What is the Best Way to Clean Gutters? A Detailed Guide

best way to clean gutters

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April showers bring May flowers… and, if your gutters are clogged, possible damage to your roof, foundation, basement, landscape, and more!

Don’t let common problems caused by dirty gutters damage your home. Instead, stick with us, because we’re about to clue you in on the best way to clean gutters. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to knock this task out in a few hours and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is protected.

Let’s get started!

Cleaning Gutters by Hand: 4 Simple Steps

The last thing you want is to get started with your DIY gutter cleaning project and find out part-way through that you’re missing something important. Not only is this inconvenient, but it could also be dangerous. So, the first thing to do is gather up all your supplies.

Make sure you have a ladder, hose with a spray head, a scoop or trowel, and two buckets. A pair of work gloves with a pair of latex gloves underneath will protect your hands and make the project easier. You can order them in packs of 100 from online retailer for a few dollars.

Once you have all of your supplies ready, follow these four simple steps.

1. Clear Out Large Debris

Make sure you’re wearing your gloves and that your ladder is sturdy. Place your tools in one bucket and use the other to hold the debris you’re about to clear. You can attach both buckets to your ladder for extra safety and convenience.

Start by a downspout and begin removing any large debris (like sticks and leaves) by hand, placing it in the bucket. Use the scoop or trowel to loosen it up any compacted debris and remove it.

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2. Flush Out the Gutters

Once all the big stuff is out of the way, it’s time to flush out anything that’s remaining. Start by removing and cleaning your downspout strainers. Then use the spray nozzle on the hose to flush out the gutters. Start at the end opposite your downspout and work your way closer to it.

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3. Check Your Downspouts

That’s it! Your gutters are clean. But – you’re not done yet.

Now, you need to learn how to clean gutter downspouts. Don’t worry, though, this is easy too.

First, test to see if you have a clog by spraying the hose with full-force into the downspout from up on the roof. If less water comes out the bottom or it comes out much less forcefully, then you have a clog.

Head back to the ground, feed your hose up through the bottom of the downspout, and turn it on full blast. This will often force the clog out and fix the problem. If it doesn’t you’ll need to use a plumbers snake to take care of it.

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4. Do a Final Inspection

After you’ve confirmed that all clogs are removed, flush your gutters one more time. Check that water is flowing as it should, and everything is draining properly. Also confirm that there aren’t any leaks.

If you notice standing water, your gutter slopes are off, and you’ll need to adjust them. Also, check to confirm that the gutters are all firmly attached to the house and don’t have any other damage.

As you can see, this project is pretty simple. However, before you get started, we also recommend that you take a moment to browse through this article so you don’t make some of the most common gutter cleaning mistakes!

The Best Way to Clean Gutters? Use Some Tools!

Cleaning your gutters by hand, as described above, is the simplest method. However, if you want to make things easier, add in some tools!

Just remember that adding power tools into the mix when you’re climbing up and down a ladder does make things a bit more dangerous. If you decide to do this, be sure to exercise extreme caution.

It’s much smarter, however, to purchase extension kits for the following tools. If you’ve been wondering how to clean gutters from the ground, this is it!

Leaf Blower

If the debris in your gutters is dry, you can cut down a lot of time and effort by blowing it out with a leaf blower. You could get up on the roof and just walk along, blowing the gutters as you go, but since this isn’t the safest method, we don’t necessarily recommend it.

An extension kit allows you to do the job while standing on the ground. Just make sure you wear goggles because the debris will blow out and land right on your head!

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Power Washer

If the debris is wet, for example, if a storm has just hit, then a power washer will make the job much easier. Get a U-shaped attachment with a telescoping end so you can do this from the ground. Otherwise, the force behind the washer could knock you off the ladder!

You’ll also need to pick up the debris that washes out the bottom of the downspouts. A rake or pair of gloves will make this task easier.

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Wet/Dry Vacuum

Lastly, you can avoid having to pick up a bunch of debris when you’re done by using a wet/dry vacuum. It will be difficult to manage this from a ladder, so, once again, you’re best off buying an extension kit so you can do this while standing on the ground.

Lastly, the absolute best way to get this done while keeping your feet firmly on the ground is to have your gutters cleaned by a professional. This will cost you a bit more but is the best option for many homeowners who simply don’t feel comfortable tackling the task on their own.

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Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape

Now that you know the best way to clean gutters, you can see that it’s not nearly as hard as you might have thought! Knock it out this weekend and you’ll be all set!

Before you go, though, take a few minutes to browse through a few more of our blog posts. We have everything you need to protect your home and keep it looking great!