The ultimate guide to roof and gutter cleaning

We’ve got everything you need from how to clean gutters to our favourite roof cleaning tips.

Updated June 17, 2019

The ultimate guide to roof and gutter cleaning

Roof cleaning and gutter maintenance are important yet infrequent tasks you need to do to keep your home in top condition and looking smart. If you’re dealing with moss that’s hard to shift or you’re just not sure where to start, this article provides a step-by-step guide to cleaning your roof and gutters, including some important safety considerations and a list of the equipment you’ll need.

The easiest way to manually clean your roof and gutters is the day after a light rain. The slightly damp leaves and dirt will come out much more easily! 

Roof and gutter cleaning: what you’ll need

These are key pieces of equipment you should have to hand before you start:

  • Ladder and a ladder strap to secure it.
  • Waterproof gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Rubbish bag or bucket.
  • Trowel or gutter scoop.

How to clean gutters

Gutter cleaning isn’t the most exciting of jobs, but it’s important in terms of overall household maintenance and, luckily, it doesn’t have to be too difficult. Here is a step by step guide to roof gutter cleaning:

  1. Position your ladder safely against the area of gutter you want to clean. Be sure to secure it with a ladder strap and/or make sure you have someone at the bottom to hold it.
  2. Climb the ladder with your gloves and rubbish bag or bin.
  3. Scoop out the waste by hand or using a small trowel (if you get into the habit of doing this you can even purchase a specialist gutter scoop).
  4. Place what you scoop out in your bucket or rubbish bag.
  5. Once you’ve cleaned that area, climb down, move the ladder to a new area and start again.
  6. Be sure to clean in short segments only, as overreaching on a ladder can easily lead to falls.
Never climb on a roof without taking appropriate precautions to prevent falls. Always let someone know you will be cleaning the roof and gutters and get them to help hold the ladder if they can. If in doubt, leave it to the experts. 

How to clean a roof

Now your gutter is clear, what else do you need to do to get a good-as-new roof?

  1. Consider rinsing down the gutters once empty to remove any residual debris and check for leaks.
  2. Check the downpipes and remove any blockages using pressurised water or your hands.
  3. For really thorough roof and gutter cleaning, consider removing moss from roof tiles. This will improve the look of your house and prevent the moss from falling into the gutters and blocking them again.

Top tips for good roof maintenance and gutter maintenance

After cleaning your roof and gutters, maintenance is key. These roof cleaning tips and gutter tricks can help you along the way:

  • Aim to clean your gutters at least twice a year - particularly when the leaves are most likely to fall into the drains.
  • Make sure your gutters are secure. Sagging gutters are much more likely to break.
  • To find gutter leaks, try pouring water dyed with food colouring down them – it’ll be much easier to identify the breaks.
  • Leaks can be repaired with silicone caulk but larger leaks may need the gutter replacing.
  • Trim any trees that hang directly over your roof as these are likely to shed their leaves onto your house.

Those are our favourite roof and gutter maintenance tips but remember: gutter cleaning can be a dangerous job without the right equipment or knowledge. Proceed with caution and call the experts if unsure.

  • Make sure you have all the equipment you need to hand.
  • Clean the gutter in small stretches being sure not to over-reach on your ladder.
  • Try to eradicate the sources of roof/gutter debris such as overhanging trees. 
  • Originally published June 5, 2019