October Home Maintenance To-Do List
By: Danny Lipford
To-Do #6: Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged and leaking gutters and downspouts can overflow and cause water damage to your home, so it’s important to check and clean and check them for leaks regularly. Start by cleaning your gutters, then use a garden hose to make sure they drain as they should. Here are some tips to make the job easier:
- Bag As You Go: Rather than dropping the gutter debris onto your lawn or bushes, hang a garbage bag from the top of your ladder, and drop the mess directly inside.
- DIY Gutter Cleaning Tool: You can clean gutters with a trowel or your gloved hand, but the right tool makes the job go faster. Rummage in your recycle bin for a plastic jug about the same width as the gutter. Cut the jug to create a scoop, as shown in the picture above, and you’re in business!
- Unclog Downspouts: If your downspout is clogged with debris, first try clearing it using a strong spray of water from a garden hose inserted in the top of the downspout. If that doesn’t work, use a plumber’s snake to clear the clog. Watch our video on How to Unclog and Clean Downspouts to find out more.
- Follow With Water: After scooping all the leaves out of your gutters and unclogging any downspouts, use the high-pressure setting of a garden hose nozzle to rinse away any remaining dirt, and make sure the gutters drain toward and out of the downspouts.
- Fix Gutter Sags: Gutters need to be securely attached to the fascia board on the eaves and slope slightly toward the downspouts to drain properly. Identify any low or loose spots, then adjust or tighten the screws or nails holding the gutters in place. Check out our article on How to Clean and Repair Gutters and our video on How to Repair Sagging Gutters to find out more.