How To Clean Rain Gutters Safely and Effectively [A Definitive Guide]

Clean Your Rain Gutters Safely

Spring showers are important for growing vegetation and the seasonal emergence of greenery, birds, and animals. But if your drain pipes are clogged with flower petals and other Springtime sludge, those crucial showers can soon turn into floods…inside and around your home. To prevent flooding issues, it’s important to clean your gutters, and while cleaning your gutters, you need to make sure to keep safety in mind. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to clean your rain gutters safely and effectively so your gutters can work their best.

1. Prepare for the task.

A. Dress comfortably and in long sleeves so your arms stay protected. It’s recommended to wear gloves; the best gloves to wear are ones made of thick suede, as they will offer the most protection against snags, sharp debris, and scratches in the metal gutter. 

B. Lay a tarp or other covering over the ground below your gutters so you can protect the ground and easily dispose of the gutter debris. 

C. Make sure your ladder can extend high enough and is sturdy on the ground. Stabilizers, otherwise known as “ladder horns,” will help protect your gutters from being damaged by your ladder. 

2. Clear gutter debris safely.

A. Using your ladder, climb until you can reach the top of the downspout by your gutter. Make sure to place your ladder on stable ground and use best practices for ladder safety. When you climb up, always face toward the ladder and maintain three-point contact, meaning a foot and two hands or a hand and two feet should always be gripping the ladder at one time. 

B. Once you reach the gutter, use your (gloved) hands or a plastic scoop to clear away any visible debris. A plastic scoop is safer to use than metal because a metal scoop can damage or introduce rust to your gutter. 

3. Check for a blockage in your downspout.

Though your gutters are now clear, there may be a hidden blockage in your downspouts. To check, use a garden hose to send a stream of water down the spout. If the water trickles out the bottom, you know you still have debris in there that needs to be cleared. After taking off the nozzle of your garden hose, push the hose up the downspout to try and clear the debris.

4. Hire a professional to clean your gutters for you.

While you certainly can clean your gutters on your own, it’s a messy, unglamorous job that requires the utmost safety precautions. If you feel uncomfortable cleaning your gutters yourself, are still unsure how to clean your gutters safely, or that’s just not what you want to spend your valuable free time doing, our professionals at Bill’s Roofing are happy to do it for you. We will make sure your gutters are completely clear and clean so you can enjoy the spring and summer seasons gutter-problem free!