How to clear your own gutters

by | Mar 15, 2024 | Moving Guides

Springtime in the UK may be known for blossom and cute baby animals, but it’s most famous of all for one thing – rain. When you’re drawing up your spring to-do list, make sure to put aside time to clear your gutter.

Moss, leaves and other debris can block your gutters, leaving them unable to drain. Pooled rainwater can pull your gutter away from the wall, or even leak through your roof into your home. Luckily, keeping your gutters clear and flowing is easy. 


What tools do you need?

To clear your gutters you’ll need:

  • A ladder
  • A pair of work gloves
  • A bucket
  • A garden hose
  • A plastic scoop, small spade or spatula

You’ll also be able to work more safely if you have someone else to help you by holding your ladder and equipment.


How to clean gutters at home

Pull on your work gloves and a set of old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Set up your ladder on a flat, level surface in easy reach of your gutter. Your ladder shouldn’t wobble when you shake it.

Climb to where you can comfortably reach the guttering and pull out any large pieces of debris. Hang a bucket from your ladder with a bucket hook or have your assistant hold one to collect the pieces. The debris can be thrown away in the bin you usually use for garden waste.

Once you’ve removed any large pieces, use your plastic tool or your fingers to scoop out the dirt and sediment in the bottom of the gutter. Use something rigid but not sharp or harder than your gutter so you don’t make any holes.

Move your ladder along the length of the gutter as you work and as you clear each section use your garden hose to rinse away any remaining dirt. You can use this to check the pipe is draining easily, and that there isn’t any obstruction that you’ve missed. 

When should you clean your gutters?

Clear your gutters out twice a year, in the spring and autumn. Ideally, look for a dry day before a big storm. Dirt, mud and leaves will be easier to remove if they’re dry, and you’ll want your drains working when a storm hits.

Top tips for cleaning your gutters

  • If your pipe is blocked you can use your hose pipe or a plumbers snake to try and clear the obstruction. If the gutter still won’t drain, it might be time to call in an expert.
  • Trying to find the blockage in your drain pipe? Tap the side of the pipe with a screwdriver handle, you’ll hear a hollow knock if the pipe is clear and a dull thud if you hit against the blockage.
  • While you’re clearing the gutters, take the chance to look for any sections that are coming loose from the wall or any holes in the guttering. Catching a problem early means you can replace one section of the gutter instead of the whole wall.


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