4 Tips on Cleaning Your Gutters

With the onset of autumn comes beautiful shades of leaves. However, you can also expect those very leaves to crowd your lawn, driveway, and gutters once they begin to fall. (Ever wonder if calling the season “Fall” has anything to do with leaves falling?)

Cleaning and maintaining your gutters can be quite the task. We want to make sure you take safety into account first and foremost, but we also have some tips on making the process manageable. Check them out below.

Safety.
Don’t even try to clean your gutters from the roof. There’s no need to make this a dangerous activity (and harder on yourself). A ladder is going to be your best bet. Don’t forget to practice good ladder safety—cleaning out gutters is pretty simple, but you can get hurt in a hurry if you’re not careful or paying attention.

Consider what you wear.
You’ll likely want to wear a shirt with long sleeves. Not only do long sleeves make the process a little less nasty—since most people clean their gutters during fall and spring, you’ll want long sleeves because it may be a bit chilly out anyway.

More importantly than the shirt, wear rubber gloves. This allows you to go to town on your gutters with the most maneuverable tools you have: your hands. Using something else will likely take more time while losing the precision of your gloved hands.

Equipment.
You definitely want to make sure you have a good extendable ladder available. As we mentioned, working on the roof is not a good choice when cleaning your gutters. Bonus tip: try using standoff stabilizers to keep the ladder from causing undue damage to your gutter.

And ifyou really don’t want to use your hands (or if something is particularly tough to remove), consider using a small plastic scoop to remove the built-up gunk.

Think about aftercare cleanup.
Spare your lawn by dumping all the leaves and build-up onto a plastic tarp laid beneath your gutters. Just move it along with you when you move the ladder to the next section.

After you think you’ve gotten rid of most of the muck, just flush the gutters and downspouts with a hose (this is a good way to spot any leaks you may have).

Finally, though a decent chunk of people likely toss all the leaves and wet mess in a trash bag and send it off to the landfill, perhaps bury it somewhere in your yard for better soil or, better yet, composting it. You’d be surprised at how great that stuff is for your garden, yard, or compost!