How to Keep Your Gutters and Drains Clean

how to keep your gutters and drains clean

Gutters and downspouts (aka drains) are essential to protect your home from water damage. But just having gutters and drains isn’t quite enough to prevent water from slowly deteriorating your siding and foundation over time. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clean is crucial — if you don’t, you may render your gutters essentially useless. 

When water accumulates inside gutters that are filled with debris (think pine needles, leaves, sticks, etc.), it’ll eventually spill over the sides of the troughs and end up landing on or near your home. So although you may have gutters designed to provide protection, they can’t possibly do their job properly when they’re full of clog-causing buildup. 

Fortunately, keeping gutters and drains clear is fairly easy, and doing so will allow them to provide your property with the water damage protection it deserves.

So how exactly do you maintain clean gutters? Read on to find out! 

Invest in Gutter Guards

If you want to keep your gutters and drains as clean as possible with as little work as possible, gutter guards — also known as gutter screens, covers, or helmets — are a must. These nifty mesh devices fit securely over the top of your gutters’ troughs and prevent debris from entering the gutters while allowing water in. 

When it rains, water will still collect in the gutters and then travel into the downspouts, which will divert it a safe distance from the foundation of your home. Because the screens keep debris from entering the troughs, the chances of clogs developing are almost nonexistent. Ultimately, you won’t have to worry about pooling water or spillage that could gradually deteriorate the exterior of your home. 

Clean Your Gutters Regularly

If you don’t want to use gutter guards, you must take the time to manually clean your gutters — ideally, twice per year. You may be able to get away with cleaning them annually but only if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of precipitation and your property doesn’t have a lot of trees. 

Keep in mind that cleaning gutters and downspouts does require the use of a ladder, so if you feel uncomfortable scaling one, hire a pro to handle the job. If, on the other hand, you’d like to tackle gutter cleaning on your own, here’s what you’ll need to do.

1. Wear the Right Clothing

Gutter cleaning is a fairly dirty job, so be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and rubber gloves. Wear full-cover, nonslip shoes or boots as well since you’ll be on the ladder for the majority of the job. 

2. Situate a Ladder Against the Eave of Your Roof 

If your eaves are high or you have a two-story home, you’ll need an extension ladder. Be sure to position it on a stable, flat base (not on wet ground) against a sturdy surface on the eave of your house and at a slight angle so you can climb safely. 

3. Grab a Bucket or Bag to Collect Debris

To clean your gutters, you’ll either need to scoop out the debris with a gloved hand or with a garden trowel, and you’ll need a bag or bucket to collect it in as you work. If you want, you can scoop it out and simply drop it on the ground, but that’ll make more work for you in the long run since you’ll have to clean it up when you’re done. Ultimately, it’s up to you how much extra work you’re willing to do. 

4. Clean the Gutters

Once you’ve gathered all your tools, it’s time to scale your ladder and get cleaning. Working in small sections, scoop out any debris you see and place it in your chosen receptacle or on the ground. Be sure to avoid reaching too far — if you have to lean your body away from the ladder, you’re in an unsafe position. You’ll need to climb down and move the ladder frequently to ensure you remain as safe as possible throughout the cleaning process. 

5. Rinse the Gutters and Downspouts

After you’ve removed all debris from the gutter troughs, it’s time to grab a garden hose and rinse them out. You may want to use a sprayer for this job since the pressure will help the water clear any remaining debris stuck inside the drains (downspouts).

If you find that any of your downspouts are severely clogged, you may need to use a plumbing snake or even the handle of a lawn rake to help push the debris through. Then rerinse the downspout to test water flow after you’ve attempted to push through any remaining material.  

Contact Alpine Roofing Construction for Gutter Guards Near Dallas or Fort Worth

Whether you’re interested in getting gutter guards for your DFW home or need gutters installed or repaired, get in touch with our team at Alpine Roofing Construction! We specialize in drainage solutions and gutter services for homeowners throughout the greater DFW area and are proud to hold a long-standing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. To request a service quote or learn more about how we can help you protect your home from water damage, give us a call today at 214-247-1698 (Dallas) or 817-409-8975 (Fort Worth). Or feel free to schedule an appointment online, and we’ll get in touch!

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