Tips for Clearing your Gutters

Rain gutters on your roof play a very important role. They route runoff from rainwater and snowmelt from the very large surface of your roof to enable it to drain away from the house. This helps protect siding, ceilings, walls, windows, doors, and even foundations from water damage. It also prevents basement flooding. Roofers in London work hard to help keep gutters doing their job properly.

In order to work properly, gutters must be clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris. If debris of this kind is present, drain outlets will become blocked and rainwater will fill gutters. Gutters then overflow and water will pool in gutter troughs. This then causes rusting and rotting, as well as potential flooding in the home.

How Often Do I need to Clear My Gutters?

You need to clean your gutters at least twice a year – and more frequently if your roof is directly beneath trees. Don’t be the person who ignores the problem and becomes renowned in the neighbourhood for being out cleaning gutters, up a ladder in the rain every time there is a storm!  (Yes, it does happen!)


  • If you are going to take on this task yourself, you need to make safety a priority. You need to be comfortable climbing and working up a ladder. Choose a sturdy ladder and position it on a stable base. Ideally, have someone else at home with you while you tackle this job.
  • Wear non-slip shoes and heavy work gloves – there may be insects, bees, or spiders amongst the leaf litter. Gutters also have sharp metal components which can cut your hands.
  • Always clean gutters on a day that it is not raining. This is much safer than working up a ladder in wet weather. Avoid working on the roof if it is icy. Never clean gutters or climb a ladder in a thunder and lightning storm.
  • Never work near power lines.
  • One option for cleaning gutters on a low-sloped roof is to use a leaf blower to blow dry leaf litter and debris from the roof and out of the gutters. Wear goggles to protect your eyes if you choose this method.
  • Gutter guards, if present, will need to be removed to properly clean gutters.
  • Scoop out debris using a gutter scoop or narrow garden trowel. Begin at the drain outlet and work away from it. When the debris has been removed by hand, use a high pressure on/off hose nozzle on a hose to wash out the gutter, working toward the drain outlet.
  • If there is debris blocking the drain pipe, you’ll need a plumber’s auger or plumber’s snake to free this.

Hire a Professional

The best solution for keeping your gutters cleaned and properly maintained is, of course, to hire roofers from the best roofing companies in London or locally to you to come on a regular basis (for example, every six months) to your home or other premises to clean and check your gutters for damage. Premium roofing companies have professional roofers who have the experience and safety training required to do the job safely and properly, and they are fully insured.

(Photo credit: “cleaning gutters” by Nannette Turner is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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