Gutters are an important part of your home’s drainage system, but they can become easily clogged with leaves and other debris. Regular gutter cleaning is essential to keeping them clear and functioning correctly. Cleaning out your gutters regularly will reduce the chance of water damage, roof repairs, and yard flooding. Here’s how to properly clean your gutters in five simple steps.

Gather Your Tools and Set Up Your Ladder Correctly

Before you get started, make sure you have all the necessary tools – such as a trowel, hose, and work gloves. Next, set up your ladder so that it’s on a flat surface and on an angle of four feet out from the gutter for every one foot in height (e.g., a 30-foot gutter should be set up 12 feet away from the house). Make sure to use a ladder stabilizer or tie it off at the top for extra security.

Clean Your Gutters

Once you’ve set up your ladder, start by scooping out any loose debris with your trowel and dropping it onto a tarp below. Be careful of the weight and balance of the debris, and don’t reach too far to one side or the other. Once you’ve removed as much loose material as possible, use a garden hose to flush out any remaining dirt and sediment.

Check for Clogs

When you first start washing down the gutters, be aware of any areas where the water begins to pool or back up. These are usually signs of a clog, which needs to be cleared before you can continue. Use your hands and trowel to scoop out the clog, being careful not to damage any other parts of the gutter system.

Check for Damage After You Clean Your Gutters

Now that everything is clean inspect the entire gutter system for any signs of damage. Leaks, corrosion, cracks, and breaks can all cause water to run down the side of your house instead of being properly routed away from it. Make sure to repair or replace any damaged parts as soon as possible.

Check for Future Causes of Clogs

The last step is to check around your roof and gutters for any potential sources of clogs in the future. Look for trees that hang over your roof and cut any branches that could potentially fall into the gutters. You should also check to make sure that all downspouts are properly secured so they don’t come loose during storms.

Following these five steps, you can keep your gutters clean and functioning properly for years. Regular gutter cleaning is integral to home maintenance, so don’t forget to check your gutters every few months.

DMV Home Inspections provides inspections in the Washington DC metro area. Contact us to schedule our services.