How to Clean Your Gutters

Illustrated guide to the most effective way to clean your gutters and keep your gutters clean and in good repair
By Clarence Goosen
November/December 1987
Add to My MSN

2. Wash gutter with garden hose.
CLARENCE GOOSEN
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Absorb and Clean Wins Retailers’ Choice Award

Absorb and Clean delivers unmatched performance for cleaning up liquid spills on land, water, and ha...

PockeTweez: Personal Tweezers

Innovative concept reveals next generation in performance tweezing.

Learning From the Past: Adventures in Farm History, Part 3(2)

Learn what a typical family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficienc...

HOMEGROWN Life: A First Lesson in Homemaking

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her win...

Gutters are one of the most important home maintenance chores, this illustrated guide shows you how to clean your gutters and keep them in good repair. 

How to Clean Your Gutters

(See the gutter cleaning diagrams in the image gallery).

1. How to clean your gutters. Remove any debris by hand (wear gloves). A short-bristle brush helps sweep the surface; mud and roof granules stuck to the bottom can be dislodged with a putty knife.

2. Starting at the highest point, wash the gutter with a garden hose, using the putty knife to remove stubborn debris.

3. If the downspout is plugged, use a plumber's snake (or a hooked, heavy wire) to dislodge the blockage.

4. Fasten a leaf strainer over the opening of the downspout, leaving about two inches protruding.

5. Place leaf guards over the gutters. Lift the edge of the first row of shingles slightly, pushing the guards under it. Stop when the guards are even with the lip of the gutter. (This step will save you future work.)

6. Use a putty knife and wire brush to remove debris and rust from the damaged area. Clean the surface of grit with a rag soaked in mineral spirits.

7. To repair light rust damage, apply a coat of black asphalt roof paint. Small holes should be covered with asphalt roof cement. Fiberglass resin, epoxy paste mix and silicone sealant can also be used to seal perforations.

8. Larger holes will require a sheet metal patch. Make a paper template that will follow the shape of the gutter and extend beyond the hole several inches to each side. Then trace the template onto a piece of roof flashing and use tin snips to cut the metal to the required size and shape.

9. Apply roof cement under and over the patch, crimping its edge over the gutter lip to secure it.

10. Seal leaks at the seams with asphalt roofing cement or silicone sealant. Use a putty knife to push the sealant under the gutter laps and to smooth the bead.

11. Loose gutter spikes should be relocated, since using the same hole will simply postpone the problem. Sagging gutter hangers will have to be loosened and the hangers renailed to the underside of the first row of shingles. Remember that the troughs must slope slightly toward the downspout. Apply roofing cement to any shingles damaged by bending.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.