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How to Clean Rain Gutters & Downspouts

Clean out your rain gutters and downspouts this fall with help from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Even though the task may seem daunting, cleaning your rain gutters and downspouts is more than simply keeping the exterior of your home looking nice. It may also prevent damage to your home’s interior from leaks in the roof, or flooding through foundation and walls. With help from Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can easily clean your gutters and downspouts when the leaves start piling up this fall.

How to Clean Your Rain Gutters & Downspouts

How to Clean Rain Gutters & Downspouts
When the leaves begin to fall, they can end up in your rain gutters and downspouts. Learn how to clean them out before winter hits.

1. Grab your tools and pick a starting place. The corners of the home are a good place to start because it’s where the downspouts are typically located. It’s best to start near the downspout and work away from it to avoid pushing additional debris into it.

2. Set your extension ladder on level ground. Secure a plastic trash bag to collect the debris. This set up minimizes clean up later. Put work gloves on to protect your hands from any sharp objects in the rain gutters and downspouts. The gloves will also help to keep your hands clean.

3. Begin at the part of the gutter closest to the downspout. Use the garden trowel or hand spade to scoop out the debris. Place it into the lawn and leaf trash bag. If any pieces resist being scooped up, remove them carefully by hand. If you are planning on throwing the debris into your compost pile, then you need to have a separate trash receptacle for metal objects, such as roofing nails.

4. Once you have removed all of the larger debris, get the garden hose. Rinse the gutter in the direction of the downspout using the spraying attachment on the hose. Spray the gutter until no signs of debris remain.

5. If the downspout is clogged, you will need to clear it. It’s easiest to begin by using the spray attachment on the hose to direct water into the downspout from the bottom end. This may force any clogs loose. Additionally, you can use the spray attachment on the hose to direct water into the downspout from the upper end. If that does not work, then you need to use a plumber’s snake.

6. Follow this procedure for all of the rain gutters and downspouts on your home. Next, inspect the rain gutters and downspouts now for any signs of damage. Look for holes, dents, or cracks. If you discover any signs of damage, repair them as soon as possible.

7. Dispose of any debris by placing it in a compost pile or the trash.

Cleaning out your rain gutters and downspouts is a great way to start winterizing your home. For more how-to’s and home projects, visit our home maintenance blog.

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