The Easiest Way to Clean Gutters: A Complete Guide
Gutters are one of the toughest parts of a house to clean. Because of their location, you will almost always need to climb up a ladder. Unfortunately, cleaning gutters is risky.
Half a million Americans suffer from ladder-related injuries annually. About 97% of these accidents occur at home or in farms.
With all the cleaning tools you need to bring with you, the risk of slipping off the ladder increases exponentially.
What is the easiest way to clean gutters? The answer may surprise you. The answer varies depending on certain factors. These factors require certain kinds of approaches to achieve the best possible results.
Though there is the option of hiring a professional gutter cleaning company, there are ways of cleaning your gutters using various tools and equipment. Let’s take a look at some of the best methods of cleaning your gutters.
Make Safety a Priority
Regardless of the cleaning tools you use, one thing remains constant: safety. Prioritize your safety by wearing the right protective gear. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of rubber gloves.
These will protect your arms and hands from protruding twigs and other debris.
Like it or not, the ladder is still your friend. Never clean your gutters from on top of the roof. Invest in a good extendable ladder.
It is best to get a ladder that comes with standoff stabilizers. These “horns” help keep the ladder from damaging the gutters while cleaning.
You should also grab a small plastic scoop. Use this scoop to remove the gunk from the gutter.
The next step is to examine the current condition of the gutters. You need to find out what kind of debris is in there. You need to determine if there is clogging or if there are only light twigs and leaves.
This step is crucial as it will become the basis for your cleaning method.
The Power Washer
If you cannot remember the last time you cleaned your gutters, then it is likely full of gunk and debris buildup. This buildup is tough to take out, especially if you are planning to use only your hands or a scoop.
Thus, you need to use a power washer in this instance. The power washer comes with a fine-spray nozzle. It uses high pressure to blast water that is strong enough to clear away clogged gutters.
To use the power washer, point the nozzle down the hole. Turn the washer on and rinse the shaft. Continue doing so until you see the water running freely through it.
The good thing about power washers is you can connect some helpful attachments to it. If you are not comfortable climbing up the ladder, you should consider using a telescopic wand. Get a wand that comes with a u-shaped attachment in the end.
This will allow you to clean the gutters even if you are on the ground.
After cleaning, you can pick the debris from the ground using a rake. You can also sweep them using a water broom.
The Leaf Blower
If trees surround your home, there is a big possibility that your gutters are full of leaves. In this instance, your best bet is to use a leaf blower.
Like the power washer, the leaf blower also comes with a nozzle attachment. This nozzle allows the blower to release a narrow stream of air.
To commence with the cleaning, position your ladder that will allow you to blow slowly toward the downspout. Continue blowing while moving forward gradually.
But make sure not to blow the leaves into the downspout. To complete the cleaning process, use a garden hose to remove any remaining twigs or leaves.
Additionally, you can find a blower that comes with a special attachment similar to the power washer. This attachment is perfect if you do not feel like using the ladder.
The Wet/Dry Vacuum
In case you find heavier debris in your gutters, you can try taking it out using a wet/dry vacuum. Make sure to use special hoses that come with curved attachments. This will help you finish the job even if you are on the ground.
If you see some hardened dirt, you may need to moisten them a bit. Blast them with some water using your garden hose. Thereafter, suck them up using your vacuum.
Using a wet/dry vacuum will save you time from cleaning debris from the ground.
The Garden Hose
If your gutters don’t clog that often, your trusty garden hose is enough to keep the former clean. Much like the other methods, you can clean using the ladder or while on the ground. If you choose the latter, you need to get a tube attachment with a curved end.
Clean from the opposite end of the downspout. Gradually move forward while removing any small debris by hand.
The Old-School Way
Last but not least, there is the old-school way of cleaning by hand. Apart from the ladder and rubber gloves, you will need a gutter scoop and a bucket.
Slowly grab or scoop the leaves and debris. Place them all inside the bucket. Do so until you reach the downspout. Thereafter, use your garden hose to flush the gutters.
If you notice some clogging in your downspout, take a plumber’s snake to dislodge the obstruction. Complete the process by rinsing the downspout with your hose.
Knowing the easiest way to clean gutters will save you time and energy. It will also help protect the structural integrity of your home.
But having clean gutters is not enough. You need to cover all bases to keep your home in great condition.