Project Book: Inspect and Clean Out Your Home’s Gutters

April showers may bring may flowers, but they also bring a slew of maintenance for any home owner. Although most often thought of as a fall job, checking your gutters for debris ensures that any water they collect will be diverted from your home, lest you deal with the oft too common flooded basement in the spring time.

This project requires the use of extension ladders. If you are comfortable with working on ladders, be sure to practice safety. Always have your ladder at the proper angle and firmly footed. (For a full rundown of more ladder-use safety tips, click here).

If you don’t own any ladders suitable for the job, be sure to check with Koopman Rental. We have a variety of extension ladders and powered lift options available.

If you are unable or unwilling to work on ladders, consider hiring a contractor – some painters perform this kind of maintenance because they work on ladders all the time.


cleangutter-02Get out your step ladder or extension ladder and ready it on level ground. Bring a bucket up top with you and a bucket clip to hold it in place on top of the ladder. Place your trowel inside the bucket as you bring it up. Get your work gloves on and get ready to start digging!

It’s best to clean your gutters out after 1-2 days without rain as drier debris is much easier to remove. Using your hands pull out any large chucks of debris you can such as branches, leaves, or clumps of pine needle.

If you haven’t cleaned your gutters out in a while you’re going to experience a compact layer of dirt and debris. Lucky for you you brought a trusty trowel up with you! Dig out the compact layer and fill up your bucket.


cleangutter-03Now that you have the majority of the debris handled, it’s time to hose it all down. You can either use a hose extension to reach up to the top, or simply climb up your ladder with a normal garden hose and nozzle in hand.

Start on the end furthest from the downspout and rinse any left over dirt and debris away. Once you’ve removed all the debris that has gathered in your gutters, be sure to run some more water through each section and check for leaks; especially along seams and corners. Patch any leaks with a Gutter & Flashing sealant according to their instructions.


cleangutter-06When running the water you may will be able to quickly notice any sort of  blockage or stop-ups in your gutters, especially around the downspouts. If the water isn’t draining properly, or at all then you know that you’ve got a clog to unclog.

Downspouts can quickly become choked with decomposed leaves and pine needles. You may need to disconnect the downspout from the gutter and take apart its multiple sections. Some powerful blasts from your garden hose should clear any blockages. When you put the downspout back together and reconnect it to your gutter, install a gutter strainer to keep your downspouts clean.


Clean Gutter gutter strainerClean Gutters splash block brownOne way to prevent debris from gathering in your gutters in the first place is to install a gutter guard system, which come in either rolls or individual sections. And to guarantee that water is diverted away from your home, install a downspout extension, which allows you to direct the flow of any run off.

These simple steps can save you the misery of a flooded basement.


When properly maintained, a gutter system is a terrific way to prevent storm water from damaging your house.  To get all of the advice and tools you need to keep your basement nice and dry, stop by and see us at one of our conveniently located Koopman stores.  We’ll make you sure that you’ve got everything you need to get the job done right.

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