Tips for Cleaning Gutters

Due to a combination of wind storms and moderate to heavy rainfalls, Vancouver gutters can end up with a lot of debris that clog the gutter channel and downspouts. When cleaning the gutters this spring, these tips could help you clear them out efficiently and safely, with professional results.

Don’t Skip the Prep Work

  • Move anything in the near vicinity that you do not want to get wet or gunked; cover any plants/shrubs that might get damaged
  • Gather together all the tools and equipment you will need like an extension wand for your garden hose, ladder, scoop, etc.
  • Plan your wardrobe – use heavy duty gloves; choose old clothes you can throw away if you have to; select footwear with closed toes

Be Safe

  • Use an outdoor ladder – it should be sturdy, in good condition and high enough for the task at hand (it might be fine for a one-storey house but your home is two storeys)
  • Don’t work outside your comfort zone – if you can’t reach without stretching, move the ladder
  • Plan your day – schedule a time to clean your gutters (and stick to it); arrange to have at least one other person to help you; work in the shade as much as possible or wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun

Cleaning the Gutters

  • Remove the gunk and debris from the gutter channel with your hands or a scoop
  • Place the debris in a pail – it will help make clean up easier
  • Check the downspouts for clogs – both at the top of the downpipe where it connects to the gutters and at the bottom where the water flows out
  • Plan to clean up – it’s tempting to just drop everything and go celebrate afterwards, but chances are you won’t get back to it anytime soon; especially if you have young children, you’ll want the garbage disposed of and the tools you used put back right away