Gutter cleaning tools for cleaning gutters from the ground.
If your like most folks, the idea of walking on a roof or climbing tall ladders can be intimidating. Most people begin to search for a better way to clean their gutters.
Before we started cleaning gutters for our clients we faced similar problems. Our house had more than 100 feet of gutters. It was always a hassle to set up the ladder and clean the rain gutters.
Before we got the tools we have now, we tested various products from online stores to clean our gutter system. Each one had their own strengths and weaknesses.
Leaf blower attachments
To be honest this one worked better than most. I need to qualify this statement, however. As a lawn service, we run top-of-the-line leaf blowers running $800 or more. With that sort of power, it would blast out most of whatever I needed it to for my personal use.
I did use one of my small handheld blowers but it did begin to struggle if I let the leaves and pine needles accumulate. Doing this approach weekly in the fall and every two months the rest of the year could be effective with smaller leaf blowers. The key is not to let the gutter debris get piled up.
There are a couple of concerns with this approach. Caution should be used to ensure the nozzle is staying in the gutters. If the air stream is allowed to drift across the roof the forced air could lift shingles causing damage.
Using leaf blowers without gutter attachments while walking on the roof has a greater chance of lifting shingles. Blowing them out from ground level with a gutter attachment is less of a problem. Nonetheless, it is something to be aware of. The stronger the leaf blower is the greater this risk becomes.
The biggest drawback with any approach that blows leaves and debris out of gutters is it often makes a major mess. If it is wet, you will be covered in debris. Eye protection is a must.
The wet leaves and pine needles also tend to stick to the sides of the house making it dirty. Even when they are dry it ends up in shrubs and flower beds.
However, the leaf blower used to blow out the gutters can help clean this up if it is powerful enough. However, this does add more work to this maintenance task.
Power washer attachments
I had some serious concerns with this approach when I first saw it. I was concerned about the potential for shingle damage, whether you're on the ground or walking on the roof. As fatigue sets in the odds of drifting over shingles and causing damage will only increase.
As with using the leaf blower with gutter attachments, wet debris will shower down on anyone who uses this method of gutter cleaning. In my opinion, a pressure washer isn't a safe way to clean gutters.
Garden hose pole attachment
Because of the lower pressure, this one appealed to me and was one of the options I purchased and tried. This one is kind of along the same lines as using a leaf blower with a gutter attachment. If used every month this could be a decent option. In months where debris isn't coming down as fast, it seemed like it wouldn't be too bad to use.
In the fall, when leaves come down quicker, I suggest this tool be used weekly. If it accumulates too many leaves, it won't be able to remove them.
I will say when I tried it I was absolutely soaked by the end of it. On a cold fall day, I wouldn't look forward to doing this every week. However if one is determined and unphased, this would probably be my second recommendation if it is used very frequently.
Grabbers or clamps attached to extension poles
I had high hopes for this actually. I was very disappointed.
They usually have a pull string to close the clamps on the debris that's in the gutter. Pulling the rope while holding up the pole is an intense workout if doing the whole house. That's coming from a guy used to hard physical labor each day.
At the time my house had gone about six months without being cleaned. We have a lot of trees around that house so it filled up pretty quickly even being cleaned twice a year.
I managed to clean around 90 linear feet with the tool before it broke into pieces. If it hadn't broken it would have been an option. However the tool and other tools like it are made from plastics that can't handle heavy wet gutter debris.
Using a shop vacuum with PVC poles
Another idea I really liked. This approach greatly influenced how we clean gutters.
I did a lot of research on this technique. The biggest issue I found was that any of the vacuums that ran on 120vs were underpowered. If used every couple of months this could be a viable option.
It doesn't drop piles of wet debris on operators and shrubs. Shop vacuums often have small drums so do expect to have to empty the contents frequently.
Like with many of the other options listed here, this system is only going to work if it is consistent. When the gutters are full and wet, the shop vac gets clogged often and can't remove the heavy debris effectively.
If a homeowner wants to save a couple of bucks using a wet dry vacuum with PVC poles or the leaf blower with gutter attachments are viable options for gutter cleaning. Homeowners investing in this method of gutter cleaning will need to ask themselves if they realistically have time to keep up with this maintenance task.
These methods, while doable, are underpowered. It is important that this is done weekly in the fall and every month or two during other times of the year. Although these methods can save money, homeowners may find that their time is more valuable than the savings.
If you would like to pass this responsibility to a reliable gutter cleaning service, Advance Lawn Care has the tools needed clean gutters quickly and safely. Our powerful 220v gutter vacuums are run off a generator we bring on-site and can power through most debris. Our professional gutter cleaners can flush the gutters while you focus on work and family.
Gutter maintenance protects your home. Damage to your home can be prevented by ensuring your gutters and downspouts aren't clogged.