Gutter cleaning is an essential must to prevent flooding and damage. With the right guidance, you can save yourself the expense of a professional and remove leaves yourself.

Why clean gutters?

Especially in autumn, winds ensure that leaves land on roofs and in gutters. As a result, it can block the flow of rain towards the downspouts. The rainwater accumulates, overflows and in the worst case the material tears. The result is a leak or the bursting of the downpipe. If this happens, there are usually high costs for repairs. Regular gutter cleaning will save you from this.

Best time

Twice a year the effort should be made to remove leaves and at the same time other dirt such as small twigs from gutters. The best times are in spring and autumn, with the autumn cleaning being particularly important. During this time of year the leaves fall and most often collect in roof and rain gutters.

In the spring, the gutters are cleaned again to remove any “leaves left over” from late autumn and winter. This is to ensure that they come “clean” by the time they are next cleaned in autumn and do not cause blockages or blockages as soon as the first leaves fall. The following details should also be observed:

  • clean before the first frost
  • choose a wind and rain-free day
  • be flexible in terms of time so as not to be under time pressure
  • only during the day when it is bright
  • second person on site for security reasons
Note: Gutter cleaning is the owner’s responsibility, so you as a renter are under no obligation to undertake this task. The costs incurred by the owner as a result can only be passed on to tenants if this is expressly agreed in the rental agreement.

Utensils needed

In order to successfully carry out a gutter cleaning, you should have the following materials at hand:

  • Work gloves and sturdy shoes
  • sufficiently high ladder
  • bucket or similar container
  • Hand broom or brush and hand dustpan
  • damp cloth for wiping
  • small scraper to loosen dried leaves
  • Garden hose (watering can possible, but involves an increased risk of accidents when working at heights)
  • suitable item for covering downspouts
  • Spiral cleaning brush for cleaning the downpipe
Note: Never use a high-pressure pressure washer to clean the gutter. The water pressure quickly causes leaks or detachments in the channel.

Guide to gutter cleaning

1. Cover downpipe

To ensure that as few leaves and other dirt get into the downpipes as possible when cleaning the gutter, they must be covered beforehand. A certain weight or weight must be taken into account so that the cover sits firmly. However, it must not be too heavy so that seals and connecting seams do not break.

For example, you can place this on downpipes:

  • small plastic or metal lids of paint cans
  • Plastic bag
  • reverse saucer
  • dense fleece
  • correspondingly large stone

2. Choose the right starting point

Cleaning always begins with the gutter, never with the downpipe. Despite the cover of the downpipe, leaves can still get in when the gutter is cleaned. However, the goal is to have gutters and downspouts completely free of foliage after cleaning. Always work from the farthest point from the downpipe opening. For example, if this is on the right, cleaning begins at the left end of the channel.

Tip: It is best to proceed meter by meter in the direction of the downpipe. Then you don’t have to keep moving the ladder.

3. Remove dirt

When leaves are damp, they often stick firmly to the gutter. Attempts should be made to carefully detach them by hand. Stubborn dirt is easier to remove with a scraper. It is also important that a sufficiently high ladder is used that has a firm footing on a level surface.

4. Clean gutter

In this step, the cleaning utensils are used.

  • Push leaves together with other impurities
  • pick up with dust pan
  • empty in the bucket
  • Brush through the channel with a brush/hand brush and sweep up until it is clean
  • use a damp cloth for wiping
  • carry out the next channel section up to the downpipe

5. Downpipe cleaning

Before you start cleaning the downpipe, first remove all dirt around the downpipe cover and finally remove it.

  • Clean any existing sieve/leaf grid
  • guide the spiral cleaning brush from top to bottom at least once a year in autumn
  • pull up and down several times in case of blockages
  • If there is a blockage, open the bottom of the downpipe, use a high-pressure cleaner (only on the downpipe, not in the gutter!) or a long handle to press down and remove the blockage
  • flush with garden hose pipe
  • Close the downpipe again and flush again

6. Flush the channel

Once the gutter and downpipe cleaning has been successfully completed, the gutter is finally rinsed with a garden hose. Also start at the opposite point of the downpipe. It is important that the flushing of the channel is only carried out when the uninterrupted flow of the downpipe is guaranteed. The channel flushing thus marks the end of the work.

Tip: Protective systems such as gutter nets or grilles prevent stubborn dirt from leaves, needles or moss.

frequently asked Questions

Yes. There is the robot gutter slide and the gutter blower. The latter works in a similar way to a conventional leaf blower. However, “sticky” dirt is difficult to remove, so you still have to do it yourself. The slide is used at one end of the gutter. It moves along the channel by means of a motor drive. Depending on the model, it scrapes, brushes and pushes the dirt together at the end of the channel. However, you will not be spared the return journey. A hand cleaning leads to a better result.

Yes. Various versions are offered. Most are 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 devices. Brushes are mandatory integrated. You can also choose a scraper and a connection for the garden hose. Some models also have different brush variants from hard to soft, straight or slanted. Combination systems for gutter cleaning have the advantage that you have everything ready to hand in one piece and therefore have to move around less. This in turn reduces the risk of accidents when working on ladders.

Depending on the region and provider, cleaning gutters costs between 2.50 and 4.00 euros per meter. On average, between 6.00 and 8.00 euros are due for each gutter box. In addition, there are travel costs, which can amount to up to 50 euros. In addition, some companies demand a kind of surcharge if the channel is more heavily soiled than average or access is only possible under difficult conditions.

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