How to Clean Gutters: 9 Gutter Cleaning Tips 

gutter cleaning tips

Clean gutters are a crucial part of home maintenance that will help your roof, siding, and foundations last much longer. If you’re a new homeowner or just looking to make this task a bit easier this year, check out our top gutter cleaning tips.

The gutter cleaning process is dirty and difficult, but it needs to be done at least once a year or whenever you notice rain pouring off the side of the gutters instead of through the downspout. The signs of a clog can be difficult to spot on a sunny day, so it’s important to clear your gutters annually to prevent water damage and potential ice dams in the winter. Before you gear up and grab the ladder, check out these tips to make your day just a bit easier.

Remedy your clogged gutters for good with Gutter Helmet, Asher’s top gutter system for a lasting solution. 

clean gutters and downspouts

Why Does Having Clean Gutters Matter?

Knowing how to properly clean gutters will help your roof reach its full potential. A backup of rainwater can slowly deteriorate your roof, allowing your gutters to sag and eventually detach from the eaves. Cleaning gutters also helps to prevent ice dams in the winter where water trapped in the gutters freezes and expands under your shingles, further damaging the underlying roof. The gutter cleaning facts point toward a happier, healthier home for three main reasons.

  • Reduce water damage to the eaves
  • Eliminate winter ice dams
  • Prevent further damage to the siding and foundation

What Do You Need to Clean Gutters?

A simple ladder and a pair of gloves will get you through most of the job, but for stubborn clogs and packed in dirt, you may need a few more tools. An eco-friendly cleaning solution can break down dirt and, when followed with a pressure wash, will leave your gutters spotless. Just be sure to wear eye protection while pressure washing to avoid accidents high on the ladder. Before setting out to clean the gutters, make sure you have all the necessary equipment.

  • Sturdy ladder
  • Small hand trowel
  • Pressure washer or garden hose
  • Cleaning solution
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves

9 Gutter Cleaning Tips

The best way to clean gutters won’t be the same for every house, but there are a few rules to follow no matter how your gutter system is laid out. Feel free to take these gutter cleaning ideas and adapt them to your own needs to create a system that works for you.

ladder set up safely

Practice Ladder Safety

Out of all the gutter cleaning safety tips, securing your ladder is the most important. Make sure that each foot is on a sturdy surface and not on anything that can shift, like landscaping rocks or mulch. There may be sections of your gutter system where you simply can’t avoid the landscaping, so securing yourself with a ladder stabilizer is the safest way to clean gutters. Get your fall chores done and avoid the hospital with these ladder safety tips.

  • Place each foot on a flat even surface
  • Use a ladder stabilizer when the surface is uneven
  • Ask for help if you’re ever unsure about the footing

Grab a Partner

Aside from the added ladder security, a partner can help speed up the process by handing you things from the ground to avoid unnecessary climbing. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned the gutters, you may want someone on the ground to rake up the leaves and debris instead of filling bucket after bucket.
Cleaning the gutters can be dangerous, so at the very least, you want someone to know what you’re doing in case of an accident. Another set of eyes and hands on the job comes with a lot of added benefits.

  • Added ladder security
  • Avoid unnecessary climbing
  • Quick assistance in an emergency

clean debris off the roof

Clean Debris Off the Roof 

Before you begin cleaning rain gutters, take some time to clear any debris off your roof that will slide into the gutters in the next storm. This crucial first step is commonly missed and will only lead to another gutter cleanout sooner down the line.

If you have access to your roof, you can bring a broom or leaf blower to quickly clear away any leaves, sticks, and errant frisbees that may have gotten stuck up there. Taking the time to clear the roof will help your gutters stay cleaner for longer, along with a few additional benefits.

  • Inspect shingles for damage
  • Locate problem areas in the gutter
  • Keep gutters cleaner for longer

Clear Drains and Downspouts

Clean gutters won’t do much good if the drains and downspouts are clogged. They can be more challenging to clean, needing to be snaked and shaken to dislodge the dirt, leaves, and sticks that accumulate. If you’re struggling with a clog, there are attachments for pressure washers that can snake into the pipes and blast away any debris.

When all else fails, you can use a drain cleaner to dissolve the obstruction and reopen the waterways. Cleaning the drains and downspouts is where these gutter cleaning techniques really come in handy.

  • Snake and shake downspouts
  • Pressure wash tough obstructions
  • Use drain cleaner as a last resort

power washer cleaning gutters

Don’t Just Use a Hose, Use a Power Washer

Flushing your gutters after you’ve cleaned them is essential to making sure they are clear and ready for the next storm. A regular garden hose can do this, but utilizing the angled spray of a pressure washer will help make your gutters shine.

The best way to clean out gutters is to finish them with a pressure washer from the top of the line all the way through the downspouts to the drain. Discover how to clean the roof gutters with ease by pressure washing, and enjoy the added benefits.

  • Rinse and test the drainage
  • Clean the sides and bottom of the gutters
  • Blast away any clogs with ease

Grab Your Shop Vac and Your Leaf Blower

Managing how to clean a gutter without a ladder is possible with a combination of sucking up leaves and blowing away debris. If you live on your own and far from any neighbors, you can clean your own gutters safely with this technique.

Start with the leaf blower to clear off the loose leaves and sticks around the edges of the roof and gutters. Remaining leaves and dirt will be easy to suck out with the right attachment to the end of your shop vac hose. Learn how to clean out gutters from the ground and enjoy the added benefits.

  • Eliminate the potential fall risks
  • Avoid hauling around heavy ladders
  • Remove debris quicker and easier

trimming tree branches

Trim Trees and Branches Near the Roof

If you want to know how to keep gutters clean throughout the seasons, then you need to go to the source of the problem. Overhanging trees and branches will drop sticks and leaves on your roof all year long if they aren’t trimmed back. It’s one of the main causes of the most common gutter issues, and its solution is as simple as a quick trim. Take out the long-armed tree saw, and experience a fall of clear gutters this year.

  • Clear leaves at the source
  • Avoid potential storm damage
  • Boost your curb appeal

Invest in Gutter Guards

There are a few types of gutter guards available that can keep leaves from gathering in your gutters in the first place. Our gutter specialists have tried and tested them all to find the best solution for homes in our neck of the woods. The Gutter Helmet was chosen as the top contender for protecting your gutters from debris and ice build-up. Ask the experts at Asher for a free consultation, and enjoy the benefits of year-round clean gutters.

  • Eliminate gutter issues before they start
  • Prevent ice dams in winter months
  • Increase the longevity of your gutter system

Remember to Inspect Your Gutters Regularly

Gutter issues can be a pain, but knowing their sources and how to clean your gutters will make life much easier. Be sure to inspect your gutters after a heavy rainfall to spot trouble areas that may need to be cleaned before your next annual clearing. Each spring and fall, you should schedule a routine inspection to be sure your gutters are up to the seasonal storms that lie ahead of them.

clean gutter

Learn how to keep debris out of gutters before they need cleaning with gutter guards installed by the experts at Asher. 

Protect Your Gutters with Help from Asher Lasting Exteriors

We hope these tips for cleaning gutters have made your fall home maintenance tasks a bit easier this year. Knowing how to clean your own gutters is a big part of being a homeowner and a skill you’ll be refining each spring and fall. When the time comes that your gutters are looking in need of an upgrade, call for a free consultation on all your gutter service needs.

We’re proud to serve our neighbors in the greater western Wisconsin area and invite you to hear what they have to say about our quality service. For more tips and tricks on your home maintenance and remodeling tasks, check out our blog for the latest news and trends.