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3 Steps to Cleaning Your Gutters

The leaves are falling and clogging up the works! Now is definitely the time to clear your gutters, before freezing temperatures, rain and snow arrive and excess water hopelessly attempts to drain through your blocked gutters and downspouts. It's as simple as 1-2-3, and here's how to do it:

For this easy maintenance task, you'll need gloves, a ladder, a trowel, a bucket, and a hose - preferably one with a power sprayer nozzle. Note: Always practice ladder safety and let someone know that you will be using a ladder to work on the gutters! 

  1. Rake or power wash off all debris from the roof - this way, the next rain won't wash new debris into what you just worked so hard to clean!
  2. Using your ladder, grab your gloves, bucket, and trowel and start at the downspout. Remove large debris with the trowel and dump in your bucket. The compacted material will be mucky and foul smelling at times, but this won't take long, we promise! Do remember your gloves! Not only will they shield you from dirt, they will protect you from injury and rotting leaf debris that often contains bird, pigeon and squirrel droppings that are riddled with bacteria. Suede gloves are among the best for maneuverability and protection.
  3. Once the gutters are cleared, flush them with the hose on full pressure. If the water drains -you're done! If not, there's just one more step, to address the clog. You can often rap the downspout with your hand to rattle loose clogs. If that doesn't work, remove the downspout and starting from the bottom, flush it out with your hose or a pressure washer. Once the clog is clear, reattach the downspout and test one last time. Once debris is remove and water is draining freely, you're done!

Keeping gutters and downspouts clear will ensure that water is effectively draining away from your home for the season and will prevent damaging ice dams come winter. If cleaning gutters isn't your cup of tea, consider installing a gutter shield system - but remember that even shielded gutters should be spot-checked regularly for obstructions to be sure that water can flow freely.