Gutter cleaning may present as a dreadful chore for most, but it proves to be extremely crucial in preventing water damage to your home’s foundation; a repair that can cost $10,000 or more (probably more!).

Even though gutter cleaning only seems to be an annual necessity for most homeowners, it could lead to disastrous outcomes if not done the right way. Here are 5 simple hacks to make this year’s gutter cleaning more safe, simple, and (potentially) fun:

1. Dress for Success: It is important to make sure that you have the appropriate attire before cleaning your gutter.

  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long work pants. Make sure that your whole body is covered to prevent getting scratches from the debris. Gutter cleaning can get extremely messy so it would be best to dress comfortably for the job too.
  • Use protective gloves. Wearing gloves can protect your hands and prevent cuts from sharp objects hidden within the debris. It can also prevent your hands from getting in direct contact with the bacteria-infested debris.
  • Wear protective eyewear. You never know what might jump out at you while scooping the dirt out of your gutters and downspouts (rats, bees, and birds, just to name a few). Protect your eyes!
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes. This is especially important when walking on the rooftop to prevent a slip-and-fall accident. Rooftops tend to be moist and slippery in the early mornings, so it’s best to walk on the rooftop when the sun is well up and the moisture has cleared.

2. Safety First: Use a sturdy ladder. It might also be worth investing in a ladder stabilizer, as it does not only keep you safe while cleaning, but it also prevents any dents or scratches on the gutters themselves.

3. Clear the Roof: Before cleaning the actual gutters and downspouts, it’s important to first clean the roof by raking and washing off any debris. This is essential because it will prevent debris from clogging up the gutter again once it has been cleaned.

4. The Magic Tool: Consider using a plastic gutter scoop to make your life much easier when cleaning the debris off your gutter. This is a very handy tool to have because of its sharp edge, making it simpler to scoop out debris from gutters of all sizes. You can purchase this at most hardware stores. However, avoid using metal gutter scoops as it can damage the gutters themselves with scratches and dents.

5. Consistency is Key: Even though most homeowners do their gutter cleaning just once a year, there are multiple reasons why a semi-annual gutter cleaning schedule would be recommended. Being more consistent with your gutter cleaning can prevent water damage and rust corrosion, both of which are very expensive problems to fix.