If you are unsure whether it is time to clean your gutters, look for signs such as overflow from the rain or debris building up over the top of your gutter. These are indications that your gutters need cleaning. Although there are many new tools available for gutter cleaning, the standard practice involves using a ladder, hose, gloves, disposal bag, and a garden trowel or scoop. Safety precautions such as wearing gloves and ensuring the ladder is secure should always be taken.
Start at the downspout with a trowel and hose to ensure it is clear from debris. If a downspout is plugged, it may need to be disassembled and cleaned. Scoop and dispose of debris and rinse the trough clean. Flushing the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose is a great way to spot any leaks.
Regular gutter cleaning is essential for maintaining optimum performance. Most homeowners should clean their gutters twice a year, in the spring and fall. However, if your home is surrounded by trees, you may need to clean them even more often. Keep in mind that gutter cleaning can be dangerous and should be performed by a capable person. When in doubt, it is best to call on a professional.