Safety and Practical Tips While Self-Cleaning Rain Gutters

At Wizard Rain Gutters, one of our simplest and most common services provided to clients throughout Utah is rain gutter cleanout. Clean, clear rain gutters keep water and related damage risks away from your structure, and also maintain the integrity of the drainage system so it lasts many years without need for major repairs or replacement.

We also know that some home and business owners will choose to perform basic cleanouts of their own gutters, often in between our own cleanouts to ensure buildups don’t become too large during the gap periods. If you’re among this group, we want to ensure you’re staying safe and taking the proper care to ensure your gutters aren’t damaged or taken out of position. Here are some tips we can offer in a few important areas – with the first being to always call our pros for help if you’re even the least bit concerned about safety or the functional areas you’re impacting.

safety tips cleaning rain gutters

Tools and Equipment

You’ll need the following tools and pieces of equipment as you prepare for a basic gutter cleanout:

  • Hose and jet: You’ll want a strong garden hose with a jet sprayer, preferably one with good pressure available.
  • Gloves: For both keeping your hands clean and protecting them from jagged or sharp edges or shingles.
  • Scrub brush: We recommend a stiff brush that can help you remove stubborn grit.
  • Scoop: You can find gutter scoops at most hardware stores – they’re shaped to fit in gutters and scoop out blockages that might be tough to grab or shoot out with the hose.
  • Ladder: You need a properly balanced ladder, plus anchoring at the base (more on this in our next section).

Ladders and Gutters

Some safety and practicality tips when it comes to ladders and gutter cleanouts:

  • Always balance and anchor the ladder before climbing on it. We highly recommend enlisting a helper to hold the ladder in place and also cushion you if you happen to fall.
  • Aluminum ladders may slide across metal surfaces, including your gutters. Be wary of this both for safety and damage reasons.
  • If your gutters are well-maintained, it’s fine to lean your ladder up directly against them. If they have corrosion or coating issues, however, they may not be stable and you should buy a ladder stabilizer that allows you to reach this height without actually leaning the ladder against the gutter.

Cleaning Steps

Here are the steps to take once you’ve safely placed your ladder and collected your tools:

  • Scoop debris: Using your scoop or just your hands, begin at the drain outlet and move away from it, removing debris and other blockages. If you can, try to do this while debris is a bit damp – it will be easier to collect.
  • Hose wash: Once major debris is out, use your hose’s jet sprayer to wash out the entire gutter. Always spray toward the drain outlet, not away from it. Be prepared for some mess here. If you have blockages that won’t budge, get your scrub brush out and go to work using some elbow grease.
  • Clear drainpipe blockages: If you notice during cleaning that water isn’t flowing properly out your drainpipes, try the hose specifically in this area for a flush. If this still doesn’t work, call our pros to help you clear this blockage.

For more on staying safe and effective while clearing rain gutters, or to learn about any of our rain gutter installation or repair services, speak to the pros at Wizard Rain Gutters today.