October Home Maintenance To-Do List

Using scoop made from plastic container to remove leaves from gutter.

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.

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6 Comments on “October Home Maintenance To-Do List”

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  • Ann S. Says:
    October 3rd, 2017 at 7:57 am

    We have gutters that leak every where. Tried the spray on stuff to stop the leaks. Still leaks..any suggestions???

  • Marie Says:
    October 1st, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I want to add insulation in my attic. My house was built in 1994, and has blown in insulation, which has compacted. I want to put in Roxul, but do I need to remove the blown in first, or can I lay it on top?

  • gordon L Says:
    October 1st, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    any suggestion(s) in removing a single knob/ handle shower cartridge that leaks. I have sprayed threaded area and have even headed the cover which encases the cartridge with a torch and still cannot break it free to remove the cartridge. I did not want to put too much torque on the housing which could break the water supply line(s). I have use the rust catalyst spray PB which supposedly helps free rusted metal parts w/ no success.

  • Timothy J Sabo Says:
    October 1st, 2016 at 3:45 pm


    We love your show. Nice commercial (Nutri-system) Allen! Anyway, one thing we are sure to do at this time of year is to replace the batteries in our thermostats (digital versions). As it is starting to get cold at night, furnaces will not come on if the batteries in the thermostat are dead. Brrr! We have rentals, and at least one of the tenants call to report they don’t have heat: a dead battery is the easiest fix and the first thing to check.

  • helena Says:
    November 2nd, 2014 at 6:49 am

    i have a dining room table that is three generations old, when we sit at it for dinner it creaks like it is going to fall apart. the nuts are tight. do you have any suggestions for taking the creak out? humbly Helena

  • Mike broerman Says:
    October 1st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I have tried everything from fabic, wet and seal and other products that claim the it will stop my gutter leaking.If you have another solution other than replace these gutters.We loved your show and watched them every week.You can even come here because 3 of our neibors have the same problem

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October Home Maintenance To-Do List