How to Clean Gutters: An Easy Guide
As DIY tasks go, cleaning gutters isn’t one you’ll relish. However, a gutter that’s clogged full of leaves, twigs, and other debris can cause roof damage, flooding, and leaks. It’s not worth leaving it to chance. Here’s our easy guide on how to clean gutters.
Why Clean Gutters?
When it rains, as it often does in the UK, gutters direct the rainwater away from your home. If your gutter is clogged however, you’ll find that;
You’ll get leaks and damp inside your home;
Your roof leaks;
Your home’s siding starts to rot.
All of these can cause mould and result in you having to shell out the cash for some very expensive repairs. Don’t be left wishing you’d just cleaned the gutters when you had the chance.
A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean Gutters
Get the Right Ladder
Whether you live in a bungalow or a two-storey house, you need a ladder to clean gutters. For a bungalow, a stepladder might do whereas for a two-storey home, you’ll need an extension ladder. Remember to set your ladder on firm, level ground. For every 4ft of height, position the ladder base one metre away from the wall. If there’s someone around, ask them to hold the bottom of the ladder while you work. Better safe than sorry.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
It’s not just the ladder you need to get right, you need suitable tools to clean gutters too. You’ll need;
A bucket or strong plastic bag- for cleaning wet, sludgy debris as you go;
Thick outdoor gloves like gardening gloves-this will protect your hands from grime as well as any sharp roof tiles;
A trowel- this will help you clear the leaves and debris and put them in to your bucket or plastic bag.
You’ve got your ladder set up and your tools at the ready. Climb up to the gutters and use your trowel to scoop any debris up. Once you’ve dislodged it, start putting handfuls of debris into your bag or bucket. When you’re up the ladder and you’ve cleaned a section, stop and climb down. Reposition your ladder and clean the next section. Don’t lean or overreach as you can end up tipping your ladder.
Clean Gutters with a Hose or Bucket
Once the gutter is clear of debris, it’s time to give them a good wash to clear out any remaining grime. If your hose reaches your gutter, use it. Ideally, you want a medium water pressure. All you need to do is point it down the gutter so any remaining debris flows away.
If you can’t use a hose, use a bucket. It’s not the best solution and it’s a bit more arduous but it works if you’re in a pinch.
When Should You Clean Gutters?
Most expert DIYers will suggest inspecting and cleaning your gutters at least once per year. However, use changes in the seasons and weather as a guide. Rain and leaves falling in the autumn and winter can mean that gutters are more easily clogged. Even things like bird breeding seasons can have an impact if their nesting materials and feathers clog your gutter. Aim to clean gutters in the spring and after the leaves have fallen in the autumn.
Nobody looks forward to cleaning gutters, but it needn’t be such a daunting task. Follow our step-by-step guide to clog-free gutters and a leak-free roof.
For more interesting articles on all things safety steps and DIY, check out the rest of our blog.