How to Clean Your Gutters - Central Homes Roofing
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How to Clean Your Gutters

Keep your roof protected by keeping your gutters cleaned out
Read Time: 4 minutes
Oct 17, 2022

Your gutters have an important job: protect your home from water damage. However, if they’re not kept clean, it can be difficult for them to perform that task as effectively. For that reason, it’s important to keep your gutters clean and clear of debris.

Step #1

Gather Supplies

First, gather the supplies you’ll need to clean out your gutters. It’s best to have everything before you start so you don’t have to pause cleaning to pick up more supplies. You’ll need:

  • Ladder
  • Gutter scoop or trowel
  • Garden hose
  • Tarp
  • Gutter fastenings
    • Drill
    • Screws
    • Nails
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Gloves

Some parts of your gutters may need to be repaired and having extra gutter fastenings as well as the tools you need to install them handy can be helpful.

Step #2

Remove Gunk and Leaves from Your Gutters

a homeowner removing gunk from gutters

The next step is to clean out the gutters themselves. This will involve getting up onto the ladder so that you can reach into the trough of the gutters. If you’re fortunate, there will just be leaves in the gutters. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes a gunk-like substance over time if it’s been wet, which can be messy to clean out.

How to Keep Your Landscaping Neat

You’ll want gloves and a trowel or a scoop of some kind. If you have landscaping, you may also want to spread out a tarp so that any loose gunk doesn’t land in your plants. Additionally, the tarp will collect all of the leaves and gunk in one place so it’s easy to clean up later on.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

You should clean your gutters at least twice a year.

Step #3

Clean out Your Downspouts

a contractor on a ladder installing a downspout on gutters

The downspouts are an essential part of your guttering. If a clog forms in a downspout, it could back up the flow of water throughout the entire gutter system. It’s therefore important to keep them cleared out.

What Times of Year Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Fall and spring are the best times of year to clean out your gutters. You may need to clean them more frequently if you have trees overhanging your roof.

Check for Clogs

First, remove the downspout from the gutter system by disconnecting it from the connecting drain. You can visually inspect the downspout for clogs by looking down it to see if you can see through to the end or if there’s an obstruction. Then, put your garden hose into the downspout and spray water down it.

If the water flows freely, then there isn’t a clog, but if it backs up, you’ll need to clear the clog before you continue.

How to Clear a Downspout Clog

Spraying water down the downspout is, in some cases, enough to clear the clog because the water may move the debris that is obstructing the spout. However, if this doesn’t work, then try tapping on the side of the downspout to dislodge the clog and then try spraying the hose down the spout again to check.

How to Dislodge a Stubborn Gutter Clog

If you have a very stubborn clog, you can use an augur to clear it.

Spray Water Through the Gutters

Once you’ve cleared out any clog and have reattached your downspouts to your gutter system, it’s a good idea to spray water through the entire system to clear out any leaves or debris that might remain and to test that it’s working properly.

Step #4

Repair Any Gutter Damage

a contractor repairing gutters

While you were cleaning your gutters, you may have noticed spots that needed some repair. For example, if fastenings were loose, this is something a homeowner can repair themselves. You can use your drill and screws or a hammer and nails to tighten any loose fastenings or use a gutter hanger to prop up any sagging gutter sections.

When Does Damage Indicate that Gutters Need Replacement?

Typically, if the damage is localized, then it’s repairable. If it’s widespread, however, you’re better off replacing your gutters.

If the damage is more severe, you may want to consider calling in a professional

Call a Professional to Replace Your Gutters

Severe or widespread damage to your gutters might not be repairable. If it’s beyond your skills as a homeowner to repair, consider calling in a professional to replace your gutters. This will help to better protect your home because newer gutters will be more durable and in better repair than your older, damaged gutters.

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