How to Clean Gutters?
Gutter cleaning is a vital part of regular home maintenance. Without it, you could face damage to the siding, roof, or foundation of your home.
Though it can be time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, there’s a good chance you can clean the gutters yourself. Below, we’ve outlined five great ways to clean your own gutters. However, if you’d like to consider hiring a gutter cleaner near you, we’ve got advice on that too.
5 Ways to Clean Gutters
Professional gutter cleaners basically remove any debris that prevents water from running freely through the gutters and downspouts. Depending on the landscape and where you live, that debris may include leaves, pine needles, sand, and even pests like carpenter ants. Many people, including you, are capable of doing the job themselves. Here are five ways to safely remove debris and keep water moving.
How to Clean Gutters with a Ladder and Your Hands
This is the most effective way to clean your gutters and the most common method used by professional gutter cleaners. While it may appear to be the simplest, it is not always the easiest way to clean gutters and can be dangerous. You’ll need a sturdy ladder and a pair of gloves. Place the ladder close enough to the house that you can comfortably reach into the gutter to scoop out debris. Drop the debris to the ground, where you then can rake or shovel it into a wheelbarrow for disposal. This may be the best way to clean gutters if you have thick, wet debris that’s fully stopped the flow of water.
How to Clean Gutters with a Leaf Blower
Look no further than your leaf blower if you want an easy way to clean gutters. Many models have a blower attachment that removes debris by concentrating the air into a narrow opening. Stand on the roof or a ladder, and use the leaf blower to remove light, dry debris. Some models even have an extension tube with a curved nozzle so you can clean the gutters from the ground. However, a blower may not work if you have heavily clogged gutters full of wet debris.
How to Clean Gutters with a Power Washer
Power washers work well for heavily clogged gutters and downspouts with a thick layer of grime. Use the power washer’s fine spray nozzle to blast away debris. This method makes a mess, so be prepared to wash the roof and sides of the house. You can also use a power washer to clean clogged downspouts as long as they don’t drain underground. (The clog may move underground where it can’t be easily accessed.) Keep spraying the downspout until all clogs are removed.
How to Clean Gutters with a Wet/Dry Vacuum
A wet/dry vacuum offers an easy(ish) way to clean gutters from the ground. First, you need a fairly powerful wet/dry vac equipped with an extension hose/tube and a curved nozzle to reach into the gutter. (Most home improvement stores carry these attachments in-house or online.) From there, the wet/dry vac sucks the debris out of the gutter. Loosen dried-on dirt and debris by agitating first.
How to Clean Gutters with a Garden Hose
Spray out the gutter debris using the garden hose to flush everything down the gutters and downspouts. However, you need the right circumstances for this method to work. First, the gutters shouldn’t have too much debris. Thick heavy clogs may simply get washed further down the gutter and clog the downspout. A hose may not have the pressure to clear a clogged downspout. Second, the downspouts should drain above ground so as not to clog an underground downspout system.
Final Tips on DIY Gutter Cleaning
Gutter cleaning costs stay relatively minimal when you take on the job yourself. No matter what method you use, safety always comes first. Use a sturdy ladder and recruit a helper to hold it while you work. If you’ll be on the roof, wear shoes with good traction. Wear safety glasses if you’ll be using a leaf blower or power washer. Finally, if you don’t have the equipment or the strength and balance to clean gutters yourself, look into hiring professional gutter cleaners with the home maintenance skills to do it for you.