How to clean your gutters this fall
August 15, 2014
During the summer, the leaves in the trees offer shade and their gentle rustling in the breeze can be calming and therapeutic. However, when fall approaches, those once-helpful welcoming leaves become something much more sinister. Drained of their color, they turn into brown husks of their former selves and begin bombarding your lawn and roof.
Fighting against the never ending onslaught of leaves can be treacherous, as they sail down onto your property like invading paratroopers, eager to smother your lawn and ransack your gutters. A leaf-covered lawn can be an eyesore, but a clogged gutter can mean much more trouble.
The dangers of a clogged gutter
According to Fox News, when gutters fill with water, they can filter water into your siding or under your shingles. This can rot the wood underneath and end in thousands of dollars worth of repairs. Even worse, your gutters could sag under the weight of the water and debris and fall off of your house, causing more damage or even injuring someone.
Cleaning your gutters is a normal part of home upkeep and can be quick and easy if you follow a simple step-by-step procedure.
What you'll need
- A ladder
- Heavy-duty gloves
- A garden hose with a nozzle
- Two buckets with wire hooks
- A trowel
For an easier time clearing your gutters, start the process after a few dry days. Getting rid of dried material in the gutters is much easier than taking out wet leaves, sticks and other buildup. Don't attempt to clear your gutters after heavy rain, as the work can be much more difficult.
- Set up your ladder starting at the side of the house with the gutter's downspout.
- Put your tools (your gloves, trowel or other devices) into one of the buckets. You'll use the second bucket to hold cleared debris.
- Bring the buckets to the top of the ladder and attach the hooks to the side of the ladder so you can clean with two free hands.
- Put on your gloves and begin clearing away the larger debris by the downspout.
- Once the larger debris is cleared, clear away any remaining leaves or blockages. Use the trowel if necessary.
- Don't forget to remove and clean the strainers inside the downspouts.
- Move the ladder along the edge of the house, repeating the process until your gutters are clear.
- Then, move your ladder to the side opposite of the downspout, climb up with your hose and rinse the gutters. Make sure that water is draining properly from the downspout at the opposite end of the house.
Eight steps later, your gutters are clean as a whistle! Clean your gutters once or twice annually. Letting debris build up can be detrimental to your home and can make the cleaning process much harder later on.
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.