How to Clean Rain Gutters
Clean gutters to protect your siding and landscape plantings, and prevent thousands of dollars of damage to your foundation.
In a downpour, a clogged roof gutter sends a cascade of water down the side of your house, making canyons of your flowerbeds and saturating your foundation.
Clean gutters of leaves and debris to help prevent damage to your landscaping and siding, and to head off expensive water damage repairs to your foundation that may cost $10,000 or more.
How Often Should You Clean Gutters?
Clean gutters at least once a year — twice a year if you have overhanging trees. Also, clean clogged gutters after big storms. Clogs often occur where downspouts join the gutter system — check these areas closely.
How to Clean Gutters
- Wear a shirt with long sleeves. Wear rubber gloves.
- Have a good extendable ladder available. Standoff stabilizers (ladder “horns”) are ideal to keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.
- Use a small plastic scoop to remove gunk. Buy a gutter scoop from the hardware store ($25) or try a child’s sand shovel.
- Spare your lawn by dumping the stuff onto a plastic tarp.
- After you’ve cleared the muck, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose — also a great way to spot any leaks.
How Much Does it Cost to Pay Someone to Clean Gutters?
If climbing ladders is not your cup of tea, you can hire someone to do the job for you for $50-$250, depending on the size and height of your house.
Should You Try Gutter Covers?
Interested in an ounce of prevention? You can slow clogging by installing gutter covers in the form of mesh screens, clip-on grates, or porous foam. However, the cost can be more than the gutters themselves, and covers need regular maintenance to keep them clear. Expect to pay $6-$8/running foot for gutter covers, installed.