Gutter Cleaning Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • January 22, 2019

Why do we clean our gutters?

Gutters play a huge role in controlling rainwater and protecting our homes from excess moisture. But when they aren’t being properly maintained, they can cause some serious problems. A clogged or overflowing gutter traps in all of the water and debris which, if clogged for too long, can become a breeding ground for things like fungus and mold.

On top of that, dirty gutters attract all sorts of pests. Pests like birds, mosquitoes and termites are all likely to make their way to your dirty gutters.

The only way to be sure that your gutters aren’t housing any creepy-crawlies or fungi is to inspect and maintain them. Before we get into our gutter-cleaning hacks, let’s take a look at what you should do before you clean.

Before You Clean

With all that being said, it isn’t necessary to constantly clean your gutters. A simple inspection every few months will do just fine. After all, there’s nothing like saving yourself the hassle of gutter cleaning like finding out your gutters don’t actually need to be cleaned!

If your gutters are acting up–or if you just want to check that they’re working properly–go ahead and take a look at your gutters and your downspouts. To check your gutters, simply grab a ladder and inspect them for things like rust, dirt and debris.

The downspout is the lower part of your gutter that leads the water out onto the ground or into your drainpipe. And–more times than not–a poorly-functioning gutter is due to a clog in the downspout.

Because downspouts are enclosed, it isn’t always easy to see if there’s something in the way of the drainage. The wire mesh–or downspout strainer–that separates the gutter and downspout often catches things like leaves, twigs and dirt from flowing into the drain.

There are two ways to check for a clog in your drainpipe. You can either:

a.) pour water through the drainpipe and see if it all flows out at the bottom, or

b.) disconnect the downspout and gutter and check the wire mesh

If there’s a clog in your downspout you can simply remove the debris or replace the the downspout strainer for a new one. Luckily, downspout strainers are very inexpensive.  (Hint: You can find them at Lowe’s for just 2.88!)

If your downspout is not clogged and your drainage system still isn’t working properly, then it’s time to clean your gutters. Don’t worry, we have some awesome gutter-cleaning hacks to help you get your cleaning done quickly and efficiently!

Gutter Cleaning Hacks For Homeowners

Just like any other part of your home, your gutters require a little TLC every now and then. And how you clean your gutters largely depends on how dirty they are to begin with. Below we have three different gutter-cleaning tips, starting with a hack for the not-so-dirty gutters to the nitty-gritty ones. Let’s dive in.

Lawn care… for your gutters?

There’s something so tedious and irritating about trying to clean something so hard to reach. So why not use a leaf blower? Many leaf blowers come with several attachments–you’ll want to use an attachment that allows for a narrow flow of air.

Bonus: Using an attachment that extends up to your gutters will make it that much easier to clean.

The great thing about this method is that it’s hard to mess up. All you need to do is blow the debris up and out of your gutter. It’s important that the debris blow out of the top of your gutter and not into your downspout. Once that’s finished, all you’ll need to do is pick up the debris off the ground and voila–you’re done!

Water Saves The Day

Concentrated water with a heavy stream can actually be a huge help when it comes to cleaning out your gutters. A water pressure system is perfect for gutters that have a lot of hard, stubborn build-up. For this method, you can use just about any type of water system that produces high-pressure water. But we suggest a garden hose extension or a pressure washing system.

For this method, you can attach a telescoping or gutter cleaning wand to help reach inside your gutters without needing a ladder. First, you’ll need a garden hose connected to a spigot. Then, fasten your attachments, turn on your system and start spraying! Like the leaf blower, this method is relatively easy as long as you spray the debris up and out of the gutter.

Note: This method is wet, which means you will get wet too. Because of the high pressure, the water and debris will shoot out of the spout and onto you, so be sure to wear protective rain and eye gear!

Invest in a Gutter Scooper

When it comes to gutters that require a lot of cleaning, using a gutter scooper (instead of your hands) is a great solution. In this case, you’ll need to set up a ladder to reach your gutters. It’s important that you set up your ladder in a secure spot and at a height that your chest is touching the gutter. Safety first!

Just like the handy-dandy downspout strainer, gutter scoopers are relatively inexpensive and extremely effective. Though you can find both, it’s smarter to use a plastic scooper rather than a metal one as a metal scooper can cause damage to your gutters. A gutter scooper is small enough to fit perfectly into your gutters but effective enough to pull up any dirt and debris that may be stuck in them too!

It’s important to keep in mind that after using any of these methods, you should always check your gutters to make sure your cleaning was successful. You can do this by simply looking at the inside of your gutters to make sure the debris has been cleared, or by running a hose down them to make sure they’re draining properly.

Whichever method you decide to try, we hope that you find it as easy and pain-free as we do! If you find yourself in need of some extra help with your gutters this year, get in touch with one of our gutter cleaning professionals to schedule your service.

In the meantime, take a look at our free guide to learn everything you need to know about mold and mildew growth in and around your home!

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