A rainwater gutter and downpipe are an essential part of the home, they protect it from severe runoff and prevent damage to the home’s foundation.
However, over time it’s possible for the gutter to become clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris, which stops it from being as effective as when you first bought it or moved in.
When a gutter or downpipe fills up like this, it can cause a blockage, which leads to water ingress to the roof and eventually the roofing foundations for the property. This is why it’s vital to clean out the gutters from debris and aim to clean them at least once a year.
The process of cleaning a gutter is easier than you might think, and any DIY hobbyist can do it if you’ve got the right tools for the job.
How to clean a gutter
Here’s the step-by-step BC Profiles guide to cleaning out a gutter:
- Gather your tools: You will need a ladder, a pair of work gloves, a gutter scoop or trowel, and a bucket or container to hold the debris. You may also want to use a hose or pressure washer to flush out the gutters but be careful not to damage the gutters or the surrounding siding.
- Safety first: Always make sure that your ladder is stable and secure before climbing it (you can use a ladder stabiliser for extra safety). Avoid leaning the ladder against the gutter itself, as this can damage the gutter or cause it to come loose. If your gutters are high or your ladder is not tall enough, you may have to hire a professional to do the job for you.
- Remove the debris: Use your gutter scoop or trowel to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from the gutters. Be sure to check the downpipes and clear them of any clogs as well. As you work, place the debris in the bucket or container that you brought with you.
- Flush the gutters: Once you have removed as much debris as possible, use a hose or pressure washer to flush out the gutters. This will help remove any remaining debris and ensure that the gutters are flowing properly.
- Inspect the gutters: After cleaning, take a close look at the gutters and downpipes to check for any signs of damage or wear. Look for cracks, leaks, or missing parts. If you notice any issues, consider having them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
- Dispose of debris: Once you're finished, dispose of the debris in an environmentally friendly method. If the debris contains a lot of organic material, like leaves, you can compost it. Otherwise, it should be disposed of properly to avoid causing blockages or polluting the environment.
- Preventative measures: Once you’ve cleaned your gutter and downpipes, you can install a Hedgehog Gutter Brush which will help keep your gutter and downpipes free of debris, they’re quick and simple to install and use a stainless steel wire core and polypropylene bristles.
Cleaning your gutters may not be the most glamorous task, but it is an important step in maintaining the overall health of your home. With this guide, you should be well-equipped to tackle the job and keep your gutters in top condition.