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Cleaning out the gutters is nobody’s favorite task, but it’s an important chore on your home’s maintenance checklist. Thoroughly cleaning your gutters twice a year helps to prevent damage to your home and landscaping. Depending on the foliage around your home, your gutters may need to be cleaned every quarter. Read our step-by-step guide to make gutter cleaning easy.
A gutter system directs rainwater away from your home’s roof and foundation. Without gutters, water runoff may pool around your home, eventually damaging its structure, flooding your basement or warping your windows and doors. Debris build-up may encourage mold growth, a leaky roof or sagging gutters, not to mention the welcoming space it provides to rodents and other pests.
If you’re comfortable using a ladder, cleaning your gutters can be done in as little as thirty minutes. For large homes with lots of debris, expect this project to take 2-3 hours or more.
Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to projects that require a ladder. You’ll need to find a ladder you trust, along with sturdy ground to place it on. For two-story homes, an extension ladder and ladder stabilizer are recommended for your safety. Hiring a professional is always the safest option, as they are highly experienced and have access to equipment.
Carry your necessary tools in buckets and use them to collect debris once you’ve started working. Most debris can be broken apart and cleared by hand, but you may need a gutter scoop for tougher spots.
After most of the debris has been cleared away, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to flush out the gutters with water. Starting at the end, direct the water through the gutter and towards the downspout. Nozzle attachments for gutters or pressure washers will provide a thorough clean while helping to speed up the process.
Once the gutters have been flushed, check the downspout for clogs. Spray water directly into the downspout with the hose. If less water is coming out than in, there’s a clog in your downspout. If the clog doesn’t resolve from a targeted water spray, a plumber’s snake can be used to dislodge any clogged debris.
Your gutters must drain in order for them to work properly. After resolving any clogs in the downspout, flush the gutters once more. Inspect your gutters for leaks or damage, and ensure that each gutter is securely attached to your home.
Gutters should slope a quarter inch for every ten feet of gutter. When flushing the gutters, look for standing water—a sign of an improperly-sloped gutter. Gutter hangers can be detached and reattached easily, just be sure to re-flush the gutter once you’ve adjusted the slope.
Tired of cleaning out the gutters or don’t feel comfortable on a ladder? Contact us to learn more about our Leaf Protection Rain Gutter System, a gutter solution that prevents leaf and debris build-up.