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How to Clean Out Gutters

Updated on January 3, 2013

How to Clean Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is one of those jobs that is always put on the long finger but the longer you wait the bigger the job will be and possibly the damage to your property.

It's important to clean your gutters regularly to maintain them in tip top condition and keep them doing the job they're supposed to do. Branches, leaves, moss etc can block the downspouts causing them to overflow, which could then cause water damage to both your roof and foundations. It's also important to ensure you clean your drains out by power washing them as they can also get clogged with debris.

Equipment for Cleaning Gutters

Equipment Needed

  • 2 x 4 Piece of Wood
  • Ladder
  • Roll of Small Refuse Bags
  • Gloves & Goggles
  • Leaf Scooper
  • Garden Hose
  • Power Washer

Getting Started - Handy Tip

Firstly, when gutter cleaning we need to ensure we don't damage our gutters by leaning the ladder against them and causing them to compress and become dented.

So by placing a 2x4 piece of timber into the gutters we can prevent this from happening.

To get the initial piece of wood into place you could ask someone to support the weight of the ladder whilst you climb it and place the 2x4 wood into place.

(Not all gutters are the same width, so you may need to cut the wood to fit snugly into place).


As with all D.I.Y. jobs safety is of the utmost importance, so ensure you have your gloves and goggles to hand.

Gloves are important as the gutters can have sharp or rusty edges which may cause lacerations. Goggles are also extremely important especially on dry, windy days as a lot of dust can be blown about, and when you're up a height the last thing you want is to have any knee jerk reactions, as can happen when something blows in our eyes.

Cleaning the Gutters

Firstly, you want to remove any debris using the scooper. If you don't have a scooper don't worry, you can use things like a garden trowel or even a wooden spoon, and then simply collect the detritus using your gloves.

You need to improvise when gutter cleaning!

You may have noticed in the above list that I added a roll of refuse bags instead of a plastic bucket. This is because I find it easier to place the leaves and twigs etc into a bag, before tying a knot in the top and dropping it below.

This is a lot easier than continuously filling a bucket and climbing up and down the ladder with it.

Just make sure there's no people or pets scurrying about below when you drop the bag however!

Hosing the Downspouts

After you've finished collecting all the debris from all the guttering, and have collected all the bags from below, the next thing to get is your garden hose.

You can go round the whole guttering again to ensure the gutters are free from all leaves and twigs etc.

But also ensure that the downspouts are hosed too and that there's no debris clogging them up.

Whats the Best Time of Year to Clean Your Gutters?

Autumn and Spring are normally the best times to clean them as this ensures your gutters are cleared during the heaviest leaf fall. Remember the guttering system is there to get rid of water in the most efficient way. Any debris that collects causes the water to get clogged.

As the leaves and twigs get soaked they act like a sponge and weigh down heavily causing damage. In winter a tell-tale sign that your gutters are clogged is when you see icicles hanging over the side.

They make look pretty but the damage they cause can be extremely expensive.

So to ensure your guttering system works as efficiently as possible and last as long as possible, therefore saving you money, make sure you clean it out at least twice a year!

Would you prefer to do this or hire a professional?

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    • nikkiwikki profile image

      Nikki Wiks 5 years ago from Ireland

      Hey great it a good time of year to clean the gutters out now or should we wait a little bit longer?