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How to clean your gutters

When was the last time you cleared your rainwater guttering?

We understand that it’s probably not something you think about often – and the unpredictable UK weather can make it difficult. But, to ensure your guttering systems are stable, secure and long-lasting, you must take the time to clean them.

Aside from keeping the exterior of your home clean and tidy, regular cleaning can save you money on costly repairs and replacements. If left uncleared for long periods, leaves and debris can build up and prevent water from passing as normal. With this extra weight, the gutter is likely to sag and start leaking – not to mention split or collapse.

How do you clean gutters?

Providing you know exactly what you’re doing and have the correct equipment at hand, the process is relatively straightforward and doesn’t take too long. We suggest you wait for a dry day to clean your gutters to avoid slippery surfaces. It’s also harder to remove debris that is saturated.

5 easy steps to clean your gutters:

  • Find a ladder

First and foremost, you will need a sturdy ladder. If you’re using an extension ladder, it’s worth buying some clips or stabilisers. Make sure that the ladder is placed on a level surface and if you need to lean it against the rainwater guttering, place a short piece of timber inside the gutter to add reinforcement.

  • Always wear gloves

Cleaning the gutter can be a messy job. However, wearing a pair of protective gloves will enable you to keep your hands clean and also protect them from potentially sharp screws and any other objects within the guttering.

  • Lay a tarpaulin or use a bucket

You’re going to need something to collect the debris. If you have a tarpaulin sheet handy, we suggest you lay it down on the ground beneath your ladder to prevent any material spreading across your driveway or garden. Don’t have a spare sheet? Fear not, a bucket works just as well and can be hooked onto the top of your ladder.

  • Remove the debris

Once you’re up the ladder, take a rake or sturdy brush and remove debris, such as leaves and dirt. Start with the roof to prevent more muck from dropping into your gutter in the following days or weeks.

After clearing the roof, you can then tackle debris in the gutter – either with your hands, protected with gloves, or a small trowel. Make sure you place the collected debris in the bucket or drop it onto the sheet below.

  • Don’t forget your downpipes!

At this point, your roofline guttering should be spotless but, to ensure your rainwater guttering can function efficiency, you need to dismantle and clean the downpipes too. Using a screwdriver, loosen the downpipe clips and brackets to release the downpipe and remove the debris with a wire or stick. If you’ve got one, a hose will speed things up. As soon as the rainwater pipes are clear, tighten the clips and brackets back up. It’s as simple as that.

How often should you clean your gutters?

Although it’s crucial you frequently clean your rainwater systems, we don’t expect you to climb a ladder every day to check their condition. Oh no. That won’t be necessary.

If you’ve got time for quarterly inspections – great! But most professionals recommend that you clean your gutters twice a year. Once in the spring, and once in the autumn to make sure that leaves and debris are removed from the system.

You may consider cleaning your rain gutters more regularly, if your home is surrounded by trees, to reduce the risk of drainage blocks.

Need expert advice?

Total Pipeline Systems can help. Our team has unrivalled knowledge in this area and can advise you on the best cleaning techniques for your rainwater guttering systems.

If your guttering is damaged beyond repair, or you’re looking to upgrade from round to square downpipes (or vice versa), be sure to take a look at our comprehensive range of guttering supplies today. We have one of the widest selections of downpipes and fittings on the market and provide an assortment of colours and sizes – making it easy for you to find rainwater pipes and fittings that not only complement the exterior of your home but fit perfectly.

For more information about cleaning your gutters or our guttering supplies, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Either call 01254 382 000 or drop us an email at