Do It Yourself Gutter Cleaning Tips

Atlanta's Best Roofing & Exterior Renovations Company

Time Required: 2-4hrs, Difficulty: Beginner (shouldn’t have a fear of heights)


Your home gutter system controls the rainwater flowing off the roof of your home which in turn could seriously affect and damage your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. When debris builds up, which it does, especially in the fall, it can lead to sagging gutters, mold growth, wet basements, a leaky roof or water damage to the interior and/or exterior of your home. Repairs can be both time consuming and costly, so do it regularly and you’ll be protecting your home for years to come.


This should be done twice a year, primarily in the spring and fall. If you have pine needles in your yard, you should clean them every few months to reduce the damage of clogging. Next time there’s heavy rain, pay attention to the rainwater off your gutters and downspouts to see how and where the water is hitting. This can be very telling and help identify where you need to really focus during your gutter cleaning. Doing it yourself is certainly the most cost-effective method, though it comes with a little risk and takes some of your free time. Hiring someone could cost anywhere from $100 to $250 for gutter cleaning, depending on the square footage, number of floors and the steepness of your roof. 


To clean your gutters, you will need a sturdy ladder, gloved hands, and a shovel/trowel (optional.) Thick gloves will help protect against any sharp objects or edges while cleaning your gutters. Some people find it helpful to use a scoop/trowel for stubborn debris. A pressure washer or high-pressure nozzle can also be helpful in unclogging downspouts and clearing out fine debris from the gutters, but be careful that you don’t damage your shingles. Consider using a standoff stabilizer on your ladder so that it’s not laying directly on the gutters, possibly damaging them. Laying a tarp or sheet on the ground to catch the debris from your gutters can lead to faster cleanup– just remember to drag it along as you move the ladder around the house.


In our opinion, your hands are the best tool for the job! You’ll be able to maneuver in those hard to reach areas to loosening the debris and unclogging the downspouts. Once you’ve moved as much as you can by hand, use the hose to flush the finer debris from the opposite end in the direction of the downspout. Confirm that the water is coming cleanly out of the downspout, otherwise the clog could lead to problems down the road. 


Here are a few quick tips to pay attention to when cleaning out the gutters of your home:

  • Properly sloping gutters should decline about 1/4 inch for every ten feet towards the downspouts. Pay attention for water that is pooling in your gutters, as this could indicate improper sloping.
  • Pay attention to any leaks in the gutter seams that could be damaging the structure and need new gutters replacement.
  • As you’re cleaning your gutters, make sure they are secure and firmly attached to your home.
  • Check your downspouts for any lodged debris and make sure the water is flowing away and not pooling up around your foundation. We strongly recommend a splash block!
  • Consider installing gutter guards to reduce cleaning time needed in the future. We recommend gutter whiskers, mess guards, or snap-in plastic covers. 


Make sure your ladder is positioned well and sturdy for each of your climbs up and down throughout the day. Take a couple good test jumps on the first couple rungs to make sure there isn’t shifting. There are nearly 500,000 ladder fall injuries every year… don’t be one of those statistics! As you move around the perimeter of your house, be sure to move the ladder often, as well. You may be tempted to lean as far off the ladder as your body would possibly allow, just to reach a few more inches, but remember that your safety is the main priority.

Check out “The Do It Yourself steps of inspecting one’s roof” if you’re worried about your Roswell or Atlanta area roof. Have a Question about a Free Roof Inspection? Check out our latest article Finding a Free Roof Inspection Company in Atlanta.

12 thoughts on “Do It Yourself Gutter Cleaning Tips”

  1. Even I forget to clean them most of the time. But it’s actually important to keep gutters dirt and debris-free. So, I am here to tell something about gutter cleaning tools buying the guide.

  2. You made a great point about how your hands can help you maneuver hard to reach areas and get the most debris out. My husband and I really need our gutters cleaned out because a recent storm blew leaves everywhere. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.

  3. Great article !
    Nice tips for cleaning gutters, keeping your gutters clean is important because it can make you some serious problems with your house in the future if you don’t do it on time

  4. If you’ve decided to tackle the gutters this year, you may need a few gutter cleaning tips.Clean at least twice a year, maybe more if your house sits below trees.It is a good idea to clean gutters in the spring and autumn, as these are the two times there will be the most leaves and debris to remove. If your house is over one story, it may be better to call a professional. They can do it safely and offer maintenance advice.

  5. I liked that you pointed out that the slop of your gutters is really important. It is good for me to know that I will need to deliver the gutters around 1/4 of an inch. It does seem like a good idea for me to get an expert to install my gutters. That way, I know the slop will be done right.

  6. Wow, these are some pretty good tips! I think most people completely neglect the downspouts when cleaning their rain gutters. Definitely serves as an excellent reminder to not let them get clogged up. Your channel is really only as good as the downspout it drains into. And it never really occurred to me until reading this that you should clean them before AND after the dirty summer months. Great guide, thanks!

  7. Hot Springs Roofers

    Very good tips. We do roofing and it’s amazing how many people don’t do the basic care on the gutters. It is so important. Thanks for the blog info. Very helpful to so many that need the reminder!

  8. Your article is very informative. It’s a welcome change from other supposed informational content. Your points are unique and original in my opinion. I agree with many of your points on gutter installation.

  9. Adelaide Outdoor Cleaning Solutions

    Using a leaf blower to clean your gutters prevents the need to remove debris by hand. The most straightforward method is to climb a ladder onto the roof and walk along the edge, blowing the leaves out of the gutter as you go.

  10. I thought this was a very solid article on DIY gutter cleaning. We have found that a power washer is a good tool when cleaning your gutters, but you have to be experienced enough not to get too close or have it on the most powerful setting or it can damage the gutter hinges and cause further damage. Thanks for your time on this and looking forward to further posts on this subject of gutter cleaning.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


Scroll to Top

Request Storm Damage Assistance

For submissions within normal hours, expect a call within the hour. In the meantime stay safe and we looking forward to honorably serving you.