Homeowner's Academy

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How to Safely Clean Gutters and Downspouts

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Mar 05, 2014

gutters-downspouts-197x300Cleaning your gutters every spring is a great way to protect your home from water damage. If left unchecked, leaves, twigs and other debris can clog your gutters and downspouts, causing water to seep into your roof, siding and your home’s foundation. You can safely and easily clean out gutters and downspouts with just a few tools.  People’s Trust recommends: 

To start the process you first need to look at the upcoming weather forecast. Aim for before or a few days after any large rainstorms because it is easier to clean gutters when the debris is dry.

On cleaning day, you’ll want to gather:

  • Ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Bucket
  • Garden hose and nozzle
  • Trowel or spade

To start cleaning your gutters, place your ladder close to one of the downspouts on your home. You want to make sure to stay off of the top three rungs and never clean gutters from your roof. If possible, attach your bucket to a rung of your ladder using its handle or place it on the bucket shelf.

Using gloves, pull out large debris from the gutter near a downspout. For hardened materials and smaller debris, gently use a trowel or spade to scoop it out. Place all of this debris in your bucket. Work your way around your home.

Flush your gutters with a gentle stream of water to clear out fine particles.

For downspouts that drain slowly or not at all, you’ll want to clean them from the ground. Attach a nozzle to your hose and adjust it to full pressure. Turn on the water and being snaking the hose up the bottom of your downspout. Continue spraying until the water starts to flush out clean. After flushing out the downspout, climb back up your ladder and flush out your gutters once again.

Is That Ladder Safe?

Make sure you check your ladder before and after use to make sure all the rungs are safe. Never use a ladder with loose or cracked rungs, and always double-check locks before use. For more ladder safety tips, see our blog post here.

This Blog is sponsored by:
People’s Trust Insurance Company