Best Gutter Cleaning Tools for the Average Homeowner
Most people understand the important role that gutters play in protecting a home from water damage. Gutters collect runoff water from rain or melting snow, and carry it away from the walls of the house, while simultaneously preventing it from pooling at the base of the home where it can adversely affect the foundation. Therefore, it’s important to keep the gutters clean and clear.
Most people are also familiar with the fact that gutters tend to fill up with leaves and other organic debris, and occasionally they get so stuffed that you can’t help but see a nice fall ensemble of reds, oranges, and yellows peeking over the edge, reminding you that once again, your gutters need to be cleaned.
Now you can certainly hire someone to come out and climb up your roof (if necessary) or stand on the ground with their far-reaching specialized equipment and clean those gutters out.
But if you’re feeling up to the challenge, here are a few pieces of gutter cleaning equipment the average homeowner can utilize to clean the gutters of their home…and some of them don’t even require you to step up onto a ladder!
Gutter Cleaning Applicator
Why not start by cleaning the outside of the gutter? After all, it also gets dirty and grimy from weather-related exposure as the seasons go by. A gutter cleaning applicator like the one made by MarxOff, which comes with a lambswool pad, will match the contour of your gutter as it wipes away undesired stains.
It can be attached to an extendable painters pole, so you won’t have to ascend and descend a ladder as you work your way along the gutter in an effort to clean its exterior. You can typically use any kind of all-purpose cleaner to wash away the dirt on the exterior. It might be best to clean out the inside of the gutters first before using this tool and using it as a final touch on the job.
That’s right…I said tongs. You know, the things you use to roll hot dogs around the barbecue or to move coals around? Tongs are great for removing wet debris from the gutter, especially if it’s too wet or heavy to be vacuumed or blown out, and you don’t feel like sticking your hand into something like a Halloween mystery box of peeled grapes and wet noodles.
If you’re not up for getting up on a ladder or squatting at the edge of the roof while reaching outward (we really, really, don’t recommend that last one for safety reasons), there is actually a cool device made by Gutter Sense that you can operate from the ground with tongs that can be controlled and angled from the end of a long pole, which can reach up to two stories.
We wonder if it can also be extended over a fence into your neighbor’s yard to scoop hamburgers off the grill when they aren’t looking…
That’s right…you heard us correctly: robots. The iRobot Looj 330 BlackGutter Cleaning Robot is a cheeky little fellow with a spinning brush that can clean out your gutters as it crawls along on its miniature tractor treads, guided by a remote control that you can conveniently hold in your hands as you stand on the ground down below.
Please take note, however, that you will have to climb up a ladder to place iRobot Looj in the gutter and remove it once its work is done—and possibly perform an occasional rescue operation in the face of wet and stubborn debris—unless of course you use a drone to lift it up onto the roof (a drone is not included…you’re going to have to figure that one out on your own).
It comes with a hefty price tag (around $300) especially when compared to some of the other options listed here, like tongs at the end of a telescoping extension pole, but it gets good reviews, and its cost is probably less than you would pay to have someone come over and do the same job.
Gutter-Related Vacuum Accessories
If dry debris like leaves, twigs, and pine needles constitute the bulk of what’s filling up your gutter, you might consider taking a regular old leaf blower or shop vac (you know, that barrel on wheels that looks a little bit like R2D2 from Star Wars) and attaching some extensions and curved parts to the end, so you can reach up into the gutters without needing to climb a ladder and blow some hurricane-force winds over that stubborn organic debris.
While this won’t be a practical solution for cleaning your gutters of ice or snow in the winter months, it does facilitate a much easier spring and fall cleanup from the comfort of sea level (especially for those who don’t like heights).
Sometimes it’s best to just release a high-pressure stream of water and blast all unwanted debris out of the gutter with good old fashioned H2O. You can buy extension poles and curved units to add on to your existing power-washer, or for those who don’t have one already, a device like the Karcher Follow Me K3 can be equipped with a right angle extension wand for an extra $50, allowing you to power wash the gutters without climbing a ladder.
Get ready to wash, sweep, and rake the area around your home after a good gutter cleaning, because the high-velocity stream of water will make debris fly all over the place. An additional benefit of a power washing device is that it can also be used for cleaning other areas of your home, such as the driveways, sidewalks, and siding.
There are also gutter cleaning “wands” like the Orbit 58543 Telescoping Gutter Cleaning Wand with Ratcheting Head that is similar to a power washer, and their exclusive function is to spray water into the gutter to clean it out, inspiring a unique design with a ratcheting, telescopic head.
When it comes to maintaining your gutters, why not do a little preventative care and install some gutter guards? Gutter guards are essentially screens that keep out debris like falling leaves and pine needles, while still allowing water to pass through as it travels off the roof and into the gutter.
With gutter guards in place, the majority of debris will be blocked out, but it’s still recommended that you clean your gutters twice annually, because the gaps between guards increase over time, allowing debris to enter and create a clog there. Even so, gutter guards are an incredibly useful tool for minimizing the debris you’ll find during biannual cleanings of your gutters.
Some of the options we mentioned above do not require a ladder, but others do, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a high-quality, sturdy, solid, reliable, and dependable extension ladder.
While you can hopefully address gutter-related maintenance from the ground by using some of the wonderful remote tools and extensions we’ve discussed, there may be times when you might need to take a look-see and find out what’s going on, so make sure you don’t have to ascend towards the scene of investigation on a rickety old ladder: get a good quality extension ladder.
Turn To Feldco For Your Gutter Replacements
Are you tired of your old gutters? Get your gutters replaced with heavy gauge aluminum gutters from Feldco. Pick out a color that you’ll like and Feldco will provide you with a professional installation. With over 350,000 delighted customers across the Midwest, Feldco is the most trusted company for your home remodeling project. We’ve been happy to serve homeowners across the Midwest and we are proud of the recognition we received from window and door magazine. Get a free quote and speak to a product specialist!