11 Easy Gutter Cleaning Tips For This Fall Season

It’s that time of the year again.

The leaves are falling, the smell of pumpkin pie is emanating throughout your home. Ah yes, it’s fall.

Which also means it time to clean out those pesky gutters. Here are the latest and greatest tips to make your gutter cleaning easier and faster than ever.

clogged gutters with mud and leaves
Image from Canva

1. Do it Safely from the Ground

Did you know you clean out your gutters from the ground level? That’s right. You don’t need to climb up on a ladder and precariously balance as you clean out your gutters on an elevated surface.

Nowadays there are a lot of great ways to clean out the gutters while standing safely on the ground.

What’s even crazier, is that it’s faster to clean from the ground too. You don’t need to climb up and down the ladder cleaning out each little section at a time.

Instead you can walk along the roofline cleaning everything out easy peasy.

How do you do gutter cleaning magic, you may ask?

Well, if you have a leaf blower, you buy a U-shaped attachment along with an extension and blow the leaves right out of the gutters without needing to climb the ladder.

The attachment will redirect the air into the gutters while the extension helps you reach higher up. I have even seen options for 2 story buildings.

Now you can simply walk along your roofline blasting out the leaves instead of climbing up a ladder and scooping them out by hand.

And if you’re really fancy, you can even suck the leaves out using the same method, although you will need a strong vacuum to do so. This way you don’t need to clean up the leaves afterwards, saving even more precious time.

You’ll be back inside in no time, so you can sip on a nice warm cup of coffee.

2. Get an Assistant

If you want to clean your gutters safer and faster, it can be worth hiring an assistant or *cough* grabbing a family member/significant other.

They can be your partner, helping speed up the gutter cleaning project.

If you need to climb on a ladder, they can hold it in place for you, minimizing your chances of falling. They can also pass tools up to you, so you waste less time climbing up and down.

It can actually be a lot of fun doing chores like these if you are surrounded by the right people.

3. Get a Sturdy Ladder

A ladder that’s made for cleaning out gutters can make your project safer. They will feel more stable when you are high up in the air.

Usually a sturdy ladder will have a few extra arms to spread out the weight of the person climbing on the ladder, AKA you.

They can also minimize any damage you might do by leaning the ladder up against the gutters. Preventing the gutters from bending or getting scratched.

Plus if you have a nice ladder, you can always reuse it for putting up Christmas lights next month. Double-score.

4. Follow a Regular Schedule

cleaning out gutters by hand

Depending on your area, you may need to clean your gutters out more. The standard home in the United States only needs to clean their gutters twice a year on average. But if you live in area surrounded by a lot of trees that are heavy shedders, you may need to bump that twice a year clean up to monthly.

That’s right, some unlucky individuals need to clean their gutters monthly. Setting a schedule can make it so you don’t forget to clean your gutters, leaving them in tip top shape and ready for the rain.

It can help to schedule an alarm or calendar event that goes off on your desired cleaning schedule.

5. Invest in Gutter Guards

If you’re one of those people that have too many trees, you probably understand the pain of having to frequently clean your gutters.

Luckily, there is a way around this onslaught of leaves in the fall. You can look at getting gutter guards installed.

Gutter guards get installed on top of your gutters, keeping out the leaves and debris from clogging your gutters. Gutter guards are a great way to minimize the number of gutter cleanings you need, if you choose the right ones.

Keep in mind, certain gutter guards can create more problems than they solve. You want to make sure you get the right ones for the type of trees you have, otherwise they can clog.

When gutters with gutter guards clog, it can double the amount of work it takes to clean them, because now you stuff in the way.

6. Use Water Power

If you have a hose or pressure washer handy, don’t be afraid to use it for your gutters. It will make short work of any clogs or leaves in your gutters.

The water pressure can blast almost anything out, while also getting rid of mud or shingle grit that has built up over time.

The nice thing about using a pressure washer instead of a leaf blower, is that if your gutters are wet from a recent storm, you don’t need to worry about it. The wetness won’t cause the leaves to stick.

Just make sure to use the right nozzle for your pressure washer to avoid damaging your home. You can also look at extensions for your pressure washer hose so you can clean the gutters from the ground level.

These are great for limiting the amount of time you need to spend on a ladder and climbing.

A big time saver.

7. Use Air Power

You can harness the power of air to clean your gutters! Sounds dramatic, I know. But using a leaf blower is probably one the best ways to clean your gutters.

Most people will have a leaf blower on hand, making it super accessible.

There are two methods to do it, you can either blow out the gutters while standing on a ladder, or do it from the ground level with a leaf blower extension.

The extension is our recommended way of doing it, as you won’t need to climb up and down a ladder putting yourself at risking for falling and injury.

Also, if you have a vacuum or Shopvac that’s powerful enough, you can always try sucking the leaves out instead. This carries an extra benefit where you don’t need to clean up the leaves afterwards.

Keep in mind, it can be tough to clean out your gutters with air power if they are too wet and muddy. In which case, you may need to wait until they have dried out more before starting the project.

8. Don’t Forget the Downspouts

For whatever reason, when cleaning out your gutters it’s really easy to forget the downspouts. But did you know, they are the most common part of your gutters to clog?

That’s right. The sections of your downspout that twist and turn are very susceptible to clogging, the areas at the top and bottom are the mostly likely to clog.

To unclog your downspouts, you can try a variety of methods. You can bang on it with a hammer (or your hand) to try and dislodge any debris.

You can also blow pressurized air through the downspout to blast out any blockages, this usually works pretty well. And in some cases, you may need to use a pressure washer to cut through any clogs.

If you have any downspout extensions or underground downspouts, now can be a good time to temporarily remove them before attempting to clean out the vertical portion of the downspout.

Then you can work your way through the extensions to unclog any extra areas.

9. Invest in the Right Tools

When cleaning out your gutters, having the right tools on hand can make your life 1000x easier. If all you have is your hands and a ladder, you’ll be spending all day attempting to scoop the leaves out.

Not to mention, you’ll be handling all sorts of stuff like ants, wasps, and other creepy crawlies that have entered your gutters. Along with possibly poisonous weeds that may have made their home there.

A simple leaf blower can make your life so much easier and the job faster. No need to clean it by hand.

Also having a way to easily access the tools is a huge help, instead of climbing up and down the ladder.

10. Trim Trees Near the Roofline

Instead of treating the symptom, leaves your gutters, sometimes it’s better to go after the root cause.

The root cause in this case would be what’s producing the onslaught of leaves. Having a lot of trees around your roofline that have heavy leaf fall is a surefire way to get leaves in your gutters.

Once a year it’s a good idea to trim any branches that get too close to your house.

This can do several benificial things for your home.

  1. It can reduce the likelihood of damage to your home from collapsed branches. This is a big threat if you experience heavy rainfall or strong winds. Also a large buildup of snow and ice in the winter season can lead to your branches breaking. Branches can take out your windows and roof pretty easily.
  2. It will reduce the amount of leaves you need to clean up in your gutters, on your roof, and in your yard. The less time you spend raking leaves or scooping them out of your gutters is a win in my book.

11. Regularly Inspect the Gutters Year Round

To keep your gutters fully operational, it’s a good idea to get them inspected once or twice a year. You can make sure they still operate correctly, sending any water that lands on your roof down the downspout and away from your home.

Gutters are the first line of defense for you home and if they aren’t working properly, they can lead to a host of issues, such as:

  • Rotting fascia
  • Foundation cracking and erosion
  • Damage to landscaping
  • Siding water damage
  • Interior ceiling leaks
  • And more

Making sure to take care of your gutters is a great way to keep your home protected. It’s an investment in the longevity of your home.

The common issues you may have with your gutters include:

  • Clogged gutters and downspouts due to leaves and debris
  • Gutters not sloped correctly
  • Sagging gutters
  • Rusted gutters
  • Holes or dents in gutters
  • Water overshooting your gutters
  • Water dripping behind your gutters

If you experience any of these problems, it can be a good idea to speak with contractor to help with your gutter-related issues.

They will provide insight to your specific situation and give you a quote for the job. It’s a good idea to speak with multiple contractors so you can find a good match for your budget and someone you trust.

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