How to Clean Gutters Correctly

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Gutter maintenance and cleaning can help prevent you from having to call a Salem roofing company to make more extensive roof repairs.

With fall here and rainy weather right around the bend, it is important to clean your home’s gutters every once in awhile. As leaves and pine needles fall, gutters tend to clog up. While these are the most common culprits of gutter blockage in Oregon, other debris can find its way into your gutters as well. Clogged gutters can prevent water from draining from your roof, which can cause rainwater pooling on your roof, drainage into your siding, and even leaking into your foundation if the debris causes a problem with your downspouts. In this guide, we will teach you how to safely clean your gutters. As a forewarning, if you do not feel comfortable climbing a ladder or standing on your roof, call a professional Salem roofing contractor for a free estimate on your gutter cleaning project. Otherwise, continue reading to learn how to clean your gutters!

Be sure to set your ladder up on a flat surface, and preferably have an assistant hold the ladder in place as you climb up. You should bring a bucket and thick gloves with you. Wear closed-toe shoes with good traction anytime you get on a roof.

Pick a corner of your roof to start on and make sure you have a balanced stance as you kneel down. With your gloves on, reach into the gutters carefully and begin scooping up any loose debris into your bucket. Make sure the gutters are flush to your decking and that they are tightly fastened to your roof while you’re at it. Always look before picking up debris or placing your hands in your gutters. They are made of metal, and can sometimes have sharp edges. Additionally, we have seen used hypodermic needles, blades, and wasp nests in both residential and commercial gutters. Never touch any of these things with your bare hands. If you see them, call a professional if you are not comfortable removing them yourself.

Once the bulk of the debris is removed, take either a hose or a bucket of water and pour water down your gutter above your downspouts. Make sure there is drainage at the bottom of your downspouts. Otherwise, you likely have clogged downspouts, which can cause problems. If this is the case, consider hiring a professional to evaluate your gutter system or remove the clogging yourself and consider installing gutter guards to prevent clogging in the future.

We want to leave you with a true horror story from one of our customers. We had a customer who went on a several week long vacation and their downspout was clogged and carried so much water during a heavy rainstorm that it caused the downspout to actually break. It ended up costing thousands for them to fix, because the water that leaked into the foundation led to serious flooding throughout the basement. Simple maintenance can fix these things before they become a huge problem!

If you’re looking for Salem roofers to fix or clean your gutters this fall, give Slate & Slate Roofing a call today at (503) 585-2338!

Written by
Terry Slate
Terry is the Vice President of Slate & Slate Roofing and has over 28 years of experience with both residential and commercial roofing. He specializes in metal roofing, composition roofing, and PVC membrane roofing.