How to Clean Gutters

Clean gutters allow water to run off of your roof and onto the ground below, keeping your roof protected from moisture buildup that can cause water damage and rot. Properly cleaning your gutters should be a priority in the spring to ensure that your drainage system is working efficiently. We’ll show you how to clean gutters from the ground and from a ladder in a few easy steps.

Skill Level: Beginner
Time:
  1. Step 1 Clean your Gutter from a Ladder

    Clean your Gutter from a Ladder

    When using a ladder, be sure to follow proper ladder safety etiquette. Ensure you use a spotter or a ladder stabilizer to help prevent you from falling. Once you’ve reached your gutters, remove any loose leaves and debris by hand. Wearing gloves helps here. Once the big stuff has been removed, use a gutter scoop to remove any of the hard, stuck-on remnants. Then, use a hose to wash everything away and down the downspout, leaving nice clean gutters behind.    

  2. Step 2 Clean your Gutter from the Ground

    Clean your Gutter from the Ground

    If you’d rather not use a ladder, get yourself a gutter cleaning kit. The simply attach to your hose or pressure washer and allow you to simply reach up and hook the tip into your gutter, rinsing out any debris that might be in there while you’re safely on the ground. Alternatively, you can buy a kit that attaches to your wet/dry vacuum, allowing you to vacuum out the leaves and debris from your gutters. While this may not allow you to get as clean as getting up there with your hands, it’s a great alternative for cleaning out gutters if you’re uneasy with climbing up a ladder.       

  3. Step 3 Unclog Your Downspout

    Unclog Your Downspout

    Once your gutters are cleared, the next step is to check your downspout for clogs. If you noticed while you were clearing the gutters that the flow from your downspout looked weak, you may have a clog. Take your hose and insert it through the bottom of the downspout and spray upward into the spout. This should remove any clogs inside and allow water to start passing through freely. 

  4. Step 4 Install a Gutter Guard

    Install a Gutter Guard

    Installing a gutter guard helps prevent buildup by catching big debris from getting into the gutter and clogging it up. After you’ve removed all debris from your gutters, lay the gutter guard – starting from the leftmost edge – so the back edge of the gutter guard is underneath the shingles of your roof, and then lay the other edge flush with the front edge of the gutter. Screw it in place then repeat until you’re completely covered.    

What You Need for This Project

Related Resources