gutters – and you only need a few tools. Read on for our easy guide to cleaning gutters, including how to clean roof tiles.

Roof cleaning and cleaning gutters isn’t just a way to improve the appearance of your house – it is essential for preventing damage to your home by collecting run-off water. When the colder months have finished it’s a great time to get out and start clearing out dead leaves from autumn and winter, ready for some inevitable summer downpours. Neglected gutters can harbour a lot of condensation and mould, so to avoid this, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide full of handy hints to make sure you have clean gutters that are functional.

When is it Time to Clean Gutters?

Most people don’t count cleaning gutters as their favourite pastime. But if you get onto it often enough, there will be very little to dread. If you clean your gutters more than once per year, it’ll be easier each time you do it, and you’ll help avoid damage to your home. Rather than waiting for the leaves to fall in March before you start clearing your gutters, jump on it earlier and you’ll notice the job is a lot easier.

What Do You Need for Cleaning Gutters?

Make the gutter cleaning job easier with a few inexpensive tools.

For access: You’ll probably need a ladder in order to reach your gutters, so make sure it’s a sturdy one. Aluminium ladders are generally more stable than wooden ones; however, if you’re operating near an electrical source, don’t choose a ladder that allows an electrical current to pass through it. Pick a dry day to minimise risk and if you’re cleaning gutters near electrical wires, always inspect them to make sure they’re in good condition. Wear rubber-soled shoes for extra safety. If you can, ask somebody to secure the ladder for you while you work.

For cleaning: Throw on some thick gloves and grab a bucket or plastic bag to collect all the debris so you won’t have to pick them up from the ground. Get a short rake or similar leaf removal tool if you prefer not to dig in with your hands.

How to Clean Gutters

Always scrape the debris away from the downpipes so that they don’t get blocked. Scoop the leaves and muck with your choice of tool, but make sure you never reach further than an arm’s length away. Moving the ladder one more time could save you from a nasty fall. If your tool is made of metal, be careful not to scrape and damage the gutter.

Always check for leaks in the gutter too, because a leaky gutter can be worse than a blocked one. Check by pouring a bucket of water into the gutter so that you can examine whether or not the water is flowing as it should, check for any leaks, and also remove some of the dirt. You could also spray the gutters carefully with a garden hose to test for leaks and remove anything you might have missed while you were scooping the debris.

You’ll feel a whole lot better with clean gutters and a safer house.

Key Steps:

  1. Put on some rubber gloves and begin by removing debris with your hands, or with a short rake.
  2. One part of achieving clean gutters is to check that there are no leaks. Pour a bucket of water to remove dirt and check for any leaks in the gutter.
  3. If you’re on a ladder, make sure you’re putting safety first. If you can’t safely reach your gutter or you’re unsure about working from heights, call in a professional.

Top Tip


Clean gutters using the scoop and drop method. Put a piece of plastic tarp or an old sheet on the ground beside your ladder, and allow the leaves and debris to drop onto it. Move the tarp along with you when you move your ladder. This makes the tidying up part at the end a lot easier – plus you can easily pour it into your compost bin.