8 Essential Rain Gutter Maintenance Tips for DIYers

8 Essential Rain Gutter Maintenance Tips for DIYers

Every home’s gutters need to be maintained. Most homeowners understand the dangerous nature of the task and choose to hire a professional gutter cleaning company like Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island. However, if you're a skilled do-it-yourselfer and want to tackle the task on your own, make sure you stay safe and use the following eight essential gutter maintenance tips.

Do Your Gutter Maintenance on a Schedule

Don’t just do it sporadically — once every couple years or whenever you remember. Instead, it's best to put it on the calendar to clean the gutters at least twice a year, preferably four times a year based on where you live. Because of the regularity associated with properly cleaning the gutters, many homeowners turn to the pros for regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups.  One less (very messy) thing to worry about.

Create Your Own Gutter Maintenance Checklist

One of the most essential gutter maintenance tips is to create a checklist. This will help you avoid forgetting something important. Besides, the last thing you want is to forget a tool on the roof after you've come down the 20 rungs of the ladder.

Doing so will only increase the chances of you falling or having an accident. Your gutter maintenance checklist should include everything you see here; read more, there’s a recap at the end for easy reference!

Wear The Right Safety Gear

Get some strong, thick, yet flexible gloves. Protect your hands against muck and filth, and also against any sharp metal that you don’t see. You’ll work quicker if you’re not worried about junk on your hands, and you’ll certainly save time if you don’t have to climb down the ladder for a band-aid. We also recommend wearing a long sleeved shirt, preferably one made of strong material.  It is imperative to make sure you are wearing proper footwear (no flip flops or sandals!) and remove any drooping or loose fitted clothing.

Check For Gutter Damage

Once you're on top of your home, check for any signs of gutter damage. Any warping in your gutters is a potential problem. Before you even get started scooping debris, use your eyes and check for warps, bends, wrinkles, and breaks in your gutters.

Also look for nails falling out, shingles in the gutters, screws loosened or gaps between the gutters and the walls or roof where they’re attached. Gaps are bad, and are sure signs that professional repairs are needed.  If you can, also check the fascia wood behind the gutters. This is one of the most commonly affected damage zones on the roof.

But if you notice any signs of damage, we strongly suggest you leave the gutter repair task to the pros for a variety of reasons.

Use a Scoop For Debris

Use a garden trowel or some other kind of narrow scooper. This makes it easier to scoop all the debris out than if you were to just use your hands. It’s especially helpful if there’s any still water standing in your gutters; you can’t pick up with your hands what you can see or feel. A scoop helps overcome this. (It’s also easier to scoop out water with a scooper than with your hands.)

Place a Plastic Tarp For Easy Clean-Up

Spare your lawn the mess; throw all that gunk down onto a big plastic tarp. Lay it out below the ladder before climbing up. While you’re scooping it out, do your best to drop it onto the tarp. You can then pull it all easily together to properly dispose the trash. There’s no sense in cleaning up a mess twice!  Most importantly, do not bag the debris on the roof or while on the ladder. This is a major hazard that very commonly causes accidents.

Flush Gutters with a Garden Hose

Anything you couldn’t reach or pick up with your scoop should be small enough to flush out with your hose. After you’re done with the scooping part, clear the rest of those gutters entirely!

Don’t do this job halfway; rain gutters are essential to keeping water away from your walls and ceilings. Scoop out the debris as well as you can, and follow it up with a thorough hosing to make sure everything is cleared out.  Keep an eye on the downspouts below. Make sure you flush the system well enough until you see clear water exiting the downspout.

Be Careful When Cleaning Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is a big job as well as dangerous. As a matter of fact, the Home Safety Council reports that falling is the leading cause of unintentional home deaths — claiming almost 6,000 lives each year.  Don’t be lulled into thinking your roof pitch “is not that bad”. Your equilibrium can play major tricks on you when your feet are not on solid ground.

So if you decide to tackle it yourself, make sure you take every precaution for safety and follow all safety instructions. Don’t horse around – gutter maintenance isn’t exactly child’s play. However, if you're like most homeowners and are not up to the task, trust the experts at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island!

Quick Recap of the Gutter Maintenance Tips:

Now that we've given you the top gutter maintenance tips for DIYers, let's recap:

  1. Schedule Regular Maintenance
  2. Create Your Checklist
  3. Wear The Right Gear
  4. Check for Damage
  5. Use a Scoop
  6. Lay Out a Tarp
  7. Flush with a Hose

Why Leave Gutter Maintenance to the Professionals

Did you know your home is the second-most-common-location for fatalities — second only to your vehicle. However, you can protect your home and life by trusting the experts at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island for all of your home maintenance needs.

Since 1965 we've provide a range of home maintenance solutions for homeowners throughout the Long Island area, including:

Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island today to schedule your home’s gutter cleaning. 

Erika Cruz

Erika began her career at Ned Stevens in September 2009 after 4 years of managing investment portfolios for banks and credit unions. She graduated with her business degree in Management in May of 2016 while working Full-time at Ned Stevens. With 11 years of gutter expertise, as office manager she is in charge of the day to day operation and is fully dedicated to her staff and customers.