How to: Repair and Clean Gutters

Get the most out of your gutter system by keeping them clean and free of debris so rain water can flow through them. Follow the DIY step-by-step directions.

Materials Required
  • Light-gauge sheet metal
    Gutter sealant
    Roofing cement
    Aluminum rivets
    Hex head sheet metal screws
Tools Required
  • Tin Snips
    Blind rivet tool
    Step or extension ladder
    Stick or wire
    Putty knife
    Caulk gun
    Drill and bits
    5-gallon bucket
    Painting hook
    Heavy-duty rubber gloves
    Garden hose

How To: Step by Step

Step  1:   Position the ladder for safe footing as you work

Place the ladder on firm level ground and at a correct slope. Stand with your toes touching the ladder's feet and hold your arms straight away from you at shoulder height. Adjust the ladder so your hand rests on the rung that is at shoulder height.

Step  2:   Scoop out the debris from gutters

Climb the ladder to reach a comfortable position so you can reach the inside of the gutter. Wear rubber gloves and scoop out leaves, twigs, pine needles and any other debris and put it in a 5-gallon bucket. Use a painting hook to suspend the bucket from a ladder rung so you can easily dump the debris into it. Continue this process emptying out the bucket and moving the ladder along the side of the house until all the gutters are cleaned out.

Step  3:   Clean downspout elbows

Sometimes debris gets caught in the curved contour of the downspout elbows. Reach into it and dig out the debris. If you can't reach an obstruction inside, poke around with a stick or a piece of wire to snag and retrieve it.

Step  4:   Flush the gutters and downspouts with water

After removing the debris use a garden hose to run a flow of water through the gutters and downspouts. This helps to keep them clean, plus it shows how they're draining and if there's any leaks.

Step  5:   Install a diverter under the downspout

Place a downspout diverter under all downspouts to direct water away from the house.

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