Gutters should be cleaned out and checked for damage each year. The job is best done early winter once all the trees have completed their shedding. It is advised that thick gloves are worn in order to prevent injury to hands due to sharp edges and sharp tiles or slate. In order to perform the job correctly some tools will be required – a decent ladder, thick gloves, trowel, container, large piece of cloth and a piece of board.
Ensure that the bottom of the downpipe is closed so that the gulley or the drain do not get clogged by the leaves or other debris that gets removed from the gutter. If the downpipe leads into the earth, the piece of cloth can be used to stuff into the top of the pipe in order to prevent any debris washing down.
The trowel can be used to remove the debris, leaves or mud which has accumulated in the gutter. Put this into the container, and ensure that none of the removal matter goes down the drainpipes. Also take care not to get any of the debris against the walls, as this could cause stains which will be difficult to remove.
After debris has been cleared, the hardboard or cloth can be removed and water must be poured slowly along the length of the gutter. A hosepipe can us be used to lead water along the gutter, and the water should flow steadily into the downpipe and leave no debris in the gutter. If some water dams up in the gutter, then the gutter must be realigned. If the downpipe is blocked or overflows, then it must also be cleaned out.
Leaks are sometimes caused by cracks or by unevenly sealed or worn joints, and care must be taken to ensure that these are repaired and cleaned. Sometimes a successful repair can be made using tape or putty. A little putty must be put onto the inside of the gutter and smoothed out, and then left to dry.