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How to Clean Your Gutters

Image courtesy: Google Images

Happy Fall, y’all! And just like that we all get to send our little children off to school, lives get busier, the evenings get darker, the wind blows colder and, here in the great Pacific Northwest, the rain falls harder. This means it’s time to clean your gutters.

Before you groan about the impending task, know it’s not as hard as seems. If you follow this quick step-by-step guide, you’ll be done before you can say pumpkin spice latte.

There are a couple ways to clean your gutters and downspouts.

Option #1: Hire someone. Most homes cost between $100-$200 to have the gutters and downspouts cleaned by a professional. This cost is subject to change depending on the size of your home. A quick search on Angie’s List or Home Advisor should help you find a professional for hire in your neighborhood.

Option #2: Do it yourself.

  • What you’ll need:
  • 1 bucket
  • 1 ladder
  • Gloves
  • Garden trowel
  • Hose
  • An hour or two

As always, safety is first. Be sure to wear gloves and use a sturdy ladder that allows you to be above eye level with the gutter. Also, loop a bucket on the ladder to collect all the gutter debris.

Step 1: Start by cleaning the gutter near the downspout, working your way out to the opposite end of the gutter. Remove the large debris (leaves, sticks, etc.) with a trowel and dump in the bucket.

Step 2:  Using a hose flush the entire length of the gutter, beginning at the opposite end of the downspout to remove finer debris.

Step 3: Clean downspout strainers.

Step 4: If the downspout does not drain, check for clogs. This can be done by removing the downspout from the drain pipe and working the hose up the downspout until the clog breaks loose. Or, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the block.

Step 5: Reattach the downspout.

Step 6: Flush the entire gutter again.

Repeat for all gutters and downspouts. And you’re done. No matter how badly you don’t want to complete this chore, cleaning your gutters is important to ensure water properly drains away from your home, preventing flood and water damage on the roof and inside the home.

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