Clogged gutters tend to overflow, leading to damaged gutters, wet people, and leaking foundations in worse case scenarios. Fortunately cleaning gutters is a simple task that requires almost no tools.

If you are uncomfortable with heights or ladders, however, this job is not for you and you may want to hire someone else. If you are comfortable with ladders, here's what you do. First, you need to decide how you will reach the gutter.

Ladder or Roof

If your roof rises at less than 5" per foot (<5/12 pitch) it is probably safe to walk on (you may want to consider an OSHA approved roofing harness). Working from the roof is simpler since it avoids setting up a ladder multiple times, but do not attempt to walk on a roof if you do not feel 100% comfortable and safe. If your roof is too steep or you don't feel safe, you can work off a ladder.

Setting up a Ladder

Securely wrap a section of the ladder about 3' from the top with an old towel. This will help protect against scratching the gutter. Stand the ladder so that it extends three feet beyond the gutter and leaning so that if you place your feet at the base and extend your arms straight out, you are touching the ladder. Dig down or build up the ground accordingly so that the feet of the ladder are level. Use a bungee cord to secure the top of the ladder in place.

Cleaning the Gutter
(Note: If you are working off a ladder, do not attempt to extend beyond the sides of the ladder. You will only be able to clean your arm span at a time.) (Note: Try to do this on a warm day. Ice build up in a gutter can make it very difficult to clean.) Remove any leaf guard screens being careful not to damage them and paying attention to how they will be reinstalled. Scoop out leaves and debris from the gutter and place them in a bucket. You can do this with your hands, but gutter shovels are available at most home supply stores. Gloves are sensible if you are using your hands. Gutters are not only dirty, sharp objects can hide in the leaves. View and wicked san jose tickets.

Cleaning Downspouts

Use a bent hanger or some other thin, hooked object. Slowly insert it into the downspout and pull it out quickly to bring any clogged debris out of the downspout. Once you have removed as much debris as possible, spray a hose down the spout to break any remaining debris loose.

Exceptional Problems

It is rare, but sometimes mud bees, shingle asphalt, or a child's toy can get lodged in the center of the downspout. If you have cleaned the entire downspout and it is still not flowing, you may need to remove it. The down spout is connected to the gutter with rivets. Use a 1/8" bit and drill to drill out the rivets.

Also drill out the rivets connecting multiple sections of down spout. Bring the down spout to the ground and try to locate and remove the obstruction. If you can not remove it, replace that section of down spout.

If your gutters and down spouts are clean, but still over flowing, you either have a sag in the gutter or too few down spouts. Adjust the gutter hangers to get rid of sags, and add down spouts if needed.