How to Clean Gutters

Use this helpful guide to learn how to keep your gutters in good shape.

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How to clean gutters - supplies, steps, and more
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Figuring out how to clean gutters isn’t exactly something you're dying to do. But even if this task doesn't top your cleaning checklist, it still has to be done. Not clearing out the built-up clutter can lead to all sorts of drainage issues for your home—and even roof damage, which homeowner's insurance may not cover. So it’s best to stay ahead of potential disaster and proactively clean your gutters.

You can clean your gutters yourself with a little physical fitness, agility, and patience and save a chunk of cash. But if you decide to hire professionals to do this tough job, we’ll give you a sense of how much it costs. Read on to learn how to clean gutters, how often, and what supplies you’ll need to get the job done.

How Often to Clean Gutters

We recommend that you clean your gutters twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall, when your yard gets the heaviest rain and leaf accumulation. If you have an unusually stormy season or live in a heavily forested area, consider adding a third gutter cleaning each year.

What You Need:

  • Extension ladder with stabilizer attachment (This is so the ladder doesn’t have to rest against the gutters, which could cause damage.)
  • Work gloves
  • Hand trowel
  • Hose with sprayer
  • Rake
  • Plastic garbage bags (or, ideally, compostable paper leaf bags)
  • Rubber-soled shoes (to prevent slipping)
  • Patience (This job can take several hours if your house is large.)

How to Clean Gutters

Step 1: Climb the Ladder and Scoop Out Leaves and Debris

Place the ladder at one end of the roof so you can reach into the gutter without much leaning or straining; then, you are ready to climb up. Wearing gloves and using the hand trowel, scoop the leaves and debris from the gutter and drop them onto the ground. Keep going until you’ve gotten out all of the gunk that you can possibly get out.

Step 2: Slide the Ladder Over and Repeat

Move the ladder over a few feet and repeat on the next stretch of the gutter. Continue this process and repeat until the whole gutter is clear of leaves and debris.

Step 3: Flush Out the Gutter

Use the sprayer to flush out the gutter. Make sure that you direct the stream toward the downspout.

Step 4: Rake the Debris

Come down from the ladder and rake up the debris that has been scattered throughout your yard. Place it in as many garbage bags as you need.

How Much Pro Gutter Cleaning Costs

The national average cost for cleaning gutters is $157 and can range between $118 and $225, according to HomeAdvisor. Note that gutter cleaning costs are typically calculated based on the size of your home, so taller homes—homes with second or third stories—will cost more. HomeAdvisor’s data says gutter cleaning for two-story homes can cost between $90 and $225 per cleaning, and three-story homes (or taller) can cost an additional $75 to $200 per cleaning.

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