Cleaning Your Gutters

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 20, 2013)

Gutters can be a wonderful thing when they are working properly. However, when they are not they can very quickly lead to all kinds of problems that can take both a lot of time and money to repair. There is a simple way that you can prevent a lot of these problems from happening, and that is by periodically cleaning your gutters. On the average, you will only need to clean your gutters thoroughly twice a year. Those times are usually in the early spring, and the late autumn. However, if there has been any severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or windstorms you may want to do some cleaning again.

Items needed:

  • Ladder long enough to reach your gutters
  • Water hose
  • Hand trowel
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Leaf blower
  • Large plastic trash bags
  • Plumbers snake
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone caulking

Procedure:

  1. Get to the roof. Use your ladder to get to the roof, but don't lean it against your gutters if you can avoid it. If you do you can easily end up damaging the gutters. This means that you will be cleaning the gutters from the roof.
  2. Begin removing stuff. While you keep three points of contact with the roof put on some rubber or latex gloves, it is time to begin removing any and all junk that you find in your gutters. Keeping three points of contact means that you are keeping three body parts touching the roof at all times. For example, your knee, arm, and foot would be three points of contact.
  3. Water down the dirt. If you haven't cleaned your gutters in a really long time then you may need to get rid of some built up dirt. The easiest way to do this is by getting that dirt wet, and then carefully using a hand trowel to remove it.
  4. Clean up as you go. As you remove stuff from the gutters, put the garbage into a large garbage bag. When each bag gets filled, you can simply drop it down onto the ground below for later pickup.
  5. Check the down spouts. When you get to the downspouts, run a plumbers snake down them. This will break up any clogs that you may have in the gutters and allow water to run down them unhindered. To help break up the clogs (if you have any) a little more, once you have snaked the down spouts, turn the water hose on and put it down the spout. Be gentle when you do this though, since you could easily end up damaging the spout if you're not careful.
  6. Flush out the gutters. Turn on a leaf blower, and then begin blowing out the gutters to help remove any lingering debris that may still be remaining. Once you have done that, turn the water hose on, and place it into the gutter. Let it run for several minutes.
  7. Keep an eye out for leaks. While you are having the water hose run, begin cleaning up any mess that you still have laying on the ground. This should give you plenty of time to allow the water to work its way through the gutter system. Walk around the house and look at the gutters. Make note of any leaks that you find. If you have a piece of tape or string, place it near the leak to allow everything to dry. Once the water dries out, you can apply a little bit of caulking to wherever you saw any leaks.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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