Best ways to clean a shed gutter and not need do it again for years to come

I recently cleaned a shed roof and at the time I noticed the gutter was full. Quite clearly over a number of years the moss and debris had gathered causing a blockage. What was clear though, this gutter had been cleared before and it was a recurring problem. For whatever reason, seagulls or birds nesting, this was clearly a problem beyond normal debris gathering over time. So first I set about completely clearing the guttering out and then I looked at systems to ensure it’ll never need doing again and this led me to writing an article with a few handy tips that’ll save you time and hassle. After all, cleaning the shed gutter is a job we don’t ever want to think about if it can be avoided.

What’s in this guide to cleaning a shed gutter

Is your gutter literally full of decomposed leaves and moss?
Clean the gutter by removing it and washing it out
What if you can’t remove the gutter to clean it?
Gutter brush system – maintenance free gutters for years to come?

Is your gutter literally full of decomposed leaves and moss?

If you’ve bought a house that’s been neglected or guilty of not paying your gutter the attention it needs then over the course of about ten years a gutter will end up completely blocked. Even quicker if you have an ivy growing up the wall and roof that needs removing. Depending on the height of the gutter it is almost always easier to remove it (assuming it’s a modern PVC gutter).

Move onto the next step if you can’t remove the gutter for whatever reason.

Clean the gutter by removing it and washing it out

If you have someone holding at the other end simply unclip it. However, this is easier said than done. The clips are pretty stiff. The trick is slightly fold in the flexible gutter and this will help to release it from the clips. Be as gentle as you can though. An aged PVC gutter may have brittle plastic and be more prone to breaking. All in all though, if you don’t want to make a mess of your shed like the picture below the effort of removal is invariably worth it.

Mess from jet washing the shed gutter

Once you’ve removed the gutter, carefully carry it to a flower bed and place the soil/decomposed leaves there. This will be superb for the plants as well. Then it’s a simple case of hosing down and scrubbing out the debris. Carefully place the gutter back in position and ensure the clips are properly engaged so it never comes loose. Now you’ll want to miss the step below – this is for those of us unfortunate enough to not be able to remove the gutter to clean.

What if you can’t remove the gutter to clean it?

Although it was PVC, in my case it wasn’t practical to remove the gutter so then it sadly becomes a nasty job of slowly removing the decomposed leaves and moss by hand. So what I did was put on a pair of kitchen gloves and got stuck in, slowly moving my tripod ladder along the gutter. A set of steps would be more practical but this worked fine. Shockingly, the earth was so compacted I actually needed a hand fork to loosen some! I methodically moved along the gutter with a rubble sack filling as I went. Warning. This gutter was 5 metres long and by the end I had a seriously heavy rubble sack. In hindsight I would have broken the job up to avoid carrying that much dead weight with me.

Once you’ve removed the bulk of the debris and earth it’ll still look pretty grotty. I was cleaning the roof and so I didn’t mind blasting it with a petrol pressure washer. I used my Wilks 750 petrol pressure washer and this cleared the gutter in minutes. I do warn you in advance, this is a messy job.

Shed gutter after being cleaned with petrol pressure washer

The fact that I was cleaning the shed exterior walls and roof meant it was already messy and no hassle at all. The other option is a hosepipe and a rag, especially if you have an expandable hose pipe with a lot of flex and it’s lightweight, slowly cleaning your way along. A superb tip is to place a bucket or watering can on the gutter soil pipe to steadily bucket away this nutrient rich water to the flower bed. This will also reduce your cleaning up time after too. Here’s what your floor will look like if you don’t follow this super tip.

Remember to put a bucket under your shed down pipe to catch the mess

Articles of interest for sheds:

Best Shed if you’re looking for a new shed.

Best Shed Base if you plan a refurbishment project this might be of interest.

Shed Alarm because once you’ve repaired your shed then you’ll need to secure it.

Basic equipment you’ll need to clean the guttering:


Gutter brush system – maintenance free gutters for years to come?

This is the real deal! Some clever guy came up with the idea of a gutter brush system. Essentially it’s a load of brushes that stop leaves and moss ever falling and settling in the gutter. You simply lay it in your gutter and then clip it in. Advanced warning here that’ll really help you. The gutter brush clips don’t come with the section so make sure you order them as well. They hold the gutter brush in the gutter and stop the wind blowing them out. However they are a bit expensive for a piece of plastic, mainly because they know you’ll need it in my mind. If you don’t mind seeing them, you could cable tie them into place. It may be a little fiddly but at 75p each for the clips I just feel a bit ripped off, however good the system is.

You also want a gutter guard to place in the soil down pipe and pop your water butt back in place. Again this stops any debris falling and settling in the gutter. Once installed it’ll look like this:

Gutter brush looks pretty good

That’s it, maintenance free shed guttering. I know what you’re thinking – how can it be that easy? Well honestly the brush gutter system works and this will probably be the last time you clean that gutter for a decade!

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message:

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