_Gutters and downspouts are designed to guide rainwater off your roof and they are drained away from your house. This prevents flooding in the basement and helps protect your windows, doors, walls, and foundation.  Gutters should be checked and maintained regularly because leaves and debris can clog it up, If it gets clogged up, the gutter will overflow causing damage to your wood and metal. Water can even enter your house through the walls if the gutter isn't installed properly.  Also, watch out for mosquitoes. If there is any standing water in your gutters, it can become a breeding place for them.  If you want to know more about this, check out How To Clean Gutters.  When you're going to clean your gutter, make sure you have the proper cleaning equipments. Create a checklist so that you won't forget.  Listed below are the materials that you will be needing: 1. A sturdy ladder - Don't lean the ladder against the gutter and downspout because you might break or bend it.  2. Wear non-slip shoes or boots, work gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask - This is to protect yourself from any accidents.

   3. Get a narrow garden trowel or hand spade - This is used for scooping out the leaves and debris.  4. Large garbage bags - You can tie the garbage bag on the ladder. This is where you will be putting the debris.  5. A garden hose with a spray attachment - Make sure that you have enough water pressure.  6. Bring a gutter sealant - This is used to repair any cracks in the gutter.  7. A plumber's snake - You will be using this if your downspout is clogged.  Now that you have your materials. Do this step-by-step cleaning instructions.  First, start cleaning at the area near the downspout. Then, scoop out leaves and debris using the narrow garden trowel. Throw the debris in the garbage bag. If there is a solid or caked dirt, wet it down before scooping. When the garbage bag is full, securely tie it then just drop it below.  Second, upon removing all the leaves and debris, clean the gutter with the garden hose. Spray the gutter until no debris can be seen. This is the best time to check if the downspout is clogged. If it is, hose down the downspout to clear any stuck debris. If it doesn't work, use a plumber's snake to loosen and remove the debris out.

   Third, when hosing the gutter, check for any cracks because water can leak through it. Use the sealant to repair it. Also, check for any loose screws or see if the gutter is hanging properly. If not, repair it immediately.  If you don't have time to clean the gutters yourselves, you can call a cleaning company that can do it. For more info, visit How To Clean Gutters