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Gutter Cleaning: How to Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning gutters is an essential part of home maintenance. Read our guide to gutter cleaning, including the tools, methods, & safety precautions you should know.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

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Gutter cleaning isn’t only a matter of improving the appearance of your house – gutters are first and foremost essential for leading excess water off the roof and preventing damage to the building’s infrastructure. Condensation and mould are only a few of the potential harmful consequences that come hand in hand with neglected gutters. To help you avoid this, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on how to keep your gutters clean and functional.

Try the scoop and drop method when clearing your gutters. Lay a piece of plastic tarp, or an old sheet on the ground next to your ladder and then drop the leaves and debris directly onto the tarp. When you move your ladder along to do the next section, move the tarp too. This method makes tidying up a lot quicker as you can collect the rubbish all in one place and then easily empty it into your compost bin.

When is it Time to Clean Gutters?

Very few people would count cleaning guttering among their favourite activities. Yet, if done often enough, there is absolutely no need to dread it. Cleaning gutters more than once a year not only means that it is a lot easier and less time-intensive each time, but also ensures that you lower the risk of any damage to your house. Clean gutters will help you avoid water damage and slow down the rusting process at the same time.

What Do You Need for Gutter Cleaning?

With a few handy tools gutter cleaning can be easy and inexpensive.

For access: In order to reach your gutters, you will need a ladder – opt for a sturdy one. Get a pair of shoes with rubber soles for extra safety. Ideally, someone should secure the ladder for you; while clean gutters are important, safety always comes first.

For cleaning: Put on some gloves and find a bucket or plastic bag to collect the leaves and dirt so you won’t have to pick them up from the ground later. Also get hold of a short rake or another tool of your choice to remove leaves and dirt from the gutters if you prefer not to use your hands.

How to Clean Gutters

Make sure to always scrape debris away from downpipes, as you don’t want to accidentally block them. Scoop out leaves, muck, and dirt with your tool of choice from the gutters, but make sure you don’t reach further than an arm’s length away in the process of cleaning out the gutters. It is much better to move the ladder one more time than to risk a fall. If you are using a metal tool, be careful not to damage and scrape the bottom of the gutter.

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Make sure to check for leaks as well; clogged gutters are bad, but leaky ones can be even worse, as the water might end up inside your walls. Pour a bucket of water into the gutters – this will not only allow you to check for any leaks and examine whether the water is flowing as it should, but also help to get rid of additional dirt. Alternatively, you can carefully spray down the gutters with a hose to test for leaks and remove anything you might have missed before.

Power or Pressure Washing Gutters

If there is a large build up of gunk and debris, you might want to consider pressure washing gutters instead of cleaning by hand. If you do decide on power washing gutters, always take care to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully – and if in doubt, hire a professional to do the job for you!

Clean gutters, and a safer house: Give it a go.

  • You can remove leaves and debris using your hands, just be sure to wear rubber gloves; alternatively you can use a short rake.

  • Part of gutter cleaning is checking that there are no leaks. Pour a bucket of water into the gutter to see if any water leaks out, this will also remove any dirt.

  • Always use ladders in a safe way. If you can’t easily or safely reach your gutter, or if you are unsure about working at heights, seek professional assistance.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published