Gutter Cleaning | How To Clean Rain Gutters

man starting gutter cleaningCleaning out your rain gutters is very easy, as long as you don’t mind being on a ladder and getting a little dirty during the gutter cleaning process! It’s is a home maintenance task and you should clean your gutters a couple of times a year, like Fall and Spring, you will save yourself a lot of time and certainly money if they have to be replaced.

You’ll know it’ time for gutter cleaning if you start seeing a waterfall pour off the roof.  If your rain gutters are not able to drain properly, and the water has no where else to go, it is likely to start seeping into your walls. Or, they become very heavy as the debris absorbs the water that can’t flow, and the gutters will start crumbling down!

Gutter Cleaning in 7 Easy Steps

Tools Needed for Gutter Cleaning

  • Extension ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Narrow garden trowel
  • Trash bags
  • Garden Hose with Sprayer
  • Plumbers snake

Directions on How to Clean Your Rain Gutters:

Decide where to Start: You can really start your gutter cleaning anywhere, but the corners of your home would be ideal because that is where the rain gutter downspouts are usually located.  Starting at a downspout and working away from it will avoid more debris from falling into it.

Place your ladder on level ground: After you decide where you are going to start gutter cleaning, place your ladder on level ground and extend to proper height. Don’t lean the ladder against a downspout or rain gutter, which can easily bend or break.  You must make sure that your ladder is secure to avoid the risk of falling.  It is always best to have someone with you that can help keep the ladder steady

Remove Debris: Make sure you have your gloves  on.  You want to make sure you are protected in case there is anything sharp in the gutters. Start the gutter cleaning by scooping out large debris with a garden trowel or with your hands.

Caked on Dirt: Chances are, there will be caked on dirt that you can’t get out with the trowel or your hands.  For these, wet down the caked dirt to loosen it up a bit and make the gutter cleaning go easier.  DO NOT dig down into the caked on debris with a trowel – you will risk damaging your gutter

Check rain gutter downspouts for clogs: If your downspouts are clogged you will need to clear it using one of these options

  • Use a spray attachment on your hose to blast it out with water
  • Place your hose in the downspout (with out the spray attachment)and run water through it
  • Work a plumbers snake into the downspout to loosen the debris

Be gentle when removing clogs because rain gutter are not that strong.  They can be bent and damaged very easily.

Inspect the Rain Gutters: As you are gutter cleaning, make sure you inspect your downspouts and rain gutters for any sort of damage.  You will want to look for holes, cracks or dents and if there is any damage, you’ll want to get these fixed as soon as possible.

You might also consider covering your rain gutters with a wire or plastic mesh to cut down on debris.  There are  variety of protectors are on the market that will deflect the leaves and other debris from the gutters. If you do decide to install one, be sure that you purchase a model that can easily be removed to allow for your biannual gutter cleaning chore.

Flush out with water: After you are finished cleaning the debris and any clogs, you will want to use your garden hose to flush it all out.  Again, be gentle when flushing with water.  At this point the water should be flowing easily since all the debris is gone.


  • Make sure the ladder is sturdy, on level ground and secured
  • Never hold on to the gutter or downspout for support because they are not meant to support your weight.

For more Tips, please visit the Lawn & Garden Section of our website.

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One Response to “Gutter Cleaning | How To Clean Rain Gutters”
  1. Great article about rainwater drainage systems maintenance. Keep on the good job !