When things really go wrong with your property, the applicable holiday home, buy to let or unoccupied property insurance policy (or indeed one of the many other types of property policies available) is there to give you peace of mind. But when it comes to general up keep, the buck remains firmly with you, the property owner.

And in the world of ‘up keep’, clearing out the gutter and downpipes is often at the very bottom of most property owners’ to-do list. But here are some handy tips to help you clean out these crucial exterior fittings with ease:

*Try to clean your gutters in the drier months of spring or autumn (but if you haven’t done it for a while, it’s still very much worth doing this winter).

*Check the weather and plan to clean your gutter when the weather is dry; dry debris is much easier to remove than wet.

*Items that will help you clean your gutter: trowel, a ladder, wire hooks, buckets, garden hose and a sturdy pair of work gloves.

*Items that will help for any repairs: sealant, drill, touch-up paint – and any hardware required.

*If you don’t like heights or working on ladders, hire a professional to do the job for you.

*When clearing out the gutter, remove any large pieces of debris first, as this can loosen the smaller pieces and any compounded dirt.

These tips should help you clean out your gutters more easily, and limit any damage to your roof caused by overflowing water. Equally, it should reduce any damage caused by water landing on your foundations and entering your basement – if you have one.