Gutters are an essential part of your home. They direct water away from landscaping, walkways, and your home’s foundation. Over time, debris accumulates in your gutters and they become clogged. It’s important to keep your gutters clean to prevent problems ranging from ice buildup to rotted soffits. Follow these four steps to clean your gutters safely and effectively.

Clean Your Gutters as Often as Needed

Unlike many home maintenance tasks that are only on your to-do list once or twice a year, you may need to clean your gutters more often. This is especially true in the fall when they become clogged with fallen leaves.

Fortunately, you don’t have to climb a ladder every week to check. Just step outside when it’s raining and monitor them from ground level. If the discharge at the bottom seems to be flowing too slowly for the amount of rain that’s falling or if you see overflowing gutters, it may be time to clean them again.

Use Safe Techniques with Your Ladder

You’ll need a ladder to clean your gutters, and you may have to move it several times to cover the full length of the gutter. Make sure that you place the ladder on a firm, level spot

Use a proper climbing angle, and only lean the ladder against a solid surface like a wall, not against the gutters themselves. Take note of how far you can reach from the ladder so that you can space it appropriately and minimize how often you’ll move it.

Protect Your Hands and Feet

Debris in the gutter harbors germs and bacteria. The system is held together with screws and has many raw metal edges, any of which can cut you if you’re not careful. Make sure to protect yourself with sturdy work gloves and wear safe, non-slip shoes to ensure good traction on the rungs of your ladder.

Carry Everything You’ll Need to Clean Your Gutters

Any job performed on a ladder is more complicated, and that is certainly true when it’s time to clean your gutters. When you realize you need something else, you’ve got to head down the ladder and back up again. This increases fatigue that can lead to accidents and makes the job more frustrating.

Have a screwdriver, hammer, and other simple tools ready in case you see things that need to be repaired. A caulking gun and gutter caulk might come in handy, too. Use an appropriate tool belt instead of stuffing things in your pockets. Hang a bucket from the top of the ladder so that you can keep all the debris you scoop from the gutters in one place instead of throwing it in the yard.

Gutter cleaning is a messy job, but it’s necessary to prevent a lot of problems around your home. Keep an eye on your gutters throughout the year, and when you need to clean your gutters, follow these tips to stay safe and get the best results.

HG Home Inspection provides home inspection services to Houston and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule an inspection.