Cleaning the gutters is probably no one’s favourite chore. Yeah, that old joke…it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it. But the longer debris sits in the gutter channel, decomposition reduces materials to a fine silt (or wet muck if mixed with water) that is more difficult to clean out. Use these tips to make gutter cleaning easier.
Scheduling: Make an appointment with yourself. Especially if gutter maintenance should be done three times a year and you’re averaging about once if you’re lucky, scheduling a specific time to clean the gutters in late spring, mid-summer and late fall could help keep you on track.
Quick inventory: Take an inventory of supplies you have on hand and what you’ll need to buy. Use environmentally friendly products wherever possible.
Equipment Inspection: Inspect the ladder you will be using for any damage or loose parts. Don’t lean an extension ladder directly against the gutters – use a ladder standoff or ladder stabilizer. Consider adding ladder accessories such as a shelf (step ladder) or utility hooks to reduce the need for trekking up and down the rungs.
What You’ll Need for You
Reduce the risk of injury while cleaning the gutters and the level of difficulty of your gutter cleaning chore by wearing the right clothes, including:
- thick work gloves (rubber/latex tear easily)
- long sleeved shirt
- shoes with grips or non-slip soles
- hat or cap if you’re not working in the shade
- safety glasses
What You’ll Need for the Gutters
If you’re not tempted by high-tech solutions for cleaning the gutters, the good news is that most gutter cleaning tools are relatively inexpensive. Things you’ll need are:
- a gutter scoop
- heavy duty garbage bags
- scrub brush (soft bristled)
- soapy water
- all purpose cleaning cloth
- garden hose with a pistol nozzle (easier to hook on the ladder when not in use)
More Ways to Make Gutter Cleaning Easier
Check the long-term weather forecast before scheduling a time to clean the gutters – avoid rainy days or days that will be too windy.
Cover landscaping and the area directly underneath the ladder with a tarp – it will cut down on clean-up time.
You’re up on the ladder anyway; plan to make minor repairs, like tightening the screws of a gutter section pulling away from the fascia or applying fresh sealant to worn seams.