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Cleaning Gutters

Materials List
Gutter Caulk – Silicone caulk will work best
Sheet Metal Screws
Tools List (click item to shop)
Rubber Gloves
Caulk Gun
Screwdriver or Screw gun
Extension Ladder
Exterior Painting
Exterior Paint Preparation

IMPORTANT: Read this before you start


Gutters are an important part of your home’s weatherproofing system. For many homeowners, the gutter system is a secondary concern and often gets neglected. Don’t make that mistake!

It is important that you maintain a free-flowing gutter system as your gutters prevent rain from running from your roof and falling too close to your house. Getting water to flow away from your house properly will protect your foundation, keep stains from developing on your siding, and keep walkways ice-free in the wintertime.

In this tutorial we will review the basics of safe and easy gutter cleaning and maintenance.

Skill Level & Time To Complete
• Beginner - 1 to 2 hours
• Intermediate - 1 hour
• Advanced - 1/2 hour

Be sure to take proper precautions when working in high areas. Secure your ladder properly and take carefully balanced steps.


Cleaning and Maintenance

The most basic, but necessary maintenance you should do is clean and repair your gutter system twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Begin by securely placing your ladder so that you can reach the gutters easily. Do not rest the ladder directly on the gutters, as you will damage them! You may be interested in gutter attachments that allow you to raise your ladder higher without damaging your gutters.

2. Using rubber gloves, manually clean out any debris that you can safely reach in the gutters. It is a good idea to throw the debris directly into a bucket or garbage can so that you do not make a mess around your home.
3. While you are cleaning, you should hammer or replace any nails that might have come loose.
4. Use a water hose and spray down the gutters to completely clean out any small debris. You should see the water flow out cleanly from the downspout.
5. If the water does not flow out cleanly, or your downspout flows directly into a main drain, you should disassemble the downspout joint from the gutter. Remove any retaining screws and hardware from the joint.
6. Pull the joint downward to remove it from the gutter.
7. After removing the downspout, spray water through it until all debris is flushed out. You may have to use an auger for stubborn clogs.
8. Before returning the downspout to the gutter, you will need to scrape off any adhesive, then inspect the downspout and gutter to be sure that they are not damaged or dented.
9. Use a silicone sealant around the downspout attachment and slip the downspout back into place.
10. Remember to replace the retaining hardware so that the downspout is securely attached to the gutter.
11. After giving the sealant time to dry, spray water down the gutter system once again to ensure that it is watertight and that the water flows out properly. If there are any damaged areas, refer to our Gutter Repair tutorial.



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