How To Keep Your Gutters From Overflowing

by Connor Pena

The gutters on your home help keep rainwater from pouring down on the side of your home and splashing into your home's foundation and basement wall. They also protect anyone coming in and out of your home so they won't get drenched by a cascade of water falling off your roof. If your gutters are not functioning properly, they could overflow. The result would be the same or worse than not having gutters at all. In fact, overflowing water can damage the soffits and fascia of your home and even seep into your basement. It can also have a very negative impact on your landscaping. You can prevent this in two ways: regular maintenance and additional hardware. Keep in mind that if your gutters are severely damaged, you might want to call in a professional like Mr. Gutter.

What You Will Need

  • Extension Ladder

  • Protective Gloves

  • Plumber's Snake

  • Gutter Strainers

  • Gutter Covers

Step 1. Position a ladder along the side of your home where you want to work on your gutters. Ensure that the ladder is on firm, flat ground so that it won't tilt. Also make sure you have it at the right angle. Do this by standing directly in front of the foot of the ladder and reaching out toward it without bending. If you can just barely touched the ladder with your fingers, it is at the correct angle. If not, you need to readjust it.

Note: It's a good idea to have a second person at the bottom of the ladder to help you by passing things up.

Step 2. Put on a pair of protective gloves. Carefully climb up the ladder (using your hands to steady yourself) so you can examine the gutters. Remove any leaves, branches or other debris that you find in the gutter. You should do this cleaning at least twice a year (in the spring and in the fall). If you have a lot of trees near your home (particularly evergreen trees) you may want to do it more frequently and throughout the year. You may have to do unscheduled cleaning following storms. This will help you deal with the primary reason that gutters overflow, which is blockages caused by leaves and other debris.

Step 3. Reposition the ladder so that you can get to the next section of gutter. Keep moving around your home so that you can clean out the entire gutter system.

Step 4. When you reach drainpipes, clean them out as well. If they are clogged, you may have to use a plumber's snake.

Step 5. So as to prevent any future clogs in the drainpipes, install gutter strainers. These inexpensive devices can be found at hardware and home improvement stores.

Step 6. Install gutter covers across your gutters to keep any leaves or other debris from falling inside. This will actually make the entire maintenance process much easier, since you won't have to clean the gutters out as frequently.