Most homes have gutters installed near the roofline. Gutters collect rainwater from the roof and channel it to the ground via downspouts. Water rolls down from the roof to the gutters when it rains or snow melts. As water pools, it travels through gutters to a downspout. Downspouts direct water from the gutters to the ground and away from your home’s foundation. However, a gutter system clogged with debris can’t do its job, and water pouring off the roof may cause severe damage.

Why Clean Gutters Are Important

Busy homeowners often give little thought to their gutters, let alone cleaning them. Gutters are troughs open at the top, so they can collect all sorts of leaves and flying debris and even become nests for animals. Unfortunately, neglecting your gutter system can create potentially expensive problems.

Clogged gutters cannot do their job, so water pours down into the yard below, can settle near your home’s foundation, and may destroy landscaping. Seeping water can harm your home’s structural materials and allow mold and mildew to grow and thrive. Standing water also attracts mosquitoes. Repairing these issues can be expensive and time-consuming.

Routine gutter cleaning can extend the life of gutter systems. When enough debris collects in gutters, the weight may cause them to pull away from your home. That not only means you must repair or replace them, but falling gutters can harm people walking below.

Prepare Carefully Before Cleaning

Taking precautions before cleaning gutters is essential to prevent accidents or damage. All sorts of debris can collect in gutters, and some may be hazardous.

Before cleaning, ensure you:

  • Wear gloves: Sharp objects might be hidden in debris. Accumulated leaves and other organic materials can be unpleasant to deal with, and gloves protect your hands from direct contact with disagreeable substances.
  • Wear protective eyewear: All types of objects may come flying out of gutters while cleaning, so you must protect your eyes. It is especially important if you use tools like a leafblower or pressure cleaner.
  • Check downspouts: Downspouts may come loose and can be filled with debris. Ensure they are secure and clear materials from downspouts before cleaning gutters.
  • Look for leaks or other issues: Note any areas where water is leaking from gutters. Leaks should be sealed as part of routine maintenance.

Using a Ladder

If you are comfortable on a ladder, you only need a sturdy extension ladder. Ensure the ladder is on level ground and always have another person nearby to act as a spotter. It is easy to fall off a ladder and be injured.

Using a ladder gives you access to gutters, making it easy to remove material by hand. You’ll also want to have a scoop to help remove dirt clods. Per American Family Insurance, placing a tarp on the ground is a good way to collect debris.

Rinse with a Hose

You can flush out gutters with your hose. It not only removes debris but is a chance to identify and clear any clogs and spot leaks.

Cleaning from the Ground

It isn’t necessary to climb a ladder to clear gutters of debris. You can work from the ground and do a good job using the following tools:

  • Pressure Washing Gutters: A pressure washer with a telescopic extension is an excellent tool for cleaning gutters. It delivers soapy water under pressure. Using a wand attached to the pressure washer and extended inside gutters, you walk around pressing the trigger of the pressure washer gun, which blasts off the dirt.
  • Rain Gutter Tongs: You can also find gutter tongs with extendable wand control that let you clean gutters from the ground. The device has jaws that you move left and right and then clip together to gather and remove debris. Tongs do not efficiently remove gummed materials, so they should be used before rain when materials are dry.
  • A Garden Hose Extension: Home improvement stores sell U-shaped wand extension attachments that can turn your basic garden hose into a cleaning tool. Clearing large chunks of material can be difficult using a hose, and it is usually messy, so protective gear is crucial.

Protect Against Gutter Clogs and Debris

The simplest way to ensure your gutters stay clean is to prevent debris from accumulating. Gutter guards are designed to do just that.

You can add a micro mesh guard that will keep out falling leaves. Gutter professionals can add a gutter guard to protect against pollen, insects, leaks, and damage.

Minimizing the number of trees near your home also helps to reduce the amount of material that can enter gutters. The species most likely to create problems include ash, pecan, weeping willow, Bradford pear, eastern cottonwood, silver maple, and sweet gum trees.

Hire Experts for Easy Routine Maintenance

The simplest way to ensure your home gutters are in good shape and doing their job is to schedule a regular professional cleaning. Expert cleaning offers impressive benefits.

Cleaning gutters takes a lot of time and energy, so professional cleaning is ideal if you have a hectic schedule. Expert cleaning also offers a solution if you aren’t physically capable of doing the required work.

When cleaning gutters, you are also exposed to many allergens and contaminants, including dust, algae, and mildew. It may be best to let professionals handle projects if you have respiratory issues.

Leaving the job to specialists eliminates hazards such as falling from a ladder or roof. Experts will also identify find any problems and repair them. They can let you know when replacing the gutter system makes sense. This is often the case when the cost of repairs is high.

You can trust licensed, experienced professionals to keep your gutter system functioning as it should. Experts are also likely to provide warranties on their service.

Home gutter systems are essential to prevent water that runs off roofs from destroying landscaping or causing structural damage to the home. Routine cleaning is necessary to keep gutters clear and functioning well. Homeowners can climb a ladder and clean gutters or use various devices designed for cleaning from the ground. However, the most convenient, efficient, and reliable way to keep gutters well-maintained is to hire professional cleaners.