Proper home maintenance includes regular gutter cleaning, but homeowners don't need to spend the entire day up on the roof or a ladder to get the job done well.

A working eave carries rain water off of the roof, through the downspouts and out into the yard away from the foundation. When the system becomes stuffed with leaves, twigs and other debris, the water can't flow as easily and can cause damage. Some of the damage can be severe and can cause leaks, holes in the gutter, or a myriad of other problems.

Cleaning the gutters

There are numerous gutter sizes available, but no matter how big they are, they always seem to get clogged. To clean the gutters climb up the ladder while wearing work gloves and begin scooping out the debris. Keep in mind that moving the ladder frequently will be required as it is dangerous to lean too far to either side to reach areas of the gutter that are farther away.

While using one's hands should be enough to remove debris from the gutters, a scoop or small trowel can also be used. A brush is necessary for removing the residue left behind after the debris has been removed. Water can still flow over this residue, but it can be malodorous. It is not necessary to scrub the gutters.

After removing the debris and scrubbing the residue away, use a hose to fully rinse the gutter. Put the hose into one portion of the gutter and the flow of water will make its way throughout the entire system.

The Necessary Tools

Cleaning gutters can be done quickly by having the following items:

•    Ladder capable of reaching the highest eaves on your house (do not lean the ladder against the gutters as they are not strong enough to maintain the weight).
•    Work gloves
•    Scoop or small trowel
•    Brush
•    Hose
•    Garbage bag
•    Pressure washer (optional)

Taking care of business

Eaves should be cleaned twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. Proper cleaning and maintenance ensures a working system so that homeowners aren't faced with broken gutters and leaks. It also reduces the likelihood that insects will find it a nice place to breed. It's important to stay on top of cleaning so that the health of the entire home stays intact.

Keep your gutters leaf-free.