Gardening expert on how to clean out your gutters using a ‘plastic milk carton’

B&Q explains best way to clear out gutters

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As the weather becomes more windy and wet across the UK, many homes may have noticed their gutters are suffering as a result. Clogged gutters can lead to leaks going into your homes and even flooding. In extreme cases, basements can become flooded and foundations can crack.

In a 2012 video for B&Q, Matt James shared how to clean out your gutters with a plastic milk carton.

He said: “Regularly clearing out gutters and down pipes makes for a lighter work later on.

“It stops a system from getting blocked with debris which can lead to long-term water damage if you’re not careful.”

A one pint milk carton costs 55p from Morrisons while a two pint carton costs 80p from Iceland.

Using a plastic milk carton may sound like a strange hack but it could avoid you a costly job in the future.

Matt explained that to use a milk carton, you need to cut off the bottom.

He said: “A plastic milk carton with the bottom cut off makes an ideal scoop for clearing out old leaves and debris.

“Always move the ladder along the gutter so you don’t over-stretch.

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“Also attach your bucket to the ladder with a butcher’s hook to keep your hands free while you’re cleaning away.

“It’s an ideal opportunity to check the state of your gutters and check for cracks that need sealing or to see if you need to repair brackets if the guttering is sagging.”

While it may sound like common sense, it’s important you practise ladder safety when cleaning out your gutters.

Ensure the ladder is on a level surface and that you’re proper against something secure.

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Matt added: “Also, try not to go up there if it’s too windy and always make sure you have got somebody at the bottom like me just spotting the ladder and keeping it steady.

“Matt also said to use heavy-duty gloves to clear out the gutters.

“Stones and sharp objects can sometimes end up in gutters so using gloves will ensure your hands don’t get damaged.”

The gardening expert said cleaning out gutters is “relatively straightforward”.

However, cleaning out down pipes could be “more tricky”.

You may need to use drain rods to clean out the gutters.

But to avoid the problem all together, you can use a mesh over the pipe.

Cut it to size and then stick it over the top of the down pipe.

It collects the leaves for you to then put on the compost bin.

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