Clean gutters and eavestroughs are necessary to maintaining a well-functioning home. While cleaning them is one of the least fun tasks associated with homeownership, failing to keep yours clear can result in a number of problems. Save yourself the headache and costs that come with these issues by taking the time now to learn how to properly clean your gutters and eavestroughs like a pro.
While your gutters and eavestroughs are located near the top of your home, we’re guessing they’re rarely top of mind. Ignoring your gutters and eaves can result in many costly and annoying home issues. For example, if you let various dirt, debris and plant matter build up in your gutters this could lead to things like mould, leaks, pests and worst of all, structural damage to your home. It’s easy to see why keeping your gutters and eaves clean and clear is so important.
Experts recommend that gutters and eavestroughs should be cleaned about twice a year, once in the Spring and again in the Fall. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. The weather and environment will greatly impact how hard your gutters and eavestroughs are working and will dictate the frequency of cleaning. If you live where there’s little rain and there are no plants near your home, once a year is may be enough. If you live in a rainy or snowy climate, near lots of trees and nature, your gutters will need to be cleaned more often.
Before we begin, make sure you feel comfortable doing this work yourself before you start. Cleaning your gutters and eavestroughs is work for those who consider themselves handy, aren’t afraid to get messy, and also don’t mind heights and working on ladders. If this doesn’t sound like you, you can always hire a professional to take care of it for you. It will be money well spent knowing a trained professional is taking care of the work, and you can sit back and relax.
Gutter & Eavestrough Cleaning Equipment
If you’re comfortable handling the job yourself, let’s get started. First, you will need the following items:
- Gloves. Sharp and broken objects may have fallen into your gutters over time. To avoid scrapes and cuts, make sure you wear protective gloves.
- Safety goggles. There’s a lot of gunk that builds up in there and you certainly don’t want any of it flying into your eyes.
- Garden trowel. Use this or any other similarly shaped tool to scoop out debris.
- Drop cloth. Lay one out below you so you and easily collect fallen debris.
- Ladder. Unless you are exceptionally tall, you’ll probably need some help reaching your roof.
- Spotter. Do not risk falling off; make sure you have someone helping you to hold the ladder while you work.
- Garden hose. Running water will help clear blockages. Make sure your hose can reach your gutters and eavestroughs before starting.
Once you have all of your items, you can begin the process of cleaning your gutters and eavestroughs.
Gutters & Eavestroughs Cleaning Instructions
Position your ladder at the end of your eavestroughs opposite the downspout. Climb up the ladder and have your helpful assistant/spotter hand you the garden hose. Run some water through the gutter to help see where debris collects and where blockages are.
Using a garden trowel and your hands, scoop out all the dirt and debris onto the drop cloth below. Make sure to avoid getting the debris on your spotter.
Once the gutter is free and clear, run some more water through it to help spot any damage or leaks that may have occurred.
Climb down the ladder and reposition it to the next segment of your gutters and eavestroughs. Climb back up and repeat steps 1-3 again until all your gutters are clean.
While time-consuming and cumbersome, cleaning your gutters and eavestroughs is relatively easy once you get into the habit of it. However, it is important to consider if going through all of these steps are worth your time and effort. If reading this article has made you reconsider, you can always find a home service pro to do the job for you on HomeStars. Easily and quickly get 3 quotes from top home service professionals in your area by clicking this link. Whichever method you choose, make sure you keep your gutters clean to ensure a happy and healthy home!
Cover image courtesy of Building Pro.