Nashville TN Plumbing Advice

Fix It All Plumbing Blog

7 Do It Yourself DIY Gutter Cleaning Tips

gilbert-tree

Fall is finally here in Middle Tennessee, and the yards are full of leaves. Most homeowners take care of them by running a lawnmower over them to mulch the yard, or by raking and bagging them for collection by the city. (An even better use is to start your own compost pile – but I digress.)

Fall Gutter Cleaning Advice

When the last leaf has been disposed of on the ground, know that you are not finished. It’s time to clean the gutters on your roof. Clogged gutters can lead to roof damage, and to the gutter dislodging itself from the roof. This is a fairly simple task, for those who are able-bodied and not afraid of heights. Or, hire a handyman to come and do it for you.

7 DIY Gutter Cleaning Tips

  1. You will need: a ladder that reaches to the roof, gloves, a bucket to put waste in, a hand trowel, and a hose to use to do a final clearing of residue.
  2. Use ladder safety tips: Always have a second person to hold the ladder steady – especially if you are reaching to a second story, or the ground underneath the ladder is soft (like in a flower bed). Use a ladder that is long enough so that when you reach the top, the top rung is no lower than your chest.
  3. Remove the screens or gutter guards from the top of your gutter. No matter what the ads say, no gutter guard will keep ALL of the debris out of your gutter.
  4. Hook the bucket at the top of the ladder to put debris. Wear gloves and manually scoop the debris out of the gutter. If necessary, use a trowel to clear stubborn dirt.
  5. Once the debris is out of the gutter, run water from your hose into the gutter to get rid of the last of the dirt, and check to see if the downspouts run clear.
  6. If the downspout is clogged, run water at full blast up the spout to dislodge the clog. For stubborn clogs, you may need to use a plumbing snake.
  7. Finally install screens or gutter guards to keep the bulk of debris from clogging the gutters.

For most homes, cleaning the gutters in the fall and spring will keep expensive roof damage at bay. If you have a lot of trees overhanging your home, or if you do not use gutter guards, you may need to do it more often. This is one of those jobs that will really pay you in the end in keeping your home leak-free.