how to clean gutters

The Ultimate Guide to Clean Gutters

When you purchase a home, it does not come with a how-to guide; this can leave many homeowners clueless regarding what maintenance tasks need to be done, which includes cleaning the gutters.

To keep your gutters in optimal working order, it is important to clean them regularly. It is recommended that you clean them out at least twice per year, especially after the leaves fall, to prevent your gutters from becoming clogged. If your gutters become clogged, the water will not drain properly, which could cause water damage to your roof and walls.

This article will cover the best ways to clean your gutters from the ground and the roof or ladder. You will also learn about essential safety precautions when cleaning your gutters.

From the Ground

Not everyone is comfortable climbing a ladder and cleaning their gutters out from more than 8 feet above the ground. Fortunately, two methods can make cleaning your gutter out from the ground easier.

Garden Hose

The first method for cleaning your gutters from the ground is by using a garden hose. As long as your garden hose has relatively strong water pressure, you can clean your gutters using a simple attachment.

You will need a tube extension that is long enough to reach your gutter. Then you will attach it to your hose and use the stream of water to wash the debris away.

For this method to work, you cannot have a large amount of debris built up, or you won’t be able to wash it away easily.

Gutter Vacuum

Another option for cleaning your gutters if you’d like to keep your feet firmly on the ground is a gutter vacuum. Just like with the garden house, you will need a strong vacuum to ensure the suction can reach your gutters. You will also need to purchase an attachment that reaches high enough to get into your gutter.

This method can handle more debris than the garden hose, but it may have trouble clearing heavily blocked gutters.

From the Roof or Ladder

If heights don’t scare you and you have a blocked gutter, it is best to use a ladder or climb on your roof to get on the same level; this will allow you to get a better angle so you can fully clear it.

Gutter Scoop

The first method for gutter cleaning from the roof or ladder is a gutter scoop. You can buy gutter scoops at most home improvement stores. If you don’t have one, a small shovel will work just as well.

To use this method, get on the roof or ladder and use your gutter scoop or shovel to remove the debris; this is the best method for cleaning gutters that are severely clogged.

Leaf Blower

Another option for cleaning out your gutters from a ladder or the roof is a leaf blower; this is a great method to use during the fall when your gutters are primarily clogged with dry leaves. Leaf blowers do not work when removing wet debris from your gutters.

It is easiest to use this method when you are standing directly on the roof. Using a leaf blower from the ladder can cause the ladder to lose balance which could result in a fall.

Gutter Cleaning Safety

When cleaning your gutters, it is extremely important to do so safely. Most gutters are over 8 feet in the air, maybe even higher if you’re cleaning second-story gutters. A fall from this height could result in serious injury. You can also encounter the issue of falling debris.

Secure Your Ladder

When you set up your ladder, use an extension ladder and set it up on even ground; this will help to prevent losing your balance while on the ladder. You can also purchase stability arms that brace the ladder to reduce the risk of falling.

Always make sure to follow the safety guidelines listed on the ladder. Do not climb to higher rungs than you should, and make sure to use a ladder appropriate for the height of your gutter.

Safety Goggles and a Hard Hat

If you are cleaning your gutters from the ground, wear safety goggles and a hard hat. The majority of the debris that you’ll find in your gutters are dead leaves and sticks. However, you may encounter some heavier objects that, when knocked free, could fall and cause an injury.

To prevent debris from striking your head or falling into your eyes, wear some form of eye protection and a hard hat or helmet. It will ensure that even if something falls in your direction, you will be protected.


Cleaning gutters is a necessary task that should be done at least once per year. If you do not clean your gutters regularly, you could risk damage to your home from the water not draining correctly.

If you want to clean your gutters from the ground, there are two great methods for doing so. You can use a garden hose or a gutter vacuum with tube attachments to extend the flow of water or suction to the gutters.

If you’re comfortable climbing to the roof, you can use a gutter scoop or a leaf blower to remove the debris. A gutter scoop is best for severely clogged gutters, whereas a leaf blower works best for large amounts of dry debris.