Gutters are important because they direct water away from your home. Without guttering, rainwater could damage the siding, foundation, and landscaping around the house. Learn how to clean the gutters to keep your home well-maintained.
It’s Important to Clean the Gutters
While there are different types of guttering, they are all designed to funnel water away from your home. Over time, leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris build up in the gutters, slowing the flow of rainwater.
Clogged gutters overflow and water can seep under your shingles or run over into the landscaping. Poorly managed rainwater and snowmelt can damage the roofing and siding on your home. If the ground becomes saturated, soil can shift and water may leak into your basement.
To tackle gutter cleaning, you’ll need a free weekend, a sturdy ladder, gloves, a gutter scoop, a bucket or tarp, your garden hose, and a friend to steady the ladder. It’s possible to clean the gutters using only your gloved hand as a scoop, but a small plastic shovel or cleaning tool is more effective. Hang the bucket from the ladder to catch the leaves or toss the debris down to a tarp on the ground.
Clean the Gutters
Wear strong work gloves to help protect your hands from twigs, branches, and insect or rodent nests that may be clogging the guttering. Scoop out debris and deposit it into your collection bucket. Clean a small section at a time, taking care when climbing and descending the ladder.
After removing all leaves, twigs, pine needles, and debris, rinse the gutters with your garden hose. The water should flow freely through the gutter channels and out the downspouts. If necessary, direct the hose into the downspout to clear any remaining clogs.
While cleaning the gutters, check the channels and the way the guttering is attached to the house. Look for sagging gutters, loose or broken connectors, rust, and holes. Secure any areas where the gutters may be detaching from the house. Check for leaking endcaps and seal any gaps with silicone caulk. Make sure downspouts are securely attached to the home, otherwise strong winds could tear them loose.