Cleaning Guides

How to Clean Your Gutters Like a Pro

Gutter cleaning is something people tend to neglect until something starts growing out of their gutter. It’s very important to keep your gutters clean and in a good condition. Otherwise, you run a high risk of water creeping under your roof or worst-case scenario – into the house’s foundation. In this guide, you will learn about how to clean your gutters, when the best time is to do so and the tools you’ll need to handle the job.

So if:

  • Your gutters get clogged on a regular basis;
  • You don’t know what tools to use to clean your gutters;
  • You aren’t aware of the ways to approach the task;

Then this post is for you.

How often should you clean your gutters?

To give you a simple answer, we recommend cleaning your guttering twice a year, once during spring and again during autumn. It’s more likely to rain during these seasons, meaning your gutters and drain pipes need to be in top and clean condition.

Still, how frequently you should clean the gutters of your property will really depend on your location, the frequency of rainfall and the proximity of trees to your house.

For instance, If you live in an area where the summer is hot and there are trees near your house, your roof can quickly accumulate a lot of leaves, twigs and even remnants from bird nests. If neglected, all this debris will clog the downpipe, which can lead to some serious damage once the wet season begins.

Moreover, during the spring, flowers and trees tend to expel a lot of seeds, blossoms and pollen which can also fill up the gutters. This process normally lasts until the end of spring, which makes it the perfect time for a gutter clean-up. This also holds true for autumn, when deciduous trees start to shed their leaves. A good indicator for when to clean your gutter is when you see that the trees’ crowns are almost out of leaves.

Of course, if your house is located in the middle of a large open area without a lot of vegetation you might need your gutters cleaned only once a year.

However, keep in mind that this is a rough estimate. If the weather is pouring, you will need to check your guttering more often and clean it if needed.

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Gutter cleaning equipment

Before we go over the tools you’d need, keep in mind that it’s a good idea if you wear a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and work pants, as gutter cleaning can be a messy job. You will need at least one of the following gutter cleaning tools if you’re to successfully clean your gutter.

Tools

  • Leaf blower
  • Wet / dry vacuum
  • Power washer
  • Garden hose
  • Gutter scooper

Equipment

  • Ladder
  • Bucket 
  • Heavy-duty work gloves

Gutter cleaning methods

So, now you know what tools you need, when and why to clean your gutters, all that’s left is to get acquainted with the best ways to clean gutters. In this post, we have compiled a list of DIY gutter cleaning tips and tricks, which will make the process a lot easier and stress-free.

How to clean gutters using a leaf blower

Cleaning out your guttering, using a leaf blower, is usually a straightforward job. With the right extension, you won’t even need a ladder, which is why this is a preferred method for some. Make sure that the leaves and twigs clogging the gutter are as dry as possible before you start. When the time is right, start blowing the debris out of the gutter from one side to the other carefully, as you want to avoid damaging the roof, walls or windows. You have to blow in the opposite direction of the downpipe, otherwise, the blown debris might fall in and clog it.

If the drainpipe is filled with debris, you might need to loosen them, which can be done by aiming your leaf blower’s gutter nozzle at the pipe’s opening at the top and letting it run.

Pros and cons of using a leaf blower:

Pros:

  • Easier cleaning of downpipes – With some luck, the pipe can be unclogged with a simple blow, especially when it’s slightly blocked.
  • Safety – With the right equipment, you don’t have to use a ladder and put yourself in danger.

Cons:

  • Incomplete results – In some cases, using only a leaf blower, won’t be enough, due to the fact that sticky mud or other wet debris cannot be removed completely with a leaf blower. Instead, consider using a pressure washer as it will be much more effective for the job. The downpipe can also get packed with slushy debris and in those cases, the leaf blower won’t be effective. If this happens, you will need to dismantle the pipe and clean it by hand.
  • Leaving a mess – Using this machine is really a piece of cake, but it can take some practice for a decent result. For instance, you might clean the gutter spotless, but the whole mess might end up on the roof.

How to clean gutters using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner

You can try to clean your gutters with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner if you have the right extensions and attachments. This method will save you a lot of time and energy, as you will be able to clean the gutters from the ground. The machine is mainly used to remove heavier build-ups of debris.

  1. Hold the extension attachment upright with its end going into the gutter and slowly go from one side to the other to remove all the twigs, leaves and other debris that have accumulated.
  2. If the drainpipe is also clogged up, just vacuum it from the bottom.
  3. Once the bigger debris has been removed, flush the gutter and downpipe with water, using your garden hose.

Also, note that you might have to empty out the vacuum cleaner a couple of times during the process if your guttering and drain pipes are too dirty.

Pros and cons of using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner:

Pros:

  • Cleaning is easier and quicker – Using a vacuum cleaner will save you a lot of time, as it works with high RPM (rotations per minute) and you will be done with the job in no time.
  • Minimum maintenance required – All you need to do after you finish working with the equipment is to empty or change the bag.

Cons:

  • It can be noisy – you might have troubles with the neighbours using this particular machine, as it tends to be really loud.

How to clean gutters with a pressure washer

The pressure washer is a great choice when it comes to cleaning out gutters safely. With the proper extension, you won’t need a ladder. Note, however, that you will need to get a special curved attachment – a gutter wand, in order to adapt the pressure washer for the job. 

Turn the machine on and move slowly from one side to the other. Power washers work with high pressure, making them effective and convenient to use. However, it’s very important that you adjust the pressure of your machine, in order to avoid causing damage to your property. Make sure you grab some waterproof clothing and protective goggles, as the work might get wet and messy. You can use the pressure washer to clean your blocked downpipes, as well. Make sure water can run down freely afterwards.

Pros and cons for using a power washer:

Pros:

  • Time efficiency – Pressure washing is one of the fastest ways to clean guttering.
  • Quality – The machine works under pressure, making it really easy to remove even the toughest of grime build-ups.

Cons:

  • Extra work – Your roof and walls may get messy, too.
  • Risk of damage – Make sure you adjust the pressure of your power washer, so you don’t damage the gutters.

If you have damaged guttering, here is how we can help you out!

How to clean gutters with a garden hose

As long as the gutters are not completely packed with debris, you can use your garden hose to complete the job. Like the previous examples, if you use the right attachment (telescoping rod with a curved end), you can clean the gutters from the ground up. However, you will still need to remove the larger pieces of debris by hand, prior to using the hose. 

Once that’s done, start at the farthest end opposite the downpipe and flush the end of the gutter.  

Pros and cons for using a garden hose:

Pros:

  • Accessible tools – Almost everyone has a garden hose, which makes this method convenient and affordable.
  • Easy to use – Garden hoses usually work under lower pressure, making them safe and easy to handle.

Cons:

  • Additional jobs – The debris has to be picked up by hand before you use the hose.
  • Possibly ineffective results – You may not be able to fully clean the downpipe because of the low pressure used during the process.

How to clean gutters by hand with a ladder 

If you don’t have any of the machines and tools listed above, you can clean your gutters by hand. Just make sure you gather the following items first and have an extra person present.

  • Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Ladder stand-off
  • Bucket 
  • Gutter scraper

Make sure to put your handyman gloves on. Don’t use disposable ones, as they will get ripped in no time. After that, make sure your ladder is in a good condition. If you notice loose steps or cracks, don’t proceed working with it, as it’s not safe to use. After you inspect the ladder you can now attach your ladder stand-off. 

Start the clean at the end of the gutter where the downpipe is located and check if it’s blocked. If it is, you have to make sure to clean it before anything else. If your drainpipe is blocked by debris, get yourself a plumbing snake -or drain auger and insert it from the top of the pipe. If the pipe is in good condition, start by scooping the debris out and away from the gutters. Don’t forget to empty the bucket regularly, as it might get heavy if you overfill it.

When that is done, it will be good to run your garden hose down the gutter, making sure nothing is preventing the rainwater’s flow. This is also a way to check if there are any leaks.

Hire a professional gutter cleaning specialist 

Hiring a professional gutter cleaning company is probably the easiest thing you can do to get your guttering system unblocked. Expert gutter cleaners, like the ones we work with, use special industrial gutter vacuum cleaning systems with long extension poles. They allow them to clean your gutters from the ground without taking any unnecessary risk, climbing a ladder. Moreover, those machines are also equipped with cameras, which allow you to see before/after images of the work done.

We count on highly trained and educated professionals, who have all the needed equipment to finish the job in a timely manner, so you can enjoy the rest of your day. Waste no more time and book our gutter cleaning service with just a click.

Looking for a professional gutter cleaning specialist?

Get in touch with Fantastic Services today!

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH

Takeaways

  • Clean your gutters before spring and autumn rainy seasons.
  • Make sure you don’t damage the guttering or clog the downpipe during the process.
  • Check if your ladder is safe to use and use the help of a friend to hold it if you don’t have a ladder-off.
  • Don’t forget to wear protective clothing and goggles if needed.

***

Did you find our post helpful? What do you use to clean your gutters? Please tell us in the comment section below!

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