Gutter cleaning is one of the most dreaded home maintenance tasks, but it has to be done. Clogged gutters can’t do their job properly, and the weight of the debris is liable to damage the guttering. If you want to extend the life of your gutters and boost your curb appeal, check out these fall gutter cleaning tips.
When Should I Clean My Gutters?
Most gutters should be cleaned twice a year – once at the beginning of fall, and once at the end of fall. The beginning of fall cleaning is designed to clear out any debris that has collected throughout the year. The end of fall cleaning clears out leaves that have shed during the autumn months.
With this in mind, some properties need more than two cleaning sessions. If you have tons of trees on your property, your gutters may get gilled up quickly. You can reduce this issue with gutter guards, but the forestry on your property will certainly impact your gutter cleaning schedule.
If water is mostly running over your gutters when it rains or you can see leaves sticking up from the top, it’s probably time to clean your gutters.
Safety Tips for Fall Gutter Cleaning
If you’re going to clean your gutters yourself, put safety first. Use a sturdy ladder that is tall enough to safely reach the gutters or the roofing. If you’re going to walk on the roof to clean the gutters, wear a sturdy pair of shoes with a firm grip. Wear gloves to protect your hands from debris, and have a partner with you throughout the project. That person should be at the base of the ladder for additional support.
If you decide to throw the debris onto the ground instead of bagging it as you go, be careful where you toss it. Also be mindful of any loss areas of the guttering. Do not lean your ladder on those points, and do not grab the gutters for stabilization. If you can resecure the gutters while you’re cleaning, that would be ideal.
How to Clean Gutters Quickly and Easily
There is no magic spell to clean gutters fast, but there are some tricks to speed up the process. Check out these gutter cleaning hacks to take the stress out of the project.
- Use a gutter scoop, garden trowel or kid’s shovel to scoop out debris. A gutter scoop is made to be the exact dimensions of gutters, so it can glide in and get all the debris. You can pull out the debris by hand, but this is far more efficient.
- Rinse the gutters once you’ve removed the big debris. This will flush whatever remains through the downspouts and give you a clean slate to work with. You can use a basic garden hose for this step. If you notice any leaks when rinsing the gutters, you can address those before the next rainstorm.
- Tighten the gutters while you’re up there. This isn’t going to speed up the process, but it is going to make the gutters work more efficiently. Most gutters are secured with simple spikes along the fascia board. You can tap them back into place with a small hammer.
- Bag as you go to avoid raking later. You could throw the debris out of the gutters and onto the ground, but then you will have to rake and bag at the end. Many homeowners find it easier to bag the debris as they pull it out.
- Clean gutters after a dry spell. Wet leaves and debris are heavy and hard to work with. If you can arrange cleaning after a few days of dry weather, you’ll have an easier time getting the leaves out. This is also true for raking leaves in your yard.
- Get a professional to do the work for you. They have the tools, expertise and safety equipment to get the job done fast.
Is Gutter Cleaning Included with Fall Landscape Cleanup?
Gutter cleaning is included with fall cleanup services from Berns Landscaping. This is not a standalone service we provide, but we will do it as part of a comprehensive landscape cleanup. Other fall cleaning services include raking, leaf removal, winterization for irrigation lines, winter plant protection, mulch top-off and weeding, strategic plant pruning, and more. To schedule a quote for a custom fall cleanup plan, contact Berns Landscaping at (586) 756-1145.