DIY How to Clean Gutters – Common Mistakes

How to clean gutters is a common homeowner DIY. Cleaning the gutter system on your home is an extremely important maintenance task. However, it isn’t as easy as you think. There are several mistakes often made that could cause injuries to you or your home.

Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Not properly adhering to ladder safety.
  2. Overreaching while on a ladder.
  3. Wearing inappropriate attire.
  4. Using the wrong tools.
  5. Not completely unclogging gutters.

Ladder safety:

There are many precautions and warnings printed directly on ladders, and for good reason. It is important when climbing a ladder to adhere to all of these warnings for your own safety because operating at any sort of height poses risks. It is important to remember that ladder-related injuries are extremely common, and can happen at any height. If you are climbing a ladder, it is important to make sure someone is securing the base, and to make sure the ladder is placed securely on the ground.

Also, what many homeowners do not know, is that ladders should lean against the siding of the home, not the gutter itself, as the gutter can be slippery. Operating power tools while balancing at heights is not an easy task. When hiring a professional, like The Brothers that just do Gutters, the crew will be highly trained in ladder safety with OSHA 10 certification, as well as exercise extra precaution by using additional safety equipment, like fall protection.


Overreaching on a ladder is an easily avoidable mistake. We understand that repositioning a ladder continuously may be annoying, but the dangers associated with overreaching just aren’t worth the “convenience”. This can throw you, and/or your ladder off balance and cause a fall. A fall from overreaching is even more common if you do not have a spotter at the bottom of your ladder.


When climbing a ladder, or getting on a roof, wearing the correct protective attire and footwear is very important. Shoes should have rubber soles and be closed. Sandals, flip flops, or going barefoot are not wise footwear decisions. Eye protection, head protection, and gloves are also important protective gear that’s often overlooked. Protective eyewear can protect your eyes from any sort of flying debris and/or against pests that may be hiding in the gutter, like bees.

It may not seem like wearing a hard hat is necessary for a task like gutter cleaning, but it is. Protective head gear can protect your head from circumstances outside of your control. Headgear also cushions your head if a fall were to occur. Gloves also go a long way in protecting your hands from sharp tools, or sharp debris and/or bacteria in your gutter.

How to Clean Gutters

There are a list of essentials to take into consideration when cleaning your gutters.

Wrong tools:

If you are attempting DIY gutter cleaning, having the right tools is key. There are spray, vacuum, and broom-like tools that can make your DIY gutter cleaning task a bit easier. However, they are not ideal, and depending on the type of, and amount of debris in your gutter, they may not fully unclog your gutters (which we will discuss more next).

Gutter still clogged:

If you do not know exactly how to clean your gutters and/or you cannot fully see the interior of your gutters from your position, there is a good chance that you will leave behind debris. If this is the case, your gutters may clog up again quickly and/or never unclog. A clogged gutter can lead to many issues like a flooded basement, a damaged foundation, ruined siding, split downspouts, etc. Because of this, it is extremely important to clean your gutters at least twice a year, correctly and thoroughly.

Additionally, it is easy to overlook cleaning your downspouts because you cannot see in them. Clogged gutters are common. The Brothers Gutters take the downspouts apart to clean them and make sure they are no longer clogged. This can be a challenging task for a homeowner.

How Often Do You Clean Your Gutters?

Gutter cleaning is often challenging and frustrating. Having to DIY gutter cleaning at least twice a year is not something homeowners enjoy. Because of this, if you are cleaning your gutters on your own, you may not clean them as often as they should be. And/or the opposite may occur where you have to clean them more than twice a year because they aren’t being cleaned properly.

How Can I Eliminate Doing So Many Cleanings?

Both of these next options are recommended that you consider when adding a gutter system to your home.

Install guards:

If you are tired of cleaning your gutters, or having your gutters cleaned, you may want to invest in installing gutter guards. The right guard can eliminate interior gutter cleanings completely, and significantly decrease your overall gutter maintenance. While no product is maintenance free, your gutter maintenance will go from full exterior cleanings at least twice a year, to occasional brushing off of the top of a guard. Additionally, having guards installed can save you money in the long run. A one-time install cost eliminates the reoccurring cost of cleanings two or more times a year.

Hire the professionals:

Whether you need your gutters cleaned, or you are interested in installing guards, it is best to call the professionals. Many may think that gutter work, and gutter cleanings are simple. But really there are a lot of little, but important, things those that are untrained may overlook. When a home project involves any sort of heights or ladder work, it is always best to leave it to the trained professionals. As your own safety trumps the savings of doing it yourself, especially if your home is multiple stories.

If you need a gutter cleaning, or you are interested in eliminating interior cleanings by having guards installed, call The Brothers that just do Gutters today for your free estimate!