There are so many aspects of our homes that we tend to forget about, that is, until something goes wrong. Instead of waiting for problems to happen, we should be more proactive and prevent them before they occur. One good example is our home’s gutters. How often do you clean your gutters? Chances are you don’t even think about them until you get a big downpour and notice something is wrong. So how often should you clean your gutters and what’s the right way to do it?

How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?

Strive to clean your gutters twice a year, but you should definitely be cleaning them at least once every year. It’s not always necessary to clean more than once, but if you have trees close to your home or branches that actually hang over your roof, it can help prevent future problems.

We recommend cleaning once in the Spring to prepare your home for the rainy weather to come, and once again in the Fall after the leaves have dropped.

If you don’t want to fully clean the gutters twice, then simply check for spots that may be clogged by leaves at the end of Fall before the Winter snow and ice comes.

If you experience a bad storm and have trees close to your home, you may also want to go out and check the gutters for any large pieces of debris when the storm passes.

How To Clean Gutters With Tools You Have on Hand

Some places sell special tools to clean your gutters, but really all you need are a few things you probably already have:

  • Tall sturdy ladder
  • Small plastic scoop (your kid’s sand shovel will even work!)
  • Garden hose
  • A large tarp (optional)
  • A friend

Step 1: Prepare

Lay down a large tarp that you can use to toss the debris onto, this will help prevent your yard from becoming a mess in the process. This is optional, but can be very handy.

Set up your ladder making sure it’s not damaging the gutters or siding and have a friend help by stabilizing the ladder. Safety first!

Step 2: Clear the Debris

Start by using your small scoop to clear the majority of the debris. Scoop out any leaves and other debris and toss it onto the tarp below (being careful not to drop it onto your friend of course!)

Step 3: Rise and Check for Leaks

Take your garden hose and rinse the remaining dirt and debris away. At this point your friend below can help by spotting and pointing out any leaks that many need to be fixed. Fixing small leaks can be as simple as adjusting the joints where 2 pieces may have slipped apart, or repairing a small crack.

If your gutters are beginning to warp or have multiple cracks, it may be time to consider replacing them before it begins to cause other problems.

While you’re up on cleaning your gutters, take a look at your roof as well for any of these 5 warning signs of a roof that’s ready to be replaced.