It took my brother-in-law visiting from New Zealand for me to finally understand how I am supposed to clean my gutters.

You may have someone who cleans your gutters for you. You might also have a newer model of gutter than I have which means you may have some kind of gutter guard. I have metal gutters that were probably put on my house in 1970. They work and they are strong but they can collect all kinds of stuff that ends up blocking them up.

I was keeping good track of my gutters. Every fall I would clean out the leaves so that the downspout couldn't back up. I also have a roof rake which I use after every snowstorm in the winter to prevent the snow from backing up in the gutters and causing ice damming.

Thomas Etzkorn/Townsquare Media Hudson Valley

If you asked me if I knew what I was doing with gutters I would have told you yes. The trouble was every spring into summer I would run into an issue with storms where my gutters would just overflow. I knew I had gotten all the leaves out but every time it rains my gutters would back up.

Drew Angerer

Then my brother-in-law stop through for a visit and showed me what I was doing wrong all this time. I was cleaning out the big stuff but I was leaving behind all the muck. And by muck, I mean the stuff that washes off the roof which I now call the remnants of the spring. I wasn't thinking about all the stuff that comes off the trees in the spring when the leaves bloom, turns out that stuff can really back up a gutter.


So after I learned you should sweep off your roof, I learn you should wash out your gutters. I guess I never actually saw anyone do it that way before. It made so much sense. Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that have you stumped.


And just so you know if you aren't a fan of climbing on your roof with a broom and hose there are people you can hire who do it for a living. I learn something new every day.

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