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How to Clean Your Gutters

Let’s get our minds in the gutter for once, shall we? While definitely not the most glamorous (or fun) household chore, it’s an important–and satisfying!–one to keep the overall health of your home in tip top shape. Below, we’re sharing a few key steps, materials, and tips when cleaning your gutters.

When…to Clean Your Gutters

Late fall and early spring are excellent times to clean your gutters–both seasons bring with them lots of leaves, debris, and precipitation. Late fall will get your gutters prepped for ice and snow in winter and spring will help clear out anything left behind by those bad weather months.

Why…Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning your gutters regularly doesn’t just keep your gutters in good shape, it protects many other areas of your home too. Water, storm debris, ice, branches, birds’ nests, leaves, and so much more can get caught in gutters, causing them to overflow and/or clog up. Clean, empty gutters protect your roof, landscaping, and foundation from sagging, buckling, freezing, shifting, and flooding.

How…To Clean Your Gutters


Gloves: Hard-wearing, thick gloves that brambles and branches won’t puncture
Ladder: Sturdy, extendable, safe–and practice ladder safety!
Bucket: For collecting smaller debris in your hands
Tarp: For collecting larger debris at the base of the ladder
Landscaper trash bags: For collecting all debris once the gutters are cleaned
Scoop, shovel, spatula, etc: For getting into smaller areas, working in crevies
Garden Hose: For flushing out gutters


Step 1

Start at the downspout and work towards the closed end

Step 2

Clear oversized debris by hand and use your shovel or scoop to get the smaller pieces

Step 3

Once you’ve got everything out of any drains and gutters you can reach, fit your garden hose with a spray nozzle and flush out any remaining debris.

Step 4

Remove any clogs in the downspout by spraying the hose up the spout to break up the clog. You can also use a plumber’s drain snake to help.

Step 5

If you see any standing water in your gutters over the month, you may need to readjust the gutter hangers that attach to the house. The gutter slope should be 1/4 inch for every 10 feet toward the downspout.

Handy Tips

Stay Dry.

Don’t try to clean your gutters after precipitation. Wait a few days after the last rain to begin, because dry leaves and branches are much easier (and lighter) to remove from gutters than water-logged ones.

Dress the Part.

Wear long sleeves, long pants, goggles, and socks with boots while cleaning gutters. You don’t know what kind of debris you’ll be clearing out so you want to keep your skin and eyes protected.

Repair and replace.

If your gutters are sagging, cracking, splitting, rusting, or have water damage, it might not be enough to simply clean them. Keep repairing and replacing in mind when you’re accessing the strength and health of your gutters each season!

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