Clearing out your gutters can greatly reduce natural wear and tear to your home. Making sure they are clean before the winter will greatly aid snow melting and be preventative against things like rust. There are a few things to consider before taking on this task:

1.     Safety

Cleaning gutters can be done safely with the proper equipment and a plan. For gutters over a single story, many people hire a professional service. While this is always an option, the job can be done yourself. A decent ladder is the first step towards ensuring your safety while over a story high. Your ladder should be tested prior to use to check for weak spots and level footing. Place the ladder on a flat, hard surface, as it can sink in mud.

2.     Leaf Blower Method

There are many ways to clean your gutters. For low roofs and dry debris, considering using a leaf blower. This is a quick and effective way to get the job done. For more intense cleaning, such as damp, matted debris, keep reading!

3.     Complete Cleaning

If your gutters require a little more attention, a deep cleaning may be the best option. For this option, plan on it taking a few hours from start to finish, depending on the size of your gutters. First, make sure your ladder is completely secure. After checking your ladder for stability, put on some thick work gloves. Gutters can have sharp edges and protruding screws, so never handle them without work gloves. After your ladder is secure and your gloves are tightened, use a small hand shovel to remove dry debris. You should be able to get the majority of the debris out with this method. After this step, use a high pressure water hose, such as a power washer, to remove thicker, tougher debris. Unfortunately, this could be a messy situation, so consider using the power washer on the side of the house after the job is complete. When the gutters are clear, the last step is to check drain pipes for blockages. You can aim the pressure washer down in the pipe, but this may be a dangerous angle on a latter. Consider using a plumber’s auger to loosen clumped up debris in the spout. Free flowing downspouts will help backup and overflow in the gutters and prevent against early rust.