Top Gutter Cleaning Tips – Homeowner’s Guide

Clogged gutter depicting need for gutter cleaning

Do you know how to clean your gutters? Do you want to learn how to take care of this essential home maintenance project yourself? Have any experience climbing a ladder?

You can likely perform gutter cleaning yourself. However, I want to take this time to remind you why you should go out and do it today, or this week if you haven’t already done it this spring.

For most houses, gutter cleaning is a simple task that can be completed in an hour or two. You might not believe it right now, but this simple DIY project could end up saving you thousands in the long run.

Why You Should Clean Your Gutters

First, a word of caution. We highly that you don’t get on your roof due to safety concerns. The risk of falling is too great. It is best to hire a professional.

We have covered this information so often on our blog because it is the number one most important thing you can do for your house.

Did you know that clogged gutters are a direct cause of damage to your foundation?

Once your house’s foundation is damaged, it’s complicated and expensive to make that right. Here’s how that happens: when your gutters are working optimally, water sheds quickly and efficiently away from your house. It’s all about leading water away from your home, where it would puddle if left to its own devices.

What happens when water puddles anywhere? Rot, mildew, and mold. Moreover, in the winter: freezing, expanding and cracking.

Cracked foundations lead to leaking in your basement or crawlspace. It can get backed up on roofs and damage your shingles and decking, leading to rapid aging of your roof and leaks – more mold and rot.

To prevent these catastrophes, we recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year at a minimum – in the spring and fall.

However, if you have large trees that shed debris all summer or have gone through a big storm, you might want to clean them more often throughout the summer.

Gutter Cleaning Tips

  • For best results, it’s good to be prepared with more than a ladder and your bare hands.
  • Make sure you have the right ladder. For a single-story house, you need only a four-legged step ladder. For a two-story house, you will need an extension ladder.
  • Find a friend. If you’re planning to clean your second-story gutters yourself, you need a spotter to steady the ladder or hand you tools.
  • Test the ladder. You must test both the ladder and how stable it is on the ground before you climb up. Climb up one or two rungs first to make sure.
  • Don’t lean your ladder on the gutters! This one is pretty important. You could end up breaking your gutters if you lean against them, making the job more dangerous. Instead, lean your ladder just beneath the roofline.
  • Bring a bucket and plastic scoop. Attach your bucket and scoop firmly to the ladder with rope, so you don’t have to climb back down if they drop. This will also free both your hands to work.
  • Wear work gloves and goggles. You might be surprised by finding sharp things in your gutters, not to mention animal droppings. Protect your hands and face from scrapes and infection.
  • Don’t forget to test your downspouts with a hose when you’re done. If your downspouts don’t drain properly, your gutter system doesn’t work.


Hopefully, this will inspire you to take care of your roof by cleaning your gutters regularly.

If you don’t feel confident about cleaning your gutters yourself, consult a professional. If you live in Southeast Michigan, call us today about gutter cleaning or installing gutter guards. We are always glad to help.

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