Bob Vila Radio: Gutter Cleaning

When all the leaves have fallen, but before it gets too wet out, clean your gutters— and remember these helpful tips.

By Roseann Foley Henry | Updated Oct 23, 2013 10:21 AM

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Cleaning the gutters tends to be a relatively inexpensive task to hand off to a professional, who has the equipment and the experience to get this messy job done quickly and correctly. But if you want to save some money and you’re nimble enough to climb a ladder up to your highest gutter, you can do it yourself. The most important thing is to do it regularly—you don’t want to wait until your gutters are overflowing to start unclogging them.


Listen to BOB VILA ON GUTTER CLEANING or read the text below:

Gutter Cleaning


What fills up gutters is a mix of leaves, twigs, dirt and other debris that runs off your roof during the rain or drops in from nearby trees. If you or your neighbors have trees that shed leaves in autumn, wait until the trees are bare before you clean your gutters, or they’ll just fill up again when the leaves start to fall.

You’ll need to scoop out all the gunk, so wear work gloves to protect your hands from the edges of the gutter and from any sharp objects inside. Use a large bucket to collect it all, then use what you’ve collected as mulch or dispose of it as you would grass clippings. When you’re finished scooping, use a hose to flush the last of the debris through the downspouts and make sure there are no clogs anywhere. Most importantly, be careful on that ladder!

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.