The best piece of advice I can give you when it comes to cleaning your gutters and downspouts is to find someone else to do it. An older child, a helpful neighbour, your wife – anyone. Anyone ELSE that is.
It’s not that it’s a hard job it’s just one that’s easier to put off until it really matters, like when the rain is finally coming through your ceilings and creating havoc with your electricals.
The idea of having gutters is so that they catch the water runoff from your roof and then force them into your downspouts taking the excess to soaks that filter it back into the soil. However, gravity impedes this process when it also allows leaves and other natural residues to settle in your gutters and clog your downspouts.
How do you clean them?
Sometimes prevention is the best cure and there are many products available that help deter leaves from entering your gutters. However they’re not always foolproof and even these systems require some maintenance and can cost quite a bit to install.
If you haven’t used any of these preventative measures then cleaning them is just a matter of process. Set yourself up with a bucket and ladder and gradually work your way around the gutters removing any leaves and twigs. This is great compost material so don’t just throw it out with the garbage.
Once the majority of the debris has been removed, use a hose to flush any smaller waste into your downspouts. If you find that water is backing up rather than continuing to be drained away then your downspout may be blocked and require manually unblocking it.
There are two ways to do this. The first is much easier but requires a brush that will fit into the downspout and also be long enough to reach the end of it. There are tools that you can purchase for this.
If this isn’t successful at dislodging the debris then you will need to unbolt the downspout and remove it from the gutter. This is quite tedious and you would only want to attempt this if nothing else has worked.
Once you’ve cleaned your gutters and downspouts thy shouldn’t need cleaning again for another 12 months.