Spring has sprung, and for many parts of the country, that means rain is on the way. If you own a home with gutters, don’t let a leaky basement or eroded flower beds be your first sign that your roof’s drainage system is clogged. Set some time aside to tidy up your gutters as part of your spring cleaning regimen. Here’s how. 

Tools and supplies

  • Ladder
  • Rubber work gloves
  • Garden trowel or gutter scoop
  • Tarp, bucket or garbage bag
  • Garden hose with spray nozzle

Step 1

Set up your ladder to allow access to your gutters. (Always ensure your ladder is stable and secure while you work, and if working with an extension ladder, consider using a standoff stabilizer to avoid crushing your gutters with the ladder.) Don your gloves and climb up to the gutters. Using a scoop or your hands, remove any debris you find and toss it onto a tarp or into a bucket or bag. Work your way along the full length of the gutters.

Step 2

With a garden hose and spray nozzle, begin at the farthest spots from each downspout, and rinse the gutters out into each drain. Watch to confirm that the water flows properly through the gutters, down the downspouts and away from your home without leaks or clogs.

Step 3

If you encounter a lot of debris or clogs, consider installing gutter guards (about $6-$8 per foot) to catch larger debris. For continued maintenance, clean your gutters twice a year, and if you have lots of overhanging trees, you may want to clean them after major storms as well.

April showers bring May flowers, and with your gutters properly cleaned, you should be able to enjoy the blooms without worrying about leaks and water damage in your home.