How to Clean Your Gutters Like a Pro and How to Maintain Them

When you find your gutters on the ground after a heavy snowfall or your basement flooded when it rains, you’re in need of urgent gutter maintenance. Aside from potential damage to your roof, damaged or clogged gutters also promote mold growth on your walls and ceiling. It is, therefore, wise to maintain your gutters before they turn into a financial and safety nightmare.

However, many homeowners fail to understand the gravity of keeping their gutters clean and maintaining them. Here are fail-safe tips to keep your gutters in tiptop condition and save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement costs.

Many homeowners fail to understand the gravity of keeping their gutter clean and maintaining it.

Determine How You Want to Do It

There are several ways that you can adopt to clean your gutters. Find one that best fits your preference, budget, and safety.

From the Ground

Don’t worry if you’re afraid of heights. You can still clean your gutter even when standing on the ground by running water from a garden hose with a telescopic curved hose attachment. The downside of this method is that most of the debris runs to your downspout and may cause further clogging. It is not the best method for deep cleaning your gutters. However, you can use this method to maintain your gutter.

Using a Ladder

Standing on a ladder is an excellent option to clean your gutter with a gutter pole to pull the debris toward you and scoop them out of the gutter with a gutter scoop. Get a sturdy ladder and, if possible, a harness to give you an added layer of protection. This method is best if your gutter does not have balled debris.

On the Roof

If you don’t feel very safe on the ladder, sit or stand on the roof to scoop out the debris in the gutter. Sitting on the rope is best if you have balled or wet debris in the gutter. You may also use a blower to give a quick clean if your gutter is dry. However, it is best to use a backpack blower to give you unimpeded movement.

Reasons Why You Should Clean Your Gutter

Here are the top 5 reasons why cleaning the gutter and maintaining them in pristine condition are important.

Blocked Gutters Can Damage Your Roof

The roof is an expensive investment. One way to secure your roof is to maintain the cleanliness of the gutter.

It Can Potentially Damage Your Foundation

According to home contractors, repairing your home foundation costs up to $10,000, depending on the materials used and the damage (Home Advisor). It is, therefore, better to repair your gutter than spend several thousand on repair and replacement.

Promotes Mildew Growth

Aside from damage to your gutter, mildew growth on your walls may cost thousands of dollars. Add to this amount the medical expense you’ll incur if you don’t catch the mildew infection early on. In more serious cases, black mold may even cause mold poisoning leading to serious health issues such as mood changes and memory loss.

Flooded Basement

Flooded basements result in a compromised foundation, rotting and leaking of the floor, and damage to your HVAC and heating systems. Look out for signs of basement flooding and leakages, such as water stains on the floor, mineral build-up, and cracks on the foundation.

How to Keep Your Gutters in Good Shape

These simple and time-tested tips will keep your gutters in good shape for easy maintenance:

Install a Gutter Guard

Gutter guards or gutter screens reduce the need for cleaning your gutter periodically and potentially protect your house in fire-prone areas. However, the gutter guard is not fool-proof protection. It may promote the growth of moss and algae in your gutter and put an additional strain on your roof. Also, bees and wasps are known to build their nests on gutter guards, so it is also important to give your gutters a periodic check even if you installed a gutter guard.

Winterize Your Gutters

Install heat cables to prevent damage to your gutters and downspouts from ice build-up during winter. Take it to a notch higher by using a sensor-controller model that automatically responds to temperature changes. It may cost you money but will save your house in the long run.  

Check Gutter Position

Sometimes the elevation of your gutters is the primary reason for clogging because the tilt is not enough to allow the water to flow properly. On the other hand, an overly tilted gutter drains water too forcefully, damaging your lawn, roof, and home exterior. If the placement is wrong, have it refitted before it causes irreparable damage.

Trim Tree Branches

Trim tree branches that hang over your house and gutter. Aside from leaves and twigs that fall into the gutter to clog it, heavy storms may topple that tree causing damage to your roof and gutter system.

Keep your gutters in good shape.

Final Note

Even if you want to do a DIY cleaning for your gutters, sometimes you must accept that some jobs are too hard to do alone. Hire a professional cleaner to deep clean your gutters, then have them install a gutter guard. 

7 DIY Gutter Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Home

Knowing how to clean your gutters is a must-have skill for any responsible homeowner. Before anything else, keep in mind that gutters need to effectively perform only one crucial thing — guide rainwater to the ground. That said, gutter maintenance might seem daunting at first glance. Don’t worry, though. It doesn’t have to be such a hassle. Take these seven DIY maintenance tips to heart so you won’t have to worry about your gutters breaking apart.

1. Clean Your Gutters Regularly

Yes, you might be too busy or too tired, but consistency is the key here. Like every other material, gutters deteriorate over time. But the more often you clean them, the higher the chances of preventing more significant problems later on. Obviously, early spring and late fall are the best times to clean your gutters out. You’ll be at risk of a heat stroke during the summer, and gutter maintenance during the winter will be such a hassle. Consider using a leaf blower to remove the majority of the gunk that has built up in between each section of the gutter.

Like every other material, gutters deteriorate over time.

2. Get Rid of Debris on The Roof

Any debris on the roof, such as leaves, branches, or dead birds will eventually fall off into your gutter system. When this happens, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, it will accumulate and eventually clog up the water-channeling system. This results in much more annoying issues that’ll need extensive repair. So climb the roof to clean out the mess up there. Do this at least once a week if you can.

3. How to Clean the Downspout

The downspout is just as important as the gutter system. It’s much harder to clear when clogged up with leaves and debris. What happens then? Over a prolonged period, water will accumulate, causing all kinds of problems ranging from leakage into your foundation or even overloading your roof resulting in a collapse. There are two ways how you can clean your downspout:

  1. The simplest method is to simply knock on different sides of the downspout so that the entrapped debris will eventually fall off and come out the other end.
  2. The other way is to get a handheld auger and feed it to the top or bottom of the downspout, depending on where the clog is. Be careful with this operation, and always remember to gear up and wear protective equipment.

4. Take Care of Issues Immediately

Don’t wait until the issue has gotten out of hand because then it’ll cost more to fix, and/or it might become a safety hazard. For example: if there is a clog in your gutter and water can’t flow through, eventually this will cause some flooding along the edges of your property -basically wherever the clog is located- especially during rainstorms when loads of rainwater could fill up and spill out.

5. Clean Out the Gutters Before Winter

Winter is the most challenging time to clean your gutters. It’s almost close to impossible, actually. Why? Because on top of the snow that’ll blanket your roof, the ice might solidify along with the debris making it more difficult to remove. If you don’t want junk such as leaves and dirt building up throughout winter (and sticking), you should get a head start and do some gutter cleaning before winter comes. 

On top of the snow that’ll blanket your roof, the ice might solidify along with the debris making it more difficult to remove.

6. Check for Rust and Holes

If your gutters are made of aluminum or steel, you’ll need to inspect them often for rust and damage. If there’s too much rust or even small holes in the gutter system, it needs to be fixed immediately before water builds up and destroys more than just your gutter.

7. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, DIY projects are not enough to solve your gutter problems. If you have tried all the tips mentioned above but still cannot get rid of the clogs, or if your gutter badly needs an immediate repair, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Yes, it’ll cost you money, but you’re actually saving up by preventing the problem from escalating. But still, don’t settle for any random person claiming to be a gutter expert. Make sure to do your research and hire a legitimate professional.

If you still cannot get rid of the clogs, or if your gutter badly needs an immediate repair, don’t hesitate to call a professional.


Gutters are essential in keeping your home safe from water accumulation that can cause moisture damage inside walls. However, like any system in houses, gutters need proper maintenance and care as well to ensure years of good service.