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man safely cleaning gutter from a ladder

How to Safely Clean Gutters

Keep Your Gutters Flowing Freely

Some things happen like clockwork, such as how when fall rolls around, leaves start clogging your gutters. Clearing debris from gutters prevents water buildup in them and on your roof and helps prevent possible damage. Learn some of the best ways to clean gutters and avoid accidents while doing so.

Climb the Right Ladder

You can’t clean gutters without being high enough to reach them. The proper ladder for the job is the one that reaches up so you’re standing below the top two rungs. Set it up so that when you’re standing with your feet at the base of the ladder and reach out to grab the ladder, that your arms are at a right angle with your legs. You can also get add-on pieces, including wall stand-offs, to keep the ladder off windows so you don’t break the glass. Capping the ends with rubber not only prevents the metal feet from gouging into your exterior wall but also increases friction so the ladder is less likely to slide.

Equip Yourself Properly

The standard piece of apparatus that you’re going to use is a long scoop that’s shaped to fit the interior of most gutters. Run it along and toss the leaves down to the ground. Don’t bring leaf bags up when you clean gutters because it’s just one more thing to hold onto while you’re trying to balance. You can also use hose sprayers or power washers to blast moss and other debris out. If you own a leaf blower, whether it’s cordless, gas powered, or electric you may want to consider using it.  You can walk along the edge of your roof and blow the debris from the gutters.  Once all of the debris is on the ground the blower will come in handy again to gather all of it into a pile for collection. While you’re cleaning you can protect yourself with standard personal protective equipment, including safety glasses, gloves, and knee pads.

The best way to clean gutters is the way that keeps you safe. Clearing debris from your gutters allows the water to flow, which prevents damage to your home’s exterior. We carry an extensive range of gutter cleaning equipment that you can use to get the job done quickly, plus protective gear for preventing injuries. Get the job done right so you can spend more time enjoying the season with your family.

For more cold season hints, check out these useful links:


  • James

    October 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Ladder standoffs/stabilizers should always be used on extension ladders when getting up on a roof and/or cleaning out gutters. Why risk marring up & denting gutters w/o one?!

    • Acme Tools

      October 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. That is a great point, they also increase the safety when working on a ladder because of their increased width.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

  • David Rich of DMR Gutters

    October 27, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I have been installing gutter for 24 years and use ladder standoffs/stabilizers on all my ladders. I would feel unsafe without it. I usually brace the ladder standoffs/stabilizer on the roof above the gutter. I even tell my clients that they should buy a ladder standoffs/stabilizer even if they do not own a ladder. If they have someone working on their roof who does not have this on their ladder to insist they use it. They will often ask ‘what if they do not give it back to me?’ i remind them that they would have suffered more than $30 damage to their gutters if they did not use it, so not really a loss, and they can still call them to ask for it back.

    Also, I bring up a 5 gallon bucket to put the debris into and hook it onto the ladder, or the stabilizer. I will often slide one leg into the ladder rung above the one I am standing on to hook my leg in for better stability if I need to use both my hands. It puts extra weight on that one foot, but better to be safe. a Rung Step device can also be used to help give a larger platform to stand on, so the arch of your foot will not hurt so badly.

  • Azoay Boni

    December 24, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Historically, I am the guy that goes to clean objects around my home and I end up wrecking them because I didn’t fully know what I was doing. Are there any cleaning agents for gutters that could wreck the weather protective coating and other elements of the gutter’s physical integrity? It wouldn’t do well to wreck my gutters right before winter kicks in.

    • Acme Tools

      December 26, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. If you are using a chemical to clean your gutters we recommend contacting the manufacturer of the gutter system to see if the cleaning agent could harm the integrity of the gutter.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

  • Easton Memmott

    July 26, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I found it very interesting when it was mentioned that you can use a leaf blower to clean out your gutters. I have never thought of that before. My wife and I are looking to buy a home and we want to be sure that we know the ins and outs of cleaning and taking care of our new home. If we buy a home soon, I will seriously consider using a leaf blower to clean out the gutters.

  • Ridley Fitzgerald

    February 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    I appreciate your tips for cleaning gutters. Like you said, using a rubber-capped ladder would help me avoid slipping and falling like my neighbor did not too long ago. To be honest, I’d rather hire a professional to clean all our gutters, so I think I’ll do that.

  • Mark Murphy

    February 20, 2019 at 10:54 am

    I really appreciate your tip to spray all of the waste in your gutter into one central location so you can get rid of it easier. My wife and I have been thinking of getting a new house with a lot of tall trees on the property, and we are concerned that the trees are causing a lot of leaves to fall into the gutter. I will be sure to tell my wife that we should try and clean it by spraying it all into one pile!


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