In autumn, the leaves do more than just change colors – they also fall to the ground and into your gutters. If the prospect of crawling around the roof and clawing gunk with a gloved hand has you procrastinating this chore, consider that there’s a better way to clean your gutters! We’ve got two words for you: power tools. Check out these unconventional gutter-cleaning methods, and then get to work!
A Word of Caution
Before you break out your creative gutter cleaning tools, make sure you exercise extreme caution when working on high rooftops or ladders. Follow these tips to keep yourself safe:
- For high rooftops, use an extension ladder.
- Protect your hands with thick suede gloves and wear work goggles to protect your eyes.
- We advise against walking on the roof unless completely necessary. From the roof, leaning ‘downhill’ to reach the gutter increases your risk of falling. Accessing the roof and gutters while using an extension ladder is the safest. We also recommend waiting until midday when the roof is dry.
- Before beginning to clean the gutters, make sure you clear debris off the roof itself, so your gutters don’t clog again as soon as it rains! You can do this with a leaf blower or broom.
- If possible, clean the gutters with help from another person to hold the ladder.
- Don’t forget to clear out the downspouts when you clean the gutters. A flexible rod with a brush on the end, which is commonly used for cleaning dryer vents are great for this. Then, run water thru the downspout to make sure it’s clear all the way out.
Just as it replaces tedious raking on the ground, using a leaf blower to clean your gutters prevents the need to remove debris by hand. The most straightforward method is to climb a ladder onto the roof and walk along the edge, blowing the leaves out of the gutter as you go.
A safer method is to use an extension kit. This extends and curves your leaf blower’s reach, so you can clean the gutters while standing on the ground. You must wear googles when using this method, as you are standing directly below all that gets blown out. This is a messy but effective method so prepare for debris to fall on you!
If a storm hit before you had a chance to clean your gutters, the leaves may be sticky and wet. This makes leaf blowers and air compressors more challenging to work with. In this case, a better method may be to use a power washer. Because of the force behind a high-pressure power washer, we recommend using a telescoping wand with a u-shaped attachment at the end so you can clean the gutters from ground level.
When you’re finished cleaning, the debris will litter the ground at the bottom of the downspouts. You can pick this up with a rake or gloved hands, or you can “sweep” it away with a water broom. Debris may end up on your siding, windows and anything else underneath. Consider removing patio furniture, etc. and be prepared to power rinse your home afterward, if needed.
Don’t want to pick up a mess on the ground after cleaning your gutters? Do it all at once by vacuuming the gunk with a wet/dry vac. You can do this while standing on a ladder or, again, you can purchase an extension kit that allows you to reach the gutters from terra firma.
Get Help with Gutter CleaningEven with creative gutter cleaning tools at your side, this is still a chore you probably dread. If you don’t have the time or physical capability to clean the gutters yourself, turn the job over to Mr. Handyman. We offer professional gutter cleaning services, so you never have to handle this task yourself ever again. To learn more, or to request gutter cleaning at your home, please contact us today.