Chinook Roofing Blog

3 Guidelines for Gutter Cleaning

Posted on: December 10, 2014

Average annual rainfall in Washington is over 38 inches. Whether you’re a long-time Puget Sound resident or new to the area, you need to know how to combat clogged gutters so your home stays secure in the rain. Leaves, dirt, and other debris can keep your gutters from functioning and could ultimately lead to foundation cracks. Find out the causes of poorly functioning gutters and how you can fix the problem with gutter cleaning or a better system.

K-style gutters

K-style gutters


Wind, Rain, and Gutters

Rain might seem like the cause of water damage, but it’s a secondary problem. If gutters aren’t working the way they should be, water travels to the wrong place. HouseLogic explains that water collecting adjacent to a home’s foundation can cause soil to swell and then weaken the walls and foundation with its force. One way to avoid foundation cracks is to redirect rainfall with hardworking gutters.

Wind can also be a contributor, with more twigs, plants, or bits of gravel driven into the gutters during windy weather.

Gutter Cleaning Tips

HouseLogic recommends a minimum of half-yearly gutter cleaning for homes with trees close by, yearly cleaning for homes without neighboring trees, and as needed to clear out debris following storms.

Use these guidelines from HouseLogic to clean your gutters:

  • Prep the area. HouseLogic advises laying a plastic tarp over your yard to catch dirt, leaves, and other build up from gutter cleaning. Don’t forget to shelter any patio furniture, kids’ toys, delicate outdoor décor, and vehicles as well.
  • Use the right tools. Set up the right ladder, and add a ladder standoff to decrease weight on the gutters. HouseLogic suggests digging out gutter clogs with “a small plastic scoop” or borrowing a shovel from a kid’s sand set. Once gutters are clear, HouseLogic instructs turning on your garden hose to rinse gutters and downspouts, while keeping an eye out for cracks, holes, or damage that contributes to leaks.
  • Stay safe. HouseLogic suggests dressing in long sleeves and rubber gloves, and you can even add a hat if you’re concerned about falling waste. Check the weather to make sure you’re not about to perform gutter cleaning during an approaching storm. Snow, hail, rain, and wind can all be dangerous elements while mounting a ladder outside.

New Gutter Installation

Better solve gutter problems by installing a new system to keep rain off your roof and house. Your current gutters might be in poor shape, or could be better designed to withstand Washington’s frequent rainfall.

From K-style to copper, see more gutters from Chinook roofing so you can fight back against Washington weather. We can help you find the right gutter system for your home’s style and structure.


Chinook Roofing & Gutters is a full service roofing company with expert cross-trained installers for both commercial-industrial and residential roofing projects. We provide Tacoma roof repair and installation as well as Tacoma gutter installation with a service area that extends throughout the Puget Sound region, including our home base of Fife, as well as Gig Harbor, Puyallup,  Milton and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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The only thing better than our new roof is the company who installed it. Kind and capable people from the inspection and estimate to impeccable clean up. Thank you so much!