Gutters can feel like they are out of sight and out of mind, but it’s very important to keep them clean and well-maintained to keep your home safe. When debris builds up in your gutter system, it blocks the flow of storm water and snow melt off your roof leading to destructive back-ups. All that water-logged debris adds weight to your gutters which can cause them to sag and fall apart. Standing water from clogs also increases the risk of rust and mold build up on your roof. Taking the time to maintain your gutters can save you from these dangerous, costly issues.

Line art illustrations of snowflakes, a rain cloud, and leaves to represent the seasons
Clearing Your Gutters Throughout the Seasons

In Wisconsin, it’s important to clean your gutters year-round. Our weather can be unpredictable, and each season comes with its own threats: snow melt with leftover debris in the spring, summer rain, leaves in the fall, and even ice dams that develop in the winter. To avoid the pitfalls of each season, plan to clean your gutters every three to four months – think of it as seasonal cleanup. If you don’t have the opportunity to clean them this regularly, shoot for an early spring clean-up to manage the oncoming rain and early fall clean-up to manage the leaves. Pro-tip: avoid cleaning your gutters directly after rainfall when the leaves and debris are still soggy. It will make the job much more difficult and much messier!

3 Fool-Proof Steps to Clean Your Gutters

It’s important to know how to clean your gutters so you keep them in the best shape. We’ve had years of experience tearing down and putting up new gutter systems and we want to share our best tips with you:

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Clear the Debris

The first thing you’ll want to do is clear the debris out of your gutters with a shovel or trowel. You will need a ladder for this part – be sure you are using the ladder safely before getting started. Using gardening or work gloves and the hand tool of your choice, clean out as much debris as you can get to.

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Flush the Gutters

Once you’ve cleaned the debris out, you can flush the gutters with a garden hose to loosen and remove smaller debris build up. This helps to ensure the extra dust, dirt, and small debris are cleaned out, eliminating the risk of future clogs.

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Test the Flow

Finally, you’ll want to test the water flow to make sure it is properly draining with no leakage. Use your garden hose to run wanter through the gutters and take a look at the seams. Leakage in these areas indicate an issue with your gutters that you will want to get checked out before any major weather occurs. Testing the flow each time ensures your gutters are working properly and efficiently and can prevent water damage to your home.

Get Clog Inspections Regularly

On top of cleaning your gutters seasonally, it’s also important to inspect for clogs and damages regularly – we recommend four to six times per year. As you inspect your gutters, look for signs of rust, leaks, splitting, and other damage or deterioration. Issues like these can lead to breaks along the gutter line which can damage your home’s siding, fascia, and soffits.

Close-up picture of a roof with gutters and gutter guards
Consider Gutter Guards

To keep your gutters and house in the best shape, consider installing gutter guards or downspout extensions to your gutter system. Gutter guards and downspout extensions have several benefits including:

  • Facilitating proper water management
  • Preventing ice build up
  • Prolonging the life of your roofing system
  • Enhancing appearance
  • Reducing needed maintenance
Trust Your Local Professionals

At Big Fish Contracting, we install about 25,000 feet of gutter guards per year for our customers. There are many pros and cons to gutter guards that you should consider, but if you don’t want to clean your gutters multiple times per year, then we highly recommend this product.

If your gutters need to be replaced, call Big Fish Contracting at 262-470-1114 or fill out our contact form to get a free professional estimate.

Want to learn more about our experience with gutters? Read more here.