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Gutter Cleaning Basics

Gutter Cleaning Information for Homeowners


Gutter cleaning is a job which is often neglected. Cleaning the eavestroughs is an important task of home ownership which should be performed at least twice a year. If the gutters are clogged, the overflow water can cause damage to the landscaping and foundation around the house. The increased weight can cause the gutters to pull loose, which can lead to rot behind the fascia or trim.


During the winter months, clogged gutters can lead to ice damming and cause roof leaks. Ice will fill the gutters and begin to form up the roof slope. The ice will form between the layers of your roofing and back-up into the roof system. Heat from the house will cause the ice to melt and leak into the structure. If there are a lot of trees surrounding the house, it is recommended to clean the gutters more frequently.


Although there are many new innovative tools to help clean your gutters, the standard practice involves using a ladder, hose, gloves, disposal bag, and a garden trowel or scoop. The average home should be cleaned twice a year, during May and October. Gutter cleaning can be dangerous and should be performed by a capable person.


When cleaning the gutters, it is important to wear gloves and ensure the ladder is always secure. A ladder stabilizer or stand-off can be used to prevent dents and damage to the gutters or siding.


Begin at the downspout with a trowel and hose and ensure the downspout is clear from debris. If a downspout is plugged, it may have to be dis-assembled and cleaned. Scoop and dispose of debris and then rinse the trough clean. A good time to check for leaks is while rinsing the trough.

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