Spring and the beginning of fall are popular times of year to clean your gutters. The gutters need to be in optimal condition to handle fall and winter weather. They should be clear of debris so they can channel water off the roof and away from the foundation. Clean the gutters using these steps.
Gather Your Supplies to Clean the Gutters
Before starting this project, get together all your tools, supplies, and protective gear. Wear appropriate clothing to protect your skin from mud and bacteria. Waterproof gloves, safety goggles, and non-slip boots will help keep you safe and clean. You also may want a trowel or scoop made for cleaning gutters, if you don’t want to use your hands. Get a bucket to hang at the top of your ladder to hold gutter debris. Your ladder should be sturdy and high-quality. Equip a garden hose with a high-pressure spraying nozzle.
Set Up the Ladder Safely
The safest way to set up a ladder is with a 75-degree angle from the side of the house. It should lean against the wall of the house, not against the gutters. Never stand on the top rung. Clean the area of the gutters that you can easily reach, then climb down the ladder and move it. Don’t lean over too far, as this could cause you to fall. You’ll be climbing up and down the ladder a lot, but it will help prevent an injury. Have someone spotting you if you need help.
Scoop Out the Gutters
Use a gloved hand, scoop, or trowel to clean the leaves, twigs, tree nuts, and mud out of the gutters. Place everything you’ve scooped out into the bucket, or throw it onto a tarp on the ground. Then climb the ladder and move it a few feet over. Repeat these steps until you have scooped out the whole perimeter of the gutters.
When you reach the downspouts, scoop out debris that is clogging them from both ends. You may want to use a plumbing snake to dislodge stubborn clogs.
Flush with a Hose
Next, spray out the entire length of the gutters with a garden hose using a high-pressure nozzle. Make sure that the water is flowing out of the downspouts to verify that there are no clogs.
Alternate Methods to Clean the Gutters
There are devices available that offer a way to clean gutters without climbing on a ladder. These include leaf blower extenders and pressure washer extenders made specifically for gutter cleaning. If you don’t feel comfortable on a ladder, look into one of these options. You can also hire a professional to get the job done right and safely.