As autumn’s last leaves fall, cleaning rain gutters should rise to the top of the to-do list. Skip the chore, and you’re asking for problems that include falling gutters, flooding and a cracked foundation. Here’s how to clean your gutters before those issues appear.
How to Clean Gutters
1. Position the ladder near a downspout and spread a tarp under the section of gutter to be cleaned.
2. Hook a bucket of tools and an empty bucket to the top of the ladder. With gloved hands and a trowel, remove large debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) and dump it into the empty bucket. Work your way toward toward the opposite end, away from the downspout.
3. To clean out the remaining dirt and small debris, climb the ladder with a hose equipped with a spray nozzle. Once you’re positioned at the end of the gutter opposite the downspout, open the nozzle and flush out the gutter. The water and small debris should drain down the spout at the other end.
4. If the water doesn’t drain easily, check the downspout strainer, located at the top of the spout, for clogs and rinse off if necessary.
5. If a clogged downspout is the problem, however, you’ll work from the bottom of the spout at ground level. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe
6. Once you’re able to access the spout, insert the hose, with the spray nozzle set to full pressure, up into the spout. After the hose is in place, turn on the water. The stream should dislodge the blockage. If needed insert a plumber’s snake tool into the spout to dislodge the blockage.
7. Reattach or tighten any pieces that were removed or loosened while working on the downspout.
8. Using the hose and nozzle attachment again, flush out the gutters a final time, working from the opposite end away from the downspout.