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The gutter system is an indispensable part of your home.

It prevents your roof from overflowing during the rains and keeps the water from damaging your home’s foundation. And trust us; this will save you hundreds of dollars in repair work.

But all this won’t be possible without keeping the gutter system clean and fully functional. Overhanging trees, leaves, and accumulated debris are all culprits of a blocked downpipe or gutter.

And if you’re facing a blocked gutter or blocked downpipe, then let us tell you that cleaning your gutters the DIY way may solve your plumbing problems!

So, jump in to read all about it!

What Do You Need To Clean A Blocked Gutter & Blocked Downpipe?

  • Extension ladder
  • Thick working rubber gloves
  • Leaf scooper or any other similar tool
  • Long garden hose
  • Plastic tarp or drop cloth (optional)
  • Plastic bucket with sturdy handle (optional)
  • Trash bag (optional)
  • Plumber’s snake (optional)

How To Clean The Gutter?

Weeds Growing Gutter

Step 1

Securely place the extension ladder against the roof to reach the required areas without extending too much. Ensure all the parts are correctly tightened, and ask someone to hold the ladder while working.

Once you have access to the gutter, take a quick look to determine the type of debris accumulated, as it will help you decide on the cleaning method.

Step 2 (For Damp Debris)

If you see an overload of wet materials, you may have to employ either the “scoop and drop” or the “gutter bucket” method.

The former is one of the easiest and fastest ways to clean clogged gutters. Start by placing a long and adequately wide piece of fabric (drop cloth) or plastic tarp on the ground, right underneath where you will be cleaning.

Then, use the leaf scooper to drag all the debris and let it fall on the cloth or tarp below. Since the leaves will be wet, you don’t have to worry about them blowing away with the wind.

When the tarp or drop cloth gets full, dump the content into the trash or a compost bin (if you have one) and continue the process until the gutter is free of the wet debris.

You may have to move the ladder several times to access the different areas of the roof gutter. But it’s safer than stretching too much on the ladder and increasing your risk of tipping over.

Step 3 (Alternative)

Here’s a DIY hack if you don’t have a tarp or drop cloth in the vicinity and feel too lazy to buy one.

Take a plastic bucket and cut its handle right in the centre. Slowly bend the halves to transform them into a hook-like shape, which can hang the bucket at the gutter edge.

This will act as a tarp or drop cloth, and you can easily catch the debris. However, one drawback of this method is that the bucket will fill up faster, so you may have to make multiple rounds up and down the ladder to clean the gutters.

Step 4 (For Dry Debris)

Cleaning dry leaves and other dirt from the gutter is challenging, as you must be wary of the weather. After all, the last thing you’d want is for gutter debris to get all over the place!

You can either use the bucket mentioned in the above step or cut out the bottom. Take a gutter bag and fasten it to the bucket using duct tape or a velcro strap so no part of the trash bag sticks out.

Scoop the debris and direct it towards this container, but ensure the weight isn’t too much. Otherwise, the bag may come undone, spreading the contents everywhere on the ground.

Step 5

After cleaning the gutter, it’s time to move to the downpipes. If they have horizontal extension pipes, remove them and insert the garden hose (from the top) where the gutters connect. Turn on the water flow (or ask someone) to check the water flow in the pipes.

There’s a clog somewhere if the water doesn’t come out fully. In this case, the full force of the water is used to break the clog and then test again. Use the plumber’s snake if the clog hasn’t cleared out.

Insert it as much as possible and slowly rotate the handle to uncoil the head. The clog will invariably offer resistance to the snakehead, making it difficult for you to operate the handle. So, take your time with this step.

Keep doing this until you can rotate the handle without any significant obstruction. We’d also suggest employing the water test to confirm that the clog, at least most of it, has broken down and been disposed of with the water flow.

Don’t forget to check the extension pipes for clogs and clean them well. Put everything back and test the water flow one last time. Keep the water running for a few minutes to rinse the interiors thoroughly.

Clearing Your Blocked Gutter

Cleaning that nasty gutter or blocked downpipes at home isn’t difficult now.

After the system is clean and the water is flowing freely, try installing gutter guards or screens to prevent the entry of leaves and other debris into the gutter. Be sure to check the condition of your roof gutters and downpipes when cleaning them. Any damage, such as a crack or leak, should be fixed immediately.

If you aren’t familiar with a plumber’s snake, practice using it inside a discarded pipe or watch an online tutorial. You can also try cleaning gutters with a gutter vacuum. However, not everyone has one of these devices handed in. But if the debris doesn’t come off with a scoop or the clog doesn’t break even after employing the plumbing snake, it’s best to seek professional help. If you are in Melbourne, WP Plumbing is your local and trusted professional. You can speak with us for any gutter-related issues or maintenance.

We will now leave you to it with our best wishes! We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to clean gutters!

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