Doing your annual gutter cleaning? Here’s the best way to do it, from prep work to gunk and debris removal.

Rain gutters protect your homes landscaping and siding from severe runoff while preventing damage to the foundation. But when gutters fill with leaves, sticks and other debris, they can clog, allowing water to creep under the roof and eventually into the foundation.

Winter storms can wreck havoc on your home, especially the roof. Gutters clogged with leaves and debris make it easier for ice dams to form, since clogs prevent melting snow and ice from properly draining. As water builds up behind the ice dam, it seeps under the roofing materials, and causing leaks and other damage thats expensive to fix.

Thats why its important to clean your gutters and keep them clear all year long. You should clean your gutters at least once a year more often if you have overhanging trees, or after big storms.

Gutter cleaning safety

Make sure you have a good, sturdy, extendable ladder. Dress for the job. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants and gloves.

I generally advise against leaning the ladder directly on the gutters themselves, because it can damage them. There are exceptions to this rule say, if doing so is the safest option you have, or the most comfortable way to access your gutters.

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