If you want to avoid a ladder to clean your gutters, you need the right tools. That starts with a high-pressure flusher, gutter vacuum attachment and a special pair of gutter tongs. This way, you can get the job done efficiently and safely from the ground.
Using a Vacuum
If you have a wet/dry vacuum, get a gutter attachment. This is available in most hardware shops or from your vacuum manufacturer. You can also use a leaf blower which has a reverse function.
They have a C-shaped nozzle kind of construction which can be a hooker to the gutter. A large-sized attachment comes for about $30 and is also easily available.
If you can’t buy an attachment, you can also make one rather easily. Get a couple of extension wands and attach them to each other with duct tape or gorilla tape to increase the length. Then attach that contraption to the nozzle of the vacuum and you can reach the gutter from ground level.
Place the attachment to the level of the gutter below the front section that needs cleaning. Make sure the open end is at the bottom of the gutter and switch on the vacuum.
You can run it as long as there is debris to be sucked out while making sure that the attachment is holding steady. Make sure the hook of the attachment doesn’t pull on the gutter and accidentally damage it.
This method works very well if you’re clearing out dry or partially wet debris.
Using Special Gutter Tongs
If you are dealing with wet or caked debris, the vacuum might not be strong enough to suck it out. There are many different types of cleaning tools in the market that are great to pull wet leaves. Gutter tongs are one such option. This is manual work and requires a lot more strength compared to vacuums and leaf blowers. So, be prepared for that.
Using a Garden Hose
You can also use a garden hose to clean your gutters if they are not clogged. You need to add a tube-like structure at the end of the hose. This gives you the ability to stay at ground level instead of a ladder.
You can flush the channel by starting at the point that is farthest from the downspout. Once you have removed as much debris as possible, you will notice that there is still some residue. Before it becomes dry, you must scoop this out by hand.
Using a Gutter Flusher
Gutter flushers are easily available in any hardware store or even online. It has a sprayer shaped like a hook and it is attached to a long pole. Sometimes, the flusher doesn’t come with one in which case you need to buy an extension pole. It’s pretty cheap.
Attach the flusher to the pole. See if you need a locking mechanism to make sure the connection is secure. This depends on the type of flusher you buy. Read the instruction manual of the flusher to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Open the water into the hose and move it into the gutter flusher. If you have a high-pressure jet and the water has pressure, you might be able to get rid of stubborn debris too. Sometimes, the key is to hold the nozzle at the right angle.
If you’re using a pressure washer, hold the trigger down and release the water. Ideally, you should do this one section at a time. And remember that this might increase your bills a bit because you will be using quite a bit of water. However, this is a relatively more efficient way of cleaning your gutter compared to garden hoses and vacuums.
There are quite a few other ways to do this too. You can kick it old school and remove the debris manually with a gutter rake. It is easily available with other outdoor cleaning equipment in any store.
All you need to do is hold the rake at an angle and away from yourself. Get it to the right spot and pull the pole to make sure that sticks, leaves and whatever other debris is present gets dragged out. Make sure to use protective gear like a face mask and sunglasses so that loose debris does not spill back.
Doing it manually might sound gross but for those of you on a budget, it is your best bet. It is also an extremely efficient way of removing wet and caked debris. Be prepared to put in a lot more physical effort and of course, the time it will take to get done with it. You might also want to schedule a couple of breaks because your arms will need them.
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