6 Tips for Safe and Effective Gutter Cleaning

by / Tuesday, 31 May 2016 / Published in Blog, Cincinnati Gutter Cleaning, Cincinnati Gutters


Did you know that clogged gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems? When Cincinnati gutters become clogged, roof water will overflow and accumulate around the foundation of the home, leading to moisture collecting in the basement. When moisture enters the home, it introduces the potential for mold. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the presence of any type of mold are possible health risks, ranging from minor to severe, and may even be fatal in some rare cases.

To avoid this dangerous occurrence, make sure downspout extensions are directed at least 1.8 meters (approximately six feet) away from your home’s foundation. It is safe to direct them towards the road, backyard, or back lane.

Below you will find some additional tips for safely and effectively cleaning and maintaining gutters.

    1. Clean the roof: Before starting in on the gutters, make sure your roof is totally clean and clear. You may want to power wash all the debris off the roof first or else it will clog up your freshly cleaned gutter next time it rains.

               2. Wear rubber shoes: If you need to walk on the roof to perform cleaning and maintenance tasks, it is best to use rubber soles, which tend to adhere best and prevent slip-and-fall accidents.

               3. Wear gloves: It is essential that you keep your skin protected during the cleaning process. Dirty water and rotting leaf debris can often contain animal droppings that are contaminated with bacteria. Gloves may also protect your hands from sharp metal edges of an old gutter. The best gloves are made of thick suede, as the material offers better protection and  durability in comparison to cotton, leather, and rubber.

               4. Protect your eyes: You never know what could come flying out of a downspout while you  are cleaning. Always make sure your eyes are thoroughly protected.

               5. Use a gutter scoop: A gutter scoop is an extremely useful tool for removing debris from gutters. It can be found at most hardware stores. Plastic scoops are very thin and form themselves to the bottom of the gutter trough to make the task much easier.

              6. Call a gutter repair service: If you notice any damage or a particularly bad clog, call a repair service to do a more thorough analysis of your gutter system. A professional will be able to diagnose the problem and conduct any repairs necessary.

Be very careful when cleaning, fixing, power washing and even inspecting gutters. If you have any additional tips, tricks, and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

20 Responses to “6 Tips for Safe and Effective Gutter Cleaning”

  1. Thank you for the insight about calling a repair service. As you say, if you notice any damage or bad clogging, this will be your best option. Since I just bought a house that is going to need extensive repair and restoration, it seems like this will be my best option. I was thinking that I could do it myself with the right tools, but after taking a better look, there is a lot of damage! Thank you for your help and insight.

  2. Faylinn says : Reply

    I have never had to take care of my own roof or gutters and so I really appreciate your advice about cleaning the roof off with a power washer. I will definitely make sure to wear rubber shoes when I do that, though. However, could you please give me an example of what shoes with rubber soles would look like? For some reason, I am thinking of rubber rain boots in this situation.

  3. I like what you said about how you should wear gloves when cleaning out the gutters. That does seem like it would be a good thing to do to protect your hands. It might be a good idea to have a professional do the gutter cleaning if it is really bad.

  4. I’m glad that you posted how using a gutter scoop can make cleaning my gutters much easier. I’ve been having trouble safely reaching the bottom of the gutter trough, so I was just thinking about how there has to be a better way. I’ll try using a scoop since it’s supposed to be made to form to the bottom of a gutter trough and remove debris. Thanks for the tips!

  5. siaosi says : Reply

    I have some really high roofs. I think the only way that I would clean my gutters out is if I actually hired the work. I want to know how to keep them clean after I get them clean.

  6. I loved your idea to clean the roof before cleaning out the gutters. It makes sense to make sure the roof is clean so no debris fall on your newly cleaned gutters. Cleaning the roof at the same time would also be a good way to catch any maintenance that needs to be done.

  7. You can also make sure you have someone to help you, as this will often make the gutter cleaning job a lot easier and safer.

  8. Cleaning the roof is a pretty important thing to do because over the year you can get all sorts of things on there. I think while you are up there you should scoop out the gutter and make sure that is all clean. Sometimes if you don’t clean it, you can have plants growing in the gutters.

  9. I appreciate your tip about cleaning the roof before getting started on the gutters. This is probably an especially good idea because even rubber shoes can slip on dirt or debris. If you hadn’t mentioned it, I probably wouldn’t have thought to protect my eyes, thank you for the tip! I will keep your advice in mind while I try to get my gutters clean for the fall.

  10. Wade Joel says : Reply

    Gutters are really important. They help direct water away from your home and property. I agree that you need to clean them ours every once in a while.

  11. Wearing gloves is a smart thing to do when cleaning. That way, you can protect your hands from anything that is harsh or damaging to you. You also don’t want to start touching things that are going to make you sick! Plus, gloves can help you so that you don’t hurt your hands from pointed or spiked things.

  12. siaosi says : Reply

    I think that these are some great tips on how to clean my gutter. I will need to wear gloves. I never thought about all the bacteria that could be in that gutter. I am also glad to know that gloves would be a great way to protect your hands.

  13. Kelly says : Reply

    There are now cheap alternatives on the market to clean your gutters safely from the ground. If you feel that climbing ladders would be a little bit too adventurous for you, then you could look for a diy cleaning kit that allows you to keep your feet firmly on the ground. There are various systems available and can be found on eBay and Amazon for a really good price. Alternatively, you could simply search online for a local professional to carry out this task for you.

  14. I didn’t realize that clogged gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems. I don’t want to cause any serious damage to my roof or my basement, so I will have to make sure I take better care of my gutters. You make a good point about how important it is to call a gutter repair service if there is any serious damage that you can’t handle. I would think that it is always safer to let a trained professional take care of your gutters.

  15. I am happy to have found this information about safe and effective gutter cleaning. It is good to understand that before cleaning the gutters, the roof should be cleaned. I did not realize that power washing the roof was a good method. Something to consider would be to seek professional help to ensure quality work in a set amount of time.

  16. I really like these awesome tips that you have laid out. My husband and I are going to be putting our home up for sale in the next few weeks and we want to clean our roof and gutters beforehand. I think that these tips will help us to be safe while we take on the project, thanks for sharing!

  17. I have never been very good at taking care of my gutters. I appreciate the great tips you have here for doing so. I didn’t know about using a gutter scoop, so I will look for one of those. It sounds like it makes the job a lot easier!

  18. I liked when you talked about how consulting with a professional can help you diagnose better what is wrong with your gutters. It makes sense that understanding this can help you make sure you avoid accidents and save a ton of money when working on this. Do you know how long it takes for a regular maintenance check to be done on these systems? I want to make sure I plan my day accordingly.

  19. You mentioned that using a gutter scoop can help clear the debris because it is thin and forms itself to the bottom of the gutter. That’s something that I’ll have to try out and find when I go to the hardware store next. We have been thinking about getting new gutters for a while now since our current setup is plagued by rust. We will have to keep these tips in mind so we can help the new setup last as long as possible. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I like that you mentioned wearing the right shoes when working on the roof. You don’t want to risk slipping when cleaning your spouts. I would also wait until the weather is clear to work.

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