How to clean your gutters

Gutters are easily forgotten about, but they fulfil an important function. They need regular cleaning to prevent damp and other problems in your home.

Overhead shot of a gutter full of leaves being cleaned by a man with a STIHL leaf blower and gutter cleaning set
Upward shot of a STIHL gutter cleaning set and leaf blower being used to clean gutters on a white house

What do gutters do?

Gutters channel water that runs off the roof, protecting the walls of your house and the ground around it from excessive moisture – which can lead to damage. Cleaning gutters regularly is important so they can function correctly, as all kinds of detritus can build up on the roof. Leaves, moss, twigs and even bird’s nests can slide from the roof into the gutter, causing it to become blocked and overflow.

Why is it so important to clean my gutters?

Close-up of a gutter that is blocked with leaves

Out of sight can mean out of mind, but if your gutters are full of leaves and other matter, you may not be aware of it until you notice dampness and damage inside your home. The function of the gutter is to protect the building by quickly diverting rainwater away from it, and any material in the gutter impairs this function. If ignored, the gutter will become completely blocked and the consequences can be very serious. In the worst case, rainwater overflowing from the roof can damage the exterior and plasterwork of your house.

So gutter cleaning should be a routine maintenance task – not a job that waits until you need to completely unblock the gutter or drainpipe. All parts of your roof drainage system should be regularly checked and cleaned.

How to clean gutters – the easy way

There are various ways to get gutters clean and clear. Our guide shows you the best way to clean gutters  and how to make it an easy job with the right tools. Note that if the gutter you are cleaning is made from copper, you need to be particularly careful because the material is so soft.

STIHL pro tip: You should clean your gutter regularly, but at least once a year. The best time to do it is in late autumn, after all the leaves have fallen from the trees.

A leaf blower makes gutter cleaning fast and simple

With the STIHL gutter cleaning set there is no need for a ladder and no trouble getting the job done. The set is a modular tube system that can be used with a range of STIHL leaf blowers. It is easy to assemble and extends to a maximum length of around 3 metres. A curved section of pipe at the end directs airflow to blow debris out of the gutter and onto the ground, for easy clearing.

STIHL gutter cleaning set

This method is especially suitable if the gutter and debris inside it are dry, so they can be easily dislodged by the leaf blower. The gutter cleaning set can be used with STIHL BG 66BG 56/SH 56BG 86/SH 86 and BGE 71/SHE 71.

A flexible metal rod being pushed up a drainpipe with water flowing into a blue rain barrel

Cleaning the drainpipe

Once your gutters are clean, you need to clean the drainpipe too. STIHL offers pipe cleaning sets that can be conveniently used with your pressure washer. Read our guide to find out how to clean your drainpipe. 

Summary: how to clean gutters

  • You should clean your gutters at least once a year to keep them draining fast and working effectively.
  • The best time to clean your gutter is towards the end of autumn, when the trees have shed their leaves.
  • You should also clean out the drainpipe after cleaning the gutters.