A step-by-step guide to cleaning your gutters

Home maintenance

10 October 2023

Gutters are vital for protecting your home from water damage. However, for them to work effectively they need regular maintenance. Cleaning your gutters may seem like a daunting and messy task, but with the right tools you can keep them clean, clear, and working correctly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your gutters at home. In this section:

Here’s what you need to clean your gutters

Before you make a start, make sure you have:

  • Safety gear

    Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a sturdy pair of shoes with good traction to protect yourself from debris or potential falls.

  • Ladder

    Ensure the ladder is in good condition and tall enough to reach your gutters comfortably. Use a stabilizer to prevent damage to the gutters and keep your balance while you use them.

  • Bin or rubbish bags

    You’ll need to collect and throw out the debris you remove from the gutters. 

  • Gutter scoop or trowel

    A specialized gutter scoop or a small trowel can help you remove leaves, twigs, and dirt from the gutters.

  • Garden hose

    Wash away any remaining debris left after shoveling out the bulk of the debris.

Time to get cleaning

  1. Choose the right time

    Pick a dry and sunny day to clean your gutters. Working in wet, icy or windy conditions can be dangerous.

  2. Inspect your gutters

    Before climbing the ladder, check your gutters for visible damage, such as loose fasteners, leaks, or rust. Make a note of any repairs that may be needed.

  3. Safety first

    Put on your safety gear, including gloves and goggles. You don’t want any nasty surprises!

  4. Set up your ladder

    Place the ladder on a stable surface and at around a 75-degree angle. Make sure the ladder won’t move around while you’re climbing it – for extra safety, ask a friend or family member to hold onto the bottom of the ladder while you’re up there or consider using an effective stability device which, when used correctly, prevents the ladder from slipping. Some ladders will come with these.

  5. Start at the drains

    Begin cleaning near the drainpipe and work your way toward the opposite end. Use the gutter scoop or trowel to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. Place the debris in the rubbish bag ready to be discarded.

  6. Check your drainpipe for blockages

    Check down the drainpipes and see if you can spot anything that might be blocking the flow of water. Use the garden hose with a spray nozzle to flush out any blockages. Start from the drainpipe and work your way up the gutter. If a clog is stubborn, you may need to use a plumbing snake to clear it.

  7. Rinse the gutters

    After removing as much of the debris as you can, use the garden hose to rinse the gutters. This will help flush out any remaining dirt so water can flow freely.

  8. Check for leaks or cracks

    While rinsing, keep an eye out for leaks or damaged sections of the gutter. Make a note of any areas that require repair or replacement.

  9. Clean up

    Safely dispose of the gathered debris appropriately – leaves and twigs may be able to go in your gardening bins, whereas anything else you may have found should be thrown away in general waste.

  10. Regular maintenance

    To prevent future clogs, consider installing gutter guards or screens. Additionally, make gutter cleaning a part of your regular home maintenance schedule, aiming for at least twice a year.

Cleaning and maintaining your gutters is essential for protecting your property from water damage and leaks, especially in the cold and wet winter months.

Now that you know how to clean your gutters when they need it, why not protect the rest of your home with AXA Home Insurance? It’s quick and easy to get a quote today!