Cleaning and Maintaining Cast Iron Gutters

By cleaning and maintaining your cast iron gutters you’ll be able to keep them in the best condition possible to do their job efficiently year after year.

Due to the material, cast iron may need to be treated slightly differently than PVC guttering, but the basic principles when it comes to maintenance are the same.

While we’d always recommend ongoing clearing, it’s best to clean your gutters in the late Autumn/early Winter – this is when most of the leaves will have fallen, and you can clear out the debris so your gutters are clear and ready to handle heavy rainwater during the gloomier seasons.

Equipment You Will Need

  • Ladder – to reach the gutters
  • Gloves – for protection from sharp debris
  • Trowel – to scoop up debris if you don’t want to use your hands
  • Bucket – to store the debris and empty later
  1. Make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
  2. Lean your ladder against your property, making sure it’s secure and won’t move.
  3. When you’re level with your gutter after climbing the ladder, begin by scooping out debris with your hands or your trowel. Debris could include leaves and sticks, litter and all manner of items.
  4. Once your gutter is clear, assess the entire length for rusting and holes in the cast iron. If you’re satisfied with this, you can either leave your gutter, or paint it.
  5. To ensure they are looking their best, you should paint your cast iron gutters every 10 years or so – do this, and they’ll last for decades.
  6. For gutter painting, take down your gutters and use a wire brush on all components to remove any loose/flaky paint and rust.
  7. If necessary or you have the equipment on hand, feel free to also pressure wash your gutters to ensure they’re completely clear.
  8. Usually the painting process will be the same – apply a layer of undercoat and one to two layers of paint, making sure each layer is fully dry in between applications. However, certain brands and manufacturers will have different recommendations for painting, so it’s best to follow these if you can.
  9. Once your paint job is complete and your gutters have been reinstalled, you could apply oil putty as a final step. This will help give the cast iron a nice, sleek finish, but also will prevent leaks from occurring so easily in the future.