How to clean your gutters and protect your roof

Your gutters are there to catch run-off water and debris, in order to prevent it from building up on your roof or being washed down the side of your house every time it rains. However, debris can build up over time so it’s important to clean out your gutters regularly. If you have wooden gutters, a build up of water and debris could lead to rotting and structural damage, which can then affect your roof and walls too. If you have metal gutters, a build up of debris and rainwater could lead to rusting, which again can damage the structural integrity of the guttering over time.

Even plastic guttering is not immune to the perils of a build up of leaves and dirt; excess debris always means that your gutters can’t do their job properly, and the roofing, siding, windows, doors, and foundations of your home are at risk of damage if you don’t maintain your gutters.

With that in mind, here’s our handy guide on cleaning out your gutters…

  • Gather your equipment: In order to clean out your gutters effectively you will need a pair of sturdy ladders, some protective clothing, a pair of thick gardening gloves, a bucket, a small plastic scoop, and a garden hose.
  • Clear the gloop: Safely prop your ladders up on sturdy, even ground, then climb up (avoiding the top two rungs) and begin to scoop the leafy gloop out of the gutter and into the bucket using your scoop or your hands if you’d prefer. Make sure you’re wearing your gloves though as there may be sharp bits in amongst the debris.
  • Pay attention to the downspout: Remove as much debris as you can from the downspout. If this is clogged up, your gutter won’t be able to drain properly and gloop and debris can back up and cause problems.
  • Flush the gutters with water: Once you’ve removed as much of the debris as you can by hand, turn on your garden hose and begin to wash away the rest of the dirt. It should now be able to drain away through the downspout. If the downspout is still clogged up with dirt that you can’t reach, increase the pressure on your hose and blast the dirt out from the top.
  • Inspect your gutters: Once you’ve removed the build up of leaves, dirt, and debris, you’ll be in a better position to inspect your guttering for any cracks or holes that could be causing leaks. Also check to make sure that the guttering is not pulling away from the wall or sagging at any point. If you notice any faults, now is the time to fix them before they are allowed to cause any further damage to your property.

Cleaning your gutters may well save you some money, but it is also rather a dangerous job and not to be undertaken by those who are in poor health. If you are not confident in your ability to use a ladder, it’s always best to call in an expert to do the job for you. Remember, there’s no DIY worth risking your life for!