Learn from me -Unless you have one of those clog free gutter systems like they advertise on the radio. all. the. time. – add “clean out the gutters” to your list of semi-annual maintenance.
Gutters collect leaves and twigs. These leaves, twigs, and ahem, saplings prevent the the flow of water. When the water doesn’t flow down the spout it can pool, which will rot wooden gutters, rust metal ones, or eventually cause the gutters to pull from the roof. During a heavy downpour clogged gutters overflow instead of diverting the water from the home. This increases the possibility of damage to the foundation, or excess moisture or flooding (aka really excessive moisture) in the basement or crawlspace. High humidity can be a welcome mat for some pests as well as the ever obnoxious mold and mildew problems that may develop.
It’s important not to spray water under your shingles as the high pressure may damage or loosen shingles and then you’ll be out the time and money you could have saved by attempting this relatively simple chore yourself. If you don’t have a pressure washer, it will take a little longer but it can still be done.
Make sure you have a sturdy pair of work gloves and scoop all the crud out by hand. Tedious? Yes. Effective? You bet.
Be careful as most gutters are attached with sharp screws. The gloves are mandatory.
Once the debris has been cleared from the trough, use a garden hose to ensure water flows down the spout. Most spouts have a bend within reach of the top. With your gloves on, pull out any debris that may be blocking the flow.
If all the reachable debris has been removed and water is still not flowing freely, feed a snake* up from the bottom. This handy tool will allow you to pull out almost any clog.
*Not a live snake, a plumber’s auger, these come in handy and I highly recommend all home owners have one in their tool box.*
Check to ensure all the the downspouts are properly diverted away from the house and you’re all done until next time.
Submitted to A Soft Place to Land DIY Day Outdoor Edition.