How To Guides
How to Clean Gutters
Gutters perform a vital role in keeping your roof and walls looking neat and tidy, as well as helping to prevent leaks. As such, it’s sensible to clean them twice a year (or more if there are trees hanging over your roof) to keep them in prime working condition, as well as ensuring they stay in the correct place.
As with any work that is carried out on or around the roof, it is vital that you protect yourself by wearing the appropriate clothing and footwear, as well as ensuring your ladder is fixed securely and someone else is there to hold it.
1. Removing debris
Firstly, you need to remove any larger debris from the gutter, such as leaves or twigs. Place these in your bucket, which, for the sake of ease, should be hooked onto the side of your ladder.
Following this, scoop the remaining debris with your trowel, starting at the downpipe and moving outwards, so as not to push anything down it. Place this in your bucket for disposal later.
You should also take the time to remove any debris that is further up on the roof, using a rake or broom. This is to prevent anything falling down into the gutter in the next spell of wind or rain.
2. Hosing it down
Once the gutter is cleared of debris that could be reached with a trowel, you should spray it with a hose to remove anything smaller. This time, you need to be directing the hose towards the downpipe, so that the water flows down and out of the gutter.
Take this opportunity to check that the guttering is still tilted at the correct angle. If water is sitting in the gutter and not moving when you have turned the hose off, it may not be angled correctly to allow water to flow.
If you want more information about how to repair your gutters, we have plenty of advice to get you on the right tracks.
3. Blockages in the downpipe
If the downpipe is blocked at all, this will restrict the flow of water out of the gutter and could potentially cause a leak. Therefore, when you hose down the gutter you should check to see how freely water flows down the spout, and note down any problems.
Should you notice any blockages, see if you can feed the hose into the spout either from the top or bottom (removing one of the panels from the bottom if necessary). Turn on the hose and allow the strong water flow to put pressure on any blockages, which will hopefully break down and ensure a suitable water flow is possible.
If you are doing this from the bottom of the spout, have buckets in place to catch some of the water that drains out.
In order to prevent any future build-up of debris in the gutter, you may wish to invest in a gutter brush to keep the space clear. This will allow an easy flow of water, and reduce the amount of maintenance your gutter needs. You should clean the brush with a hose once a year in order to keep it in perfect working condition.
Cleaning your gutter need not be a laborious chore. If you clean it at least twice a year, you can prevent too much debris from collecting, reducing the size of the project and ultimately ensuring your gutters work as intended.