How To Safely And Effectively Clean Your Gutters

04 April 2019

How To Safely And Effectively Clean Your Gutters

To work effectively, gutters and downpipes need to be clear of dirt and debris such as leaves. A clogged gutter will lead to a build up of rainwater, causing them to eventually overflow and become loose. Water that is not directed away from your home will pool up, rot wood and rust metal.

That’s why, while it may not be the most glamorous task, regular gutter maintenance is hugely important.

When To Clean Your Gutters

In the UK, autumn and winter bring about heavy rainfall, fallen leaves and even snow. With this in mind, the best time to clean your gutters is before the leaves start to fall, ensuring that there is plenty time to pick up on any potential repairs before the weather becomes wet and windy.

Step One: Safety First

First, make sure that you have a sturdy extendable ladder that can be placed on a safe surface. We recommend using a ladder stabiliser that can help to prevent damage to the gutters. Ideally, you will have someone else with you who can give you assistance if you drop something or need help keeping the ladder in place. Make sure that you dress for the job too – cleaning gutters can be dirty work!

Step Two: Scoop Out The Debris

With a small, plastic stoop you can begin to remove any debris that has built up in the gutters. Using a utensil made from plastic, rather than metal, will ensure that you are not damaging the gutters as you scrape. Spread a tarp underneath your ladder to collect what you have removed from the gutters, rather than it causing damage to your lawn or pavement.

Step Three: Use A Hose

Once all of the debris has been removed, use a garden hose across the gutters and downspouts. This will not only remove any excess dirt that you have missed but give you a good indication as to whether you have any leaks that will need your immediate attention.

Step Four: Clear Drainpipes

If water is no longer draining freely through the drainpipes, then they may require further attention. You may need to use a plumber’s auger to pull out any debris from the bottom or push it out through the top. If it’s a job well done then your drainpipes should expel water away form the house.

Step Five: Check For Signs Of Damage

While this can be done during the cleaning process, you should have a final check for any signs of damage that you might not have previously spotted. Rust, flaking or peeling paint, wood rot and, of course, leaks are all signs that your gutters and downpipes need replacing.

Long Term Rain Gutter Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your gutters, it is recommended that you have them cleaned at least once a year. However, there is no rule against giving your gutters a quick check a few times a year to make sure that any large pieces of debris are removed, that screws are tight and that no brackets are loose.

For more information, contact one of the team.