Cleaning Gutters: A How To Guide

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Cleaning Your Gutters and Keeping Them Clean: Time To Gutter Done:

Whether you've got leaves, debris, or even a dying animal in your gutters, it can cause overflowing water, sagging, and eventually rotting of your roof edge and fascia. (What in the world is fascia?) Don't worry we'll cover that. We'll walk you through how to clean your gutter and how to keep it clean. Because the best gutter is one you never have to clean again.

*If you are trying to clean your gutters, then you probably need to clean your siding as well...if you have vinyl siding. If yes, click Clean Vinyl Siding to read our in depth article on how to clean it.

New Article: Do Gutter Guards Work?

Why Should I Worry About Keeping My Gutters Clean?

Thoroughly cleaning your home’s gutters every spring and fall will keep them working like a greased pig in a hog chase. Leaves, debris, shingle granules, and even rodents can build up and clog the downspouts, which can cause water damage to your roof and fascia (the board behind the gutter). Water pouring over the sides of the gutter or from leaks can end up in your home’s foundation, basement or crawlspace. Standing water can always cause mold, wood rot, and attracts insects, i.e. Bad News Bears! So check out how to make this painless and maintenance free.


A badly maintained gutter has caused loosening paint, exposed electrical wires, and an all around bad look.

She Really Gutters Round: Safety First



Do not clean or attempt to repair your gutters from on top of the roof. 75% of individuals that attempt this end up paying more in hospital bills than what it would have cost them to safely clean their gutters. Clean your gutters while standing firmly on a ladder or with 2 individual using a harness.


Debris, Leaves, and Pine Straw, Oh My!

How To Clean Your Gutters: The Proverbial Prune Juice

Step 1

If you have only small debris that will float easily on water you may be able to start opposite the downspout with a hose on high pressure and simply flush the gutter.

Otherwise, begin cleaning the gutter near a downspout.

Step 2

Remove the large debris with a trowel and dump it in a bucket. Wet debris will soak through leather gloves. Using rubber coated gloves or a latex glove under your leather gloves will keep your hands dry and warm, and prevent them from becoming smelly after digging through gunk.

Step 3

To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. Alternatively, you can use a gutter-cleaning attachment on a hose. This allows you to flush and clean the gutter without a ladder and sprays water with enough force to clean out twigs, leaves, and even small animals. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer and clean as necessary.


A gutter cleaning hose attachment wand will make it much easier to reach your gutters.

I can’t believe it’s not gutter!

If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.

Check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed.

Place a small nozzle on the hose, use it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose UP from the BOTTOM of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage.

Reattach the downspout.

Flush the entire gutter again.

Be sure to clean downspout strainers if you have them.

Gutter Repair and Maintenance

Having A Midlife Gutter Crisis? Get rid of that sagging gut(ter)!

Your gutter is a lot like you. Over time, when it’s filled with junk, it starts to sag. Don’t worry! There are millions of Americans in your same shoes. Fixing a sagging gutter is as simple as ensuring correct slope and fixing leaks, with the option to install new hangers.

It's All About Support and Slope

Step 1: Adjust Supports
If there’s still standing water after the gutter has been flushed, you may have some issues with hanger placement. The gutter may not be sloped correctly and needs adjustment. The length of the gutter should decline at least ¼ inch every 10 feet toward the downspout.
If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach and reattach the hangers one at a time and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly. If you are detaching multiple hangers take care as the gutter system may bend or break with no supports.

Stop The Leaks

Make sure the gutter is dry before using sealant.

To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints.

To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the joint.

Inspect the gutter sections and downspouts for holes. Support hangers should be spaced every 2 feet along the gutter.

Without gutter sealant water will run under the gutter and can run down along the wall into the foundation.


These hidden brackets can’t be seen from the ground, and last 10X longer than traditional hangers.

Adding Hangers

To replace or add hangers:

Install screw and ferrule hangers by marking their position on the gutter, drilling the holes in the gutter lip and fascia, then driving the screw with a drill through the ferrule.

If you don’t speak contractor… the ferrule is a plastic or metal tube that the screw goes through and is suspended over the gutter. Ferrules are used as spacers assure correct gutter width. The fascia is made of boards directly behind the gutter attached to the trim.

The 21st Century: Goodbye Spike and Ferrule Method, Hellooo Hidden Brackets!

The spike and ferrule method worked by essentially bolting your gutters into the fascia and trim board behind. The problem comes if the bolt doesn’t dig into the trim board. It can come loose over time and cause your gutters to sag worse than your teenagers jeans.

If the spike and ferrule method is VHS, then Hidden Brackets are Blu-ray players.

Hidden Brackets

Hidden brackets interlock into the gutter and are then attached to the roof under the shingles for superior strength. and a cleaner look.

Keeping Gutters Clean: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

The best gutter is just like a good bathtub: it never gets clogged. Check out these screens, filters, and other methods for making access to your gutter like an exclusive VIP club: selective!

Gutter Filters

These will filter out debris, acorns, leaves and only allow water through. Here’s are some features of the best gutter filters:

• Slide under the shingles to keep debris from accumulating on the shingles behind the guard.

• Powder coated paint finishes will prevent rusting.

• Lifetime warranty with professional installation

Gutter Foam

Gutter foam is extremely easy to install, although it may not not filter out thin debris like pine straw.

Gutter foam is designed to work the same as a filter by only allowing water through and forcing leaves, and debris to slide over.

Here are some characteristics of the best gutter foams:

• UV and mildew-resistant

• No hardware or additional tools required for installation

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