How to Clean Gutters

Many homeowners take their gutters for granted. They think that if they ignore the fact that they are clogged with leaves and other debris, the problem will eventually go away. But of course it doesn’t work that way. It only gets worse, and could eventually lead to sagging gutters, flooded basements or even foundation problems. Watch this video and learn the basics of cleaning your gutters and downspouts.



  1. How to Clean Your Gutters - Step 1

    Remove gutter covers.

  2. How to Clean Your Gutters - Step 2

    Scoop out debris with a tool or with your hands. Be sure to wear gloves.

  3. How to Clean Your Gutters - Step 3

    Flush the gutter with water and check for proper flow.

  4. How to Clean Your Gutters - Step 4

    Check the down spouts for any lodged debris. Put the hose on full force and spray down the spout. If the volume of water coming out is less, there is a clog.

  5. How to Clean Your Gutters - Step 5

    If there is a clog, remove the nozzle and work the hose up the down spout.

  6. How to Clean Your Gutters - Step 6

    Make sure that all gutters are securely attached and don’t look loose.

Read Video Transcript

Many homeowners take their gutters for granted. They think that if they ignore the fact that they are clogged with leaves and other debris, the problem will eventually go away. But of course it doesn’t work that way. It only gets worse, and could eventually lead to sagging gutters, flooded basements or even foundation problems. So take some time to periodically inspect and clean out your gutters. It doesn’t take that much time, and in the long run, you and your wallet will be glad you did.

Today we’re going to show you how to clean your gutters and downspouts. We’ll show you the proper methods, recommend some tools to make it easier, and give you some safety tips as well.

So let’s get started.

A fact that might surprise you is that an average sized roof can shed nearly 1,000 gallons of water for each inch of rain that falls. That’s a lot of water. When you gutters and downspouts are clogged or sagging, that water overflows out of the gutters and can damage your roof, your gutter boards, and work its way down your foundation and eventually into your basement, where it can lead to mold, mildew and even flooding. When flowing properly, however, your gutters and downspouts carry this water away from your house.

So when is the best time to clean your gutters? The ideal time is after several dry days. The debris in your gutters won’t be as wet, and dry leaves and debris are less messy to remove. A dry day is also a safer time to work on the ladder.

Now let’s talk about the equipment you’ll need. Cleaning gutters requires getting on a ladder, so if you aren’t comfortable with this, be sure to call a licensed professional to do the work. You’ll also probably want some rubber gloves, especially if the contents of your gutters is wet. To keep from climbing up and down the ladder more frequently than necessary, get a large bucket that you can hang from the ladder with a wire. And finally, you’ll also probably want a trowel or a gutter scoop to help you dig debris out of the gutters.

Whenever using a ladder, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the ladder safely.

These gutters don’t have gutter covers, which certainly makes our job easier. While gutter covers dramatically cut down on the amount of debris that gets in your gutters, most will eventually still need to be cleaned, so be sure to pick a cover that can be easily removed for cleaning.

Now it’s time to get up on the ladder and start scooping out the debris. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It just takes some time and persistence on your part. When it’s clean, flush the gutter with clean water to check for proper flow.

After the gutters are clean, check the downspouts for any debris that might be lodged inside. The best way to do this is with a hose and spray nozzle. On the full spray setting, spray down the downspout and check the volume that comes out at the bottom. You’ll be able to tell if there is a clog. If there is, remove the nozzle and work the hose up into the downspout as far as it will go, flushing it with water. This is also a good time to make sure you splash blocks are placed properly and that all your gutters and downspouts are attached securely.

In between regular cleanings, one way to keep your gutters free of debris is to use a gutter wand like you see here. It has a curved head and a telescoping handle that reaches high enough on a single story home to keep from getting the ladder out.

Well there you have it. Now your gutters are now flowing properly. And you’ve taken proper precautionary measures to keep the water away from where it can do a whole lot of damage to your home.

If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.

Good luck with your project and thanks for watching.

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41 responses to “How to Clean Gutters”

  1. Chelsea says:

    No one loves to clean their gutters, but it is a necessity. It’s a chore that all home or business owners cannot skip. Our company specializes in windows but we always make sure to check on their rain gutters as well. We are based out of Utah, so with our weather clogged gutters are inevitable. Anyways, thanks for the great visuals, and the simple walkthrough. I’m sure this is helpful to many!

  2. This is some really good information about gutter cleaning. It is good to know that you should flush your gutters with water after you clean it out. I wouldn’t have thought about checking if the gutters are fully cleaned out.

  3. Deborah Hill says:

    Fall leaves can be a big hassle for homeowners. Just when you get done it seems like it’s time to get back out there.

  4. Lucie says:

    Thanks for sharing – found the video to be really useful. Can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning out those gutters at this time of the year.

  5. I need someone, local, insured and do not charge too much for a senior, disabled. My person, whom mows, does not do gutter.

  6. The Conservatory Cleaning Kings pride themselves for being experts in conservatory care. We understand you want to keep the conservatory you’ve made part of your home looking and performing beautifully.

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  8. fnaf world says:

    The knowledge you share really changes me in my life, I sincerely thank you for what you have done, surely your blog will help more people.

  9. jordan says:

    Interesting read! any recommendation on what to do should the end spout go directly underground and no access is posssible to unclog?

  10. Thanks for sharing these amazing Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Gutters, which would be helpful for every homeowner. Gutters are essential features in every home. They help protect your house from water damage and enhance its look. Gutter Cleaning is one of the most important works which have been done in every 2 months. We recently have done a page about Liquasil Gutter Lining & Asbestoseal. You can use this link to know more- This can be helpful for the homeowner too.

  11. Raymond says:

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  12. Genie Clean says:

    This was very helpful to me as a local gutter cleaner

  13. Thanks for sharing the tips, another article we can show to our team as part of their training.

  14. We love your efforts and thank you for them every week. Please keep going.

  15. Thanks for sharing. I find a lot of interesting information here. A really good article, very thankful and hopefully you will write more articles like this one.

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  17. Abequa says:

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