Best Practices for Cleaning the Gutters

Best Practices for Cleaning the Gutters


The falling leaves remind us that it’s time to clean the gutters.  Cleaning gutters is an annoying rite of passage for all home owners.  Your gutters reroute rain, creating a funnel that directs the water to the ground and away from the home’s foundation.  Without them, the rain trickles down the roof and runs down the siding of the house.  At least once a year we get up on the ladder and clean them out so that they can continue to function properly.  The leaves that fall from the trees in autumn create additional debris that clogs the gutter canal.  Before the icy winter weather sets in, we recommend cleaning your gutters during the mild fall climate.

Home Improvement

Step 1

Start by getting out the old ladder and climbing up to take a look.  You will most likely find leaves, branches, and what’s known as gutter goop.  The goop is a combination of decomposed leaves, water, and dirt that can be re-purposed as mulch.   Make sure to thoroughly clean the mud and mildew so that the water can drain smoothly.


Step 2

Check the gutter spikes. The spikes attach the gutter to the side of the house, through the fascia and the rafter.  If they come loose, the gutter runs the risk of detaching from the house.  We recommend inspecting your gutter spikes every year and replacing damaged spikes as needed to ensure a properly secured gutter.


Step 3

Not cleaning gutters harbors the rain water along a directed path to the ground.  The mechanism was designed to protect some parts of your house from unnecessary water damage.  Cracks causing leaks affect how well the gutter works.  Look for leaks and holes in the gutter as well as the caulking.  You may need to reseal the gutter with new silicon sealant.  If the gutter is not leak-proof, it could lead to fascia rotting.


Step 4

The most effective way to clean the gutters is by using a pressure washer.  You have the option of using plain water or a cleaner to wash away the grime and mildew. Once you have scooped out all of the gutter goop and inspected the structure, you can power wash the inside to clean the rain water’s pathway.


For more Fall Home Improvement Ideas-

5 Fall Projects

5 Fall Maintenance Tips




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