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Fall leaves are beautiful, but in your gutters they can be dangerous.

It seems as though autumn has just come, yet many trees in the area are without leaves. This means that leaves have fallen on the street, into your lawn, and, unfortunately, into your gutters. The gutters on your garage and house will need to be cleaned out before the freezing cold of winter kicks in, because dirt, leaves, and debris can freeze into a messy clump, making your gutters useless, and possibly even breaking them. So, to keep your house and garage looking beautiful through the cold seasons, follow these easy steps for cleaning gutters.

  •  Use a ladder, but avoid leaning it directly against a downspout or gutter, because the weight of the ladder may bend or break them. Also, it is best to have someone to steady the ladder, to avoid any serious injuries. Remember, always be careful while on a ladder, because you’re much higher up than you think. A fall from that height could seriously hurt you.
  • Bring a trash bag or a bucket, or some other container to place the debris in. You can either hang it on the ladder or place it on the roof. First, take out the large items such as twigs. Then, using a gutter scoop, garden trowel, or any scooping tool, get the debris out of the gutter. If there is caked on dirt, you may want to consider wetting it before you scoop it out. Wet dirt will be easier to clean out than trying to scrape off dry dirt.
  • After you’ve cleaned the debris and dirt out of your gutters, you’ll need to check to make sure your downspout is clear. While on the ladder, take a garden hose and spray a gentle stream of water down the spout. If the water doesn’t come through on the other side, you probably have a clog, and you’ll need to clear it out. If the clog is close enough to the top or bottom, you can use a wire hanger, or something similar. If not, try using an auger to clear out the clog.  If you come across any damaged pieces of gutter, you will need to replace it. Gutter sections are relatively cheap, and easy to install.

Note: Some places or people advise homeowners to use a leaf blower to clean out their gutters. This is not advisable, because of the dangers of falling. A leaf blower is a heavy, bulky item, which may throw off your balance. Additionally, it may blow dust in your eyes, which will also throw off your balance. For the sake of safety, stick to cleaning out your gutters manually.
Gutters that are too clogged to work properly can cause roof leakage problems. Cleaning out your gutters at least once a year near the end of fall will help keep your gutters clean and beautiful, and in good working order. If you have a garage organizing system from White Rabbit, you’ll be more likely to get the gutter cleaning job done with quickly because you have easy access to your tools.

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