Clean Your Rain Gutters

Edited by Nate Pepperell, Lynn, Eng, Mian Sheilette Ong

Rain gutters are the part of your roofing system that collect and redirect rainwater away from your house. When rain gutters become blocked or filled up with debris, this prevents them from functioning properly. Rainwater will simply overflow the gutters and fall to the ground. When water starts to gather or pool around the foundations of your house, it can potentially lead to thousands of dollars worth of water damage. The following instructions will teach you how to clean your rain gutters properly and safely.

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Equipment you will need

Rain gttr.jpg
Help gutter.jpg
Goggles.jpg
  1. 1
    Someone to help you
    .
    Cleaning rain gutters will sometimes require you to work on a tall ladder, so having someone to help you will make your job a lot easier and safer. Your helper could be used to hold the base of the ladder steady and to help pass up any equipment you may need.
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  2. 2
    Protective gloves
    .
    Gloves are needed to help protect your hands against sharp debris that might be inside your gutters.
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  3. 3
    Dust mask
    .
    Gutters can become very dusty in the drier months. Dust masks are used to prevent you from breathing in this dust.
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  4. 4
    Eye protection
    .
    Debris and dust may fly everywhere when you start to remove it from the gutters. Eye protection will prevent anything from becoming lodged in your eyes.
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  5. 5
    Ladder
    .
    Most guttering will require you to use a ladder in order to reach them safely. Always use a suitable sized ladder for the task at hand. A ladder that is too big or too small for the guttering you are trying to reach, may result in you falling off the ladder and injuring yourself.
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  6. 6
    Garden trowel
    .
    G trowel.jpg
    The garden trowel will be used to help you scoop out any debris.
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Instructions for how to clean your rain gutters

  1. 1
    Safely set up your ladder and climb to a suitable height
    .
    Cleaning guttr.jpg
    When setting up an extension or tall ladder, it's always good to use the 4:1 ratio. This means that for every 4 feet high your ladder is, you should put the base 1 feet away from the top. Make sure you have your helper ready to hold the base of the ladder steady while you climb to the top.
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  2. 2
    Gently scoop out debris
    .
    Once you have climbed the ladder to a height where you can safely reach the gutter, without leaning off to the side, gently use your trowel or hands to scoop out any debris. Make sure you are wearing your safety gloves when performing this step.
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  3. 3
    Wash down remaining dirt with a hose
    .
    Once you have removed most of debris from the gutters, you will then need to wash out the remaining dirt with a hose. Always be cautious when using water while working on a ladder and try not to get the ladder wet. If you can, try to use a hose which has a 'gun type' nozzle or spout so you can easily control the flow of water with one hand, while holding onto the ladder with the other.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Get someone to help you. Cleaning rain gutters will require you to work from a ladder and sometimes at a tall height. Having someone to help from the ground will help you work more efficiently and safely.
  • Never use an unsafe ladder. Always use a safe ladder that is suitable for the height you need to work at. Never stand too close to the top of any ladder and make sure that the ladder can withstand the weight of you, plus your equipment.
  • Make sure you clean out all of the debris before washing down gutters with a hose. If you don't clean out all of the debris before you hose down your gutters, you will block the plumbing system further down the line.
  • Clean your gutters at least twice a year. It is always a good idea to clean your gutters at least twice a year, preferably in the seasons of autumn and spring. This helps prevent debris from clogging up gutters in the winter, and it also prevents debris from becoming fuel for fires in the summer when it's hot.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Home Repair

Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Nate Pepperell

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