Cleaning the gutters is not fun and there is no easy way to do it.
****NOTE: 9/2014 - I had to remove all of these after 2 years, totally clogged, big problem********
Motivation for this instructable:
I'm hoping to think of a better way to keep the gutters clean.
Why have gutters? Without gutters the rain would erode the base of the house and flood the basement. If the gutters are clean and slanted correctly, all the water from the roof will run down the downspout and you can divert it away from the foundation and maybe into rain barrels or a garden.
When the gutters are filled with leaves the water is trapped and rots the side of the house. The water may also overflow towards the house and cause the paint to peel.
Here are links to the stuff I used:
GutterStuff EZ 5-Inch K Style Foam Gutter Filter Insert, 32-Feet
Fiskars 7978 Composite Trowel
Step 1: Tools and Stuff
You will at least need a ladder and a scoop. Often there are minor repairs so it is good to have a drill and exterior screws. We already have a mesh screen on the gutters, I am also adding foam strips I got at Costco.
Step 2: Put Up the Ladder
Lean the ladder against the house. I rest it on the gutters with a few rungs over the edge. I have never fallen off a ladder, but I have dropped a latter on my head, so watch out for that.
Step 3: Clear Off the Big Stuff and Take Off the Gutter Gaurds
There is a thick layer of pine needles and leaves on top of the gutter screens. Wipe this off and pull out the old gutter guards.
Step 4: Kill Hornets and Remove Nests
This hornet spray makes a thick foam, trapping the wasps. This is good if you are close to the nest. Often the spray cans are very powerful so watch out for splatter.
Here is a video:
Step 5: Scoop Out the Gunk
Alot of little stuff makes it through the mesh gutters. Some maple trees are growing. Use a little shovel to scoop all this out. Chuck it on the ground.
Step 6: Make Repairs
In some spots the gutters have pulled away from the house. Tack them back in place with deck screws.
Step 7: Jam the Foam Gutter Guards Into the Gutters
Step 8: Work the Foam in Under the Supports
The foam has to be forced under the gutter supports. Be careful not to push the ladder over.
Step 9: Replace the Screens
Step 10: Take a Break
Step 11: Cut the Last Piece
The last piece will probably have to but cut to fit. The foam can be torn by hand. The mesh screens have to be cut with heavy scissors.
Step 12: Note Damage
There maybe spots that are too damages to fix at the time. Take a picture or make a note to fix these spots, it can be hard to remember.