Gutter Cleaning 101
It’s easy to neglect your rain gutters, but gutter cleaning is essential for proper water drainage. Here’s everything you need to know about completing this home maintenance task.
Why Clean the Gutters?
Rain gutters are notorious for becoming clogged with leaves, pine needles, animal nests, roof shingle debris, and more. When this happens, rainwater overflows the gutters and runs down the side of the house. In the winter, standing water may freeze and cause ice dams, which can damage the roof.
Prioritize gutter cleaning to avoid these problems:
- Siding stains, rot, and mold
- Foundation damage and basement flooding
- Roof damage and attic leaks
- Garden erosion
- More mosquitoes and other pests on your property
- Detached and damaged gutters
How Often to Clean Your Gutters
As a general rule, plan to clean your gutters twice a year—once in the fall after most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and again in the spring to remove winter debris. If you have lots of trees on your property, you may need to clean the gutters four times a year. Just keep an eye on how your gutters drain during a downpour. If they overflow, you know it’s time for your next gutter cleaning service.
How to Clean the Gutters
Hiring a professional is the easiest and safest option. But if you feel capable and have the necessary equipment, feel free to clean the gutters yourself.
Gutter Cleaning Tools
- Work gloves
- Protective goggles
- Sturdy fiberglass or aluminum ladder with a shelf
- Roof rake
- 5-gallon bucket
- Plastic trowel
- Garden hose
Steps to Clean the Gutters
- Put on your work gloves and goggles, set up the ladder, and climb to the top with a roof rake in hand.
- Rake leaves and twigs from the roof down to the gutter.
- Return the rake to ground level and carry a bucket and trowel to the top of the ladder.
- Scoop debris from the gutters into the bucket.
- Reposition the ladder and repeat these steps until you have cleaned all the gutters.
- Run water from a hose through the downspouts to clear out any clogs there.
- Make sure the downspouts extend at least six feet from the foundation.
Tips to Keep Debris Out of the Gutters
No one looks forward to cleaning their gutters. Fortunately, there are two easy ways to keep your gutters free of debris so you don’t have to clean them as often. First, trim or remove trees that grow close to your house. Then, install screens or a gutter protection system to catch falling leaves before they can clog your gutters.
With the proper preventative measures, such as cleaning your gutters, you can help avoid water damage from storms. However, if your home floods or suffers other types of storm damage this summer, please call DKI at 877-533-0210. We offer 24-hour emergency restoration services to help you recover as quickly as possible.