Clogged gutters present you with a struggle. They overfill, overflow, and make a really big mess for you to clean up. In addition, they are doing unseen damage to your home. Clogged gutters can cause rotting to the wood trim and soffits and shingle damage as the water backs up. In addition, when they pour over the sides of the gutters, they cause erosion to the earth below which can equal serious damage to your foundation. All of these can add up to exceedingly high repair costs.
Fortunately, there’s a less expensive way to prevent these problems. Clean the clogged gutters. It’s not a pretty job, but it is a necessary evil. I’m sharing with your 4 easy steps to get this job done safely and easily in just a couple of hours of time.
Step One: Gather supplies
Step one, gather all the supplies that you’ll need. It makes life easy to have all you need on hand. Put them in a cart or wheelbarrow and push them along right with you as you run the length of your gutters.
The items that you need are as follows:
- Garden hose with enough length to reach your gutters
- Lawn and leaf trash bags
- Safety goggles
- Work gloves
- Hand trowel
- A sturdy, safe ladder
In addition, we suggest that you invite a buddy over to help you out. This is for two reasons. First, they can keep an eye on things as you ascend the ladder and help you move the supplies along as you progress with the project. Second, you can drop the debris down to them and they can trash it for you. Make sure you supply them with gloves, too!
Step Two: Scrape out debris
I’m not going to lie. There is really no easy way to do this job. You just need to get in the gutters with the hand trowel or your hands (wearing gloves and safety glasses) and scrape out the dead leaves and debris from the track of the gutters. Drop the mess of leaves, seeds, pine needles, and bird nests to your buddy for bagging. This is as low-tech a job as it gets.
Step Three: Rinse the gutters and downspout
After you’ve scraped all the debris and dead leaves out of the gutters, have your buddy hand up the hose and cut on your water. Rinse the gutters and downspout thoroughly, keeping your eyes open to make sure the water runs freely down the entire system and shoots out the bottom of the downspout.
Should the downspout clog up on you, use the running hose like a “snake.” Push it through the clogged area to force it out the bottom. If you still find any clogs, go back and clean again!
Step Four: Protect the gutters from future clogs
Finally, keep gutters from clogging by installing gutter guardsto help alleviate new clogs due to leaves, bird nests, and tree debris. Gutter guards cut down on the number of times you need to clean your gutters each year, keep you off that dangerous ladder, and allow you to put off the need to do this job again anytime soon!
Safety Tips When You Clean Clogged Gutters
- A few final notes on safety when you clean clogged gutters.
- Remember to have a buddy with you. It’s the absolute safest way to go about this job.
- Never over-reach when you’re on the ladder as you can tip it over. Instead, you should move the ladder as often as needed to prevent falls.
- Perform an inspection of your ladder to make sure it’s safe and locks into place securely before climbing.
- Wear the safety goggles as recommended. As you scrape, the debris can fly unpredictably and could poke you in the eye.
- Remember to wear the gloves. Wet leaves can be full of mold and mildew that you don’t want to touch. In addition, there will likely be feces of birds, mice, and squirrels to deal with.
- Wasps love to build nests in the gutters and downspouts. If you see one, make sure there’s nobody home before you pull out the nest. You may need to call a pro exterminator to assist you with nest removal.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to clean clogged gutters easily to get that water running freely away from your house again in just a couple of hours.
Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance digital content writer and a frequent contributor to GutterBrush. She is a prolific DIY blogger and loves sharing tips with homeowners.