It’s never a good idea to leave gutters full and dirty for too long. Follow our expert guide to cleaning your gutters to have them clean and free flowing in no time.
If you live in a rural area or have tall trees around your home then you know gutters can easily become full of loose leaves and other debris. Left unchecked, the entire gutter can become blocked and reduce the water flow to almost nothing.
Get a step ladder and climb up to the gutters so they are level with your shoulder. If you’re on uneven ground make sure someone is there to brace you. Avoid the temptation to climb on the roof to clean your gutters. This is very unsafe and actually makes the job more difficult.
With some gardening gloves on, use your hands to clear out all the loose leaves, twigs and debris. Throw the leaves down to the ground – you can clean up with a broom or rake later. Pay particular attention to your downpipes as these can be the source of many blockages.
Using an outdoor brush, scrub as much dirt as you can from the gutters. Eliminating any dirt deposits will make it more difficult for leaves to build up again.
Finally, use your garden hose or pressure washer to blast away any remaining grime. While doing so, check to make sure that any water built up in the gutter is flowing freely out to the drain.
Gutters filled with dry debris are a huge fire hazard, and in Australia, this is a legitimate risk. By not cleaning out gutters, a home is at much more risk of being burnt down in a bushfire.
Not giving gutters a regular clean causes water flow problems, leading to leaks and erosion in the roof. In time, this can cause serious damage to a home and will lead to the gutters needing to be replaced.
As with most cleaning tasks, the answer here is as often as is needed. However, since we’re unable to see inside gutters day to day, by the time the water is overflowing it’s already too late.
So, a good rule of thumb is to clean the gutters twice a year. If you have tall trees then you may wish to clean your gutters more regularly, say every three months.
As a general guide, a good gutter clean from a professional can cost anywhere between $200-$500. The cost to have your gutters cleaned can vary depending on the home, however. A two-storey, five-bedroom home will cost more than a single-level three-bedroom home, for example.