Gutters play an important role in protecting your home from water. When they get clogged with leaves and debris, they overflow and can cause water to seep under the roof and pool around the foundation. Clean gutters regularly to prevent this problem.

When to Clean Gutters

Clean gutters twice yearly, once in the fall and once in the spring. If your landscaping includes overhanging trees or if you’ve experienced a lot of rain and wind, your gutters may need to be cleaned more often.

If a big storm is in the forecast, take a look at your gutters before inclement weather strikes. A quick sweep of the most vulnerable areas or even just near the downspouts is a preventive measure that can help prepare for a storm.

It’s easier to clean gutters once they have dried out. If you attempt to clean them immediately after a storm or during a particularly rainy season, you’ll find it harder to remove the built-up gunk.

Put Safety First

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is trying to clean gutters from on top of the roof. Doing this is very dangerous. Instead, use a ladder and pay close attention to your surroundings. You may be tempted to reach out further to avoid moving the ladder, but play it safe by keeping your waist between the ladder’s rails at all times. Risking your safety to reach a few extra inches of gutter isn’t worth it.

If your lawn is uneven, enlist a friend to act as a spotter and provide extra stability for the ladder. A standoff stabilizer also helps with safety for an extension ladder and prevents the ladder from resting on the gutters and damaging them.

If your ladder has a built-in hook at the top, attach a bucket with a handle to collect your debris. If there is a lot of debris to clear, place a tarp underneath the gutters so you can simply throw it down without scattering leaves and dirt around your property. Move the tarp as you move the ladder for easy clean-up.

Use Your Hands

Your hands are the best tool for scooping out sediment and leaves. Wear a good pair of gloves and start cleaning at the downspout first. Keep moving your ladder across the gutter until you’ve cleared as much as you can.

Next, use a hose to flush out finer debris. Run the water at the opposite end of your gutters from the downspout. If the water trickles out of the downspout, run it at higher pressure directly into the downspout to clear the clog.

Follow these steps to clean gutters like a pro and keep your gutters performing well.

Gerhardt Home Inspection Services provides home inspection services to Northeastern Ohio. Contact us to schedule an appointment.