How to Unclog a Clogged Gutter

Overflowing clogged gutter filled with leaves and debris, causing water spillage.


As a homeowner, the last thing you want to deal with is a clogged gutter. Clogged gutters can lead to a range of problems, including water damage, foundation issues, and even pest infestations. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your gutters clean and unclogged. In this blog post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to unclog a clogged gutter, using proven methods recommended by Happy Gutters, a leading gutter service provider in Vancouver, WA.

Signs of a Clogged Gutter

Before we dive into the unclogging process, it’s essential to be able to identify the signs of a clogged gutter. Look out for the following indicators:

  • Overflowing water from the gutters during rainstorms
  • Sagging gutters that have pulled away from the roofline
  • Dripping water near the foundation of your home

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take action and unclog your gutters to prevent further damage to your home.


Before you begin unclogging your gutters, make sure you have the necessary tools and safety equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Safety gear: Wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes from debris and potential hazards.
  2. Tools: Gather the following tools – a sturdy ladder, a garden trowel or scoop, a bucket or tarp to collect debris, and a hose with a high-pressure nozzle.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unclog a Clogged Gutter

Now that you’re prepared let’s get started on unclogging your clogged gutters. Follow this step-by-step guide:

A. Clear the Roof

  1. Safely access your roof using a ladder.
  2. Use a leaf blower or a broom to clear leaves, twigs, and debris from the roof surface. This step will prevent additional debris from entering the gutters.
  3. Safely remove large debris like branches or clumps of leaves that may be causing blockages.

B. Clearing Downspouts

  1. Inspect the downspouts for clogs. Gently tap on them to check for any blockages.
  2. Use a plumber’s snake or a wire coat hanger to break up any clogs within the downspouts. Insert the snake or the hanger into the downspout and move it up and down to dislodge the debris.
  3. Flush the downspouts with a hose to ensure proper water flow. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom, removing any remaining debris.

C. Removing Debris from Gutters

  1. Position your ladder securely against the house, ensuring it’s on stable ground.
  2. Using a garden trowel or scoop, start scooping out the debris from the gutters. Begin from one end and work your way to the other. Place the debris into a bucket or onto a tarp to collect and dispose of later.
  3. Be thorough in cleaning the gutters, ensuring you remove all dirt, leaves, and smaller particles.

D. Flushing the Gutters

  1. Once the debris is removed, use a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to flush out any remaining dirt and small particles. Start from the opposite end of the downspout and work your way towards it, ensuring all dirt is removed.
  2. While flushing, observe the gutters for any leaks or misaligned sections that may require repair or further attention.

Preventive Measures

Now that you’ve successfully unclogged your gutters, here are some preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of future clogs:

  1. Install gutter guards or screens to minimize the entry of debris into the gutters. These add-ons can make a significant difference in preventing clogs.
  2. Schedule regular gutter cleaning maintenance, ideally at least twice a year or more frequently depending on your local conditions. Happy Gutters can assist you with professional gutter cleaning services to ensure optimal performance.

Remember, maintaining clean and unclogged gutters is crucial for the overall health and longevity of your home, protecting it from potential damage.

How Can I Tell if My Gutters Are Clogged?

How to Unclog a Clogged Gutter

One of the signs that your gutters may be clogged is when rainwater overflows from the sides instead of flowing down through the downspout. When this happens, it is often an indication that leaves, twigs, or other debris are blocking the proper flow of water. Another tell-tale sign is if you notice water pooling or overflowing from the gutters after a rainfall. You may also see birds or pests gathering around the gutters, as clogged gutters provide a convenient source of water for them. If you notice any of these signs, it is recommended to inspect and clean your gutters to prevent potential damage to your home’s foundation or siding. 

Avoid Gutter Cleaning with LeafFilter

Avoid the hassle of cleaning your gutters every year with LeafFilter. This innovative gutter protection system is designed to keep leaves, debris, and other unwanted elements out of your gutters, preventing clogs and ensuring smooth water flow. With LeafFilter, you can say goodbye to the dangers and inconvenience of climbing ladders and spending hours unclogging your gutters. The gutter system is made from high-quality materials and is installed directly onto your existing gutters, providing a seamless and durable solution that requires minimal maintenance. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your gutters are protected year-round with LeafFilter. 

Is Damage from Clogged Gutters Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Damage from clogged gutters is typically not covered by homeowners insurance. Most insurance policies consider clogged gutters as a result of neglect and lack of maintenance, which are considered the responsibility of the homeowner. Insurance companies usually expect homeowners to regularly clean and maintain their gutters to prevent any cause damage. However, if the clogged gutters lead to more severe issues, such as water damage to the interior of the home or structural damage, those damages may be covered by the homeowners insurance policy. It is always recommended to review the specific terms and conditions of the insurance policy to understand the coverage and limitations related to gutters and water damage. 

How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Gutters Cleaned?

The cost to have your gutters cleaned can vary depending on various factors such as the size and height of your house, the condition of the gutters, and the location. On average, gutter cleaning services can cost between $100 and $200. However, prices can range from $50 to $300 or more. It is recommended to get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services offered. Additionally, factors such as the presence of gutter guards, the need for repairs, and the frequency of cleaning can also affect the cost. 

How to prevent clogged gutters 

One effective way to prevent clogged gutters is by installing gutter guards. These guards act as barriers and prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering the gutters. Regular maintenance is also crucial in preventing clogs. This includes cleaning the gutters at least twice a year, particularly during the spring and fall when leaves and debris tend to accumulate the most. Additionally, trimming nearby trees can help minimize the amount of debris that falls into the gutters. It is also important to check for any leaks or damages in the gutters and repair them promptly. By taking these preventive measures, homeowners can avoid clogged gutters and the potential damage they can cause. 


Don’t underestimate the impact of clogged gutters on your home. By following the step-by-step guide provided above, you can effectively unclog your gutters and prevent further damage. Remember that regular maintenance and cleaning are key to keeping your gutters in top shape. If you prefer professional assistance, Happy Gutters is just a phone call away. Contact Happy Gutters at (360) 210-1115.

Take action today and ensure your gutters are free from clogs, protecting your home from costly repairs and potential damage caused by clogged gutters.

How much do Gutter Guards Cost?

Gutter guards cost

Gutter guards are an essential addition to any home as they help protect against water damage and clogged gutters. 

However, one of the most common questions homeowners ask is, “How much do gutter guards cost?” Giving a clear answer to this question isn’t simple because the price of gutter guards is influenced by different things.

In this blog, we’ll explore the different factors that impact the cost of gutter guards, as well as provide some estimated costs to help you budget for this essential home improvement project.

Factors that Impact the Cost of Gutter Guards

gutter guards install and materials

1. Materials

The material used to make the gutter guard is one of the most significant factors that impact the cost of gutter guards. The most common materials used for gutter guards are aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and vinyl. Aluminum and vinyl are the most affordable materials, while copper and stainless steel are the most expensive.

2. Type of Gutter Guards

The type of gutter guards you choose will also impact the cost. There are various types of gutter guards, including mesh, screens, reverse curves, and foam. Mesh and screens are the most affordable, while reverse curves and foam are the most expensive.

3. Size of Your Home

The size of your home is another factor that affects the cost of gutter guards. Larger homes require more materials, labor, and time to install, which increases the cost.

4. Labor Costs   

Another thing to think about is the amount of money you need to pay for the workers who will do the job, which is also known as labor cost. Installation costs can vary depending on where you live and the level of difficulty of the installation.

5. Style or Design of the Gutter Guard

The style or design of the gutter guard can also affect the cost. More advanced designs, such as surface-tension gutter guards, can cost more than simpler designs, such as mesh or screen gutter guards.

6. Additional Features

Some gutter guards come with additional features, such as heating elements to prevent ice buildup or pest repellents to keep rodents and insects out. These additional features can increase the cost of the gutter guards.

Estimated Gutter Guards Cost

how to install gutter guards

Now that we’ve explored the different factors that impact the cost of gutter guards, let’s take a look at some estimated costs for different types of homes.

Small Home

A small home, typically less than 1,000 square feet, you could anticipate a reasonable cost for a basic mesh or screen gutter guard.

Medium Home

A medium-sized home, between 1,000 and 2,500 square feet, the cost for a basic mesh or screen gutter guard would be in a moderate range.

Large Home

A large home, between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet, the cost of a basic mesh or screen gutter guard would be at a higher level.

Luxury Home

For upscale luxury homes featuring intricate gutter systems and high-quality materials like copper or stainless steel, the cost of gutter guard installation would be notably higher.

It’s important to note that these are just estimates, and the cost of gutter guards can vary based on the specific factors mentioned earlier.

In addition to the initial cost of installation, it’s also essential to consider the long-term cost savings of gutter guards. By installing gutter guards, you can save money on expensive gutter cleanings and repairs, as well as protect your home from water damage.


Gutter guards can increase the lifespan of your gutters by preventing clogs that can lead to rust, corrosion, and other damage. They can also reduce the risk of pest infestations, as clogged gutters are a breeding ground for insects and rodents.

When considering the cost of gutter guards, it’s important to also factor in the quality of the materials and installation. Cheaper gutter guards may save you money in the short term, but they may not be as effective in the long run and could lead to further expenses down the line.

It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable company with experience in gutter guard installation. Search for feedback and comments from people who used the service before. Don’t hesitate to request contact information of others who can vouch for the service’s quality.

How to Install Gutter Guards: A Step-by-Step Guide to Protect Your Home from Water Damage 

how to install gutter guards

Regularly cleaning gutters can be time-consuming, and it can be dangerous to climb ladders to reach gutters. Fortunately, gutter guards offer a practical solution to this problem. It prevents debris from entering your gutters while allowing water to flow through.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process, DIY vs Professional Gutter guards installation, how to install gutter guards and safety tips for installing gutter guards to protect your home from water damage and avoid the hassle of cleaning gutters.

What are Gutter Guards?

how to install gutter guards

Gutter guards are protective shields for your rain gutters. They’re designed to stop leaves, pine needles, and other small stuff from getting stuck inside. The main job of gutters is to direct rainwater away from your home’s foundation. 

But without gutter guards, debris can build up inside them, causing blockages and making water flow difficult. So, you’ll have to clean your gutters at least twice a year, usually in spring and fall, to keep them working properly.Installing gutter guards won’t completely get rid of the need for cleaning, but it will make the job easier and less frequent.

Process of Gutter Guards Installation

These are the essential steps for installing gutter guards, providing you with a clear and straightforward guide to protect your gutters from debris and maintain a functional gutter system. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure a successful and efficient installation process.

Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Gutter Guard 

The first step in installing is to choose the right type of guard for your gutters. There are various types of gutter guards available, including mesh screens, foam inserts, and solid covers. Each type of gutter screen has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential.

Mesh screens 

One of the most popular types, They are made of a fine mesh material that allows water to flow through while blocking debris. Mesh screens are relatively the best way to install gutter guards  and an affordable option for most homeowners. However, they can become clogged with fine debris, such as pollen and dust, reducing their effectiveness.

Foam inserts

Another popular type is foam inserts. They are made of a porous foam material that allows water to flow through while blocking debris. Foam inserts are easy to install and an affordable option for most homeowners. However, they can become clogged with fine debris, and they may deteriorate over time.

Solid covers

The most effective type of gutter guard. They are made of a tough material that covers the gutter’s top, making sure no dirt or junk can get in. Solid covers are the most durable option and require the least maintenance. However, they are also the most expensive type of gutter guard and may only be suitable for some types of gutters.

Step 2: Measure Your Gutters

Before  gutter guards installation, you need to measure your gutters to determine how much material you need. Measure each gutter’s length and the opening’s width at the top of the gutter. This will help you determine how much roof gutter guard material you need to cover each section of your gutters.

Step 3: Clean Your Gutters

Use a garden hose to flush out any debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. You can also use a gutter cleaning tool to remove any debris stuck in your gutters.

Step 4: How to install Gutter Guards 

Once you’ve chosen the right gutter guard and cleaned your gutters, you’re now ready to install. The installation process will vary depending on the gutter guard you’ve chosen, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

For mesh screens, you’ll need to cut them to the appropriate length and place them over the top of the gutter. Secure the screens in place using clips or screws. You’ll need to cut foam inserts to the appropriate length and place them inside the gutter. For solid covers, you’ll need to attach the covers to the top of the gutter using screws or adhesive.

Step 5: Test Your Gutter Guards 

It’s essential to test them to make sure they’re working correctly. Use a garden hose to simulate rainwater and ensure the water flows through the gutters and out the downspouts. If you notice any water flow problems, such as pooling or overflowing, adjust them as necessary

Step 6: Maintain Your Rain Gutter Guards

Gutter guards can help cut down on how often you need to clean the gutters, but don’t forget, they still need regular upkeep to work properly. Check your  gutter guards periodically for any signs of damage or clogging.

Remove any accumulated debris on the gutter guards and flush them with a garden hose. If you notice any damage or deterioration, replace the gutter guards as necessary.

DIY vs Professional Gutter Guard Installation

gutter guards

Gutter guards found at places like Lowe’s or Home Depot are designed for DIY installation. They are easy to install, usually requiring minimal tools and hardware, and they cost less than products meant for professional installation. 

On the other hand, you can choose to hire a professional to install the gutter guards for you. If you’re getting a new gutter system installed, the cost of gutter guards may be included in the overall price quoted by the company. 

Tips and Safety Precautions

Check out these cool tips to safely and effectively do your own DIY installation!

  • Use the Proper Equipment: To prevent damage to your gutters, avoid leaning a ladder against them while installing gutter guards. Instead, use an A-frame ladder or stand-off stabilizer. Additionally, prioritize your safety by wearing protective gear such as safety glasses, gloves, and a hard hat.
  • Practice Ladder Safety: To minimize the risk of accidents, limit the time spent on the ladder while installing gutter guards. Complete as much work as possible on the ground before ascending the ladder. If necessary, have a partner stabilize the ladder and hand you materials and tools while on the ladder.
  • Do the Prep Work: To ensure a successful installation of gutter guards, carefully read the instructions before beginning and clean your gutters thoroughly. Addressing any existing gutter issues before installing the guards will save you time and effort in the long run. 

Our Recommendation 

Gutter guard installation can be an easy and affordable home improvement project for homeowners who follow the above tips and advice. Foam and brush guards are designed for DIY gutter guard installation, but it’s important to note that some systems, such as micro-mesh and reverse curve guards, require professional installation.

Consider obtaining quotes from Happy Gutters  to determine if professional installation is a worthwhile investment. We can also advise on the best gutter guard for your home.