The best way to clean gutters involves removing debris from the roof, clearing the gutters of debris, flushing gutters and downspouts, checking for loose or missing hardware, adjusting hangers, straps and downspouts, and testing the gutters for proper flow. While it is a task that a homeowner could do, professional gutter cleaning provides these as well as other important services and is able to do the job safely and with the proper equipment.
Gutter Cleaning Steps
Roof: Access the roof and clear debris away from gutter edge, valley, chimney blocks, and other areas before clearing gutters.
Gutters: Remove debris from inside the gutter channel manually or with tools and bag.
Flush: Flush gutters with water or air from hand held blower.
Inspect: Check all screws, hangers, brackets, and straps to ensure they are tight and that there is no damage.
Test: Flush gutters with water this time to check for proper flow and discharge from downspouts.
In This Article
- Gutter Cleaning Steps
- Gutter Cleaning Methods
If you are looking for the best way to clean gutters the answer won’t be cut and dry. While some people swear by their method, others will tell you that their way of cleaning out gutters is the best. The truth is that there are a lot of different approaches to cleaning out gutters, so what you need to do is learn about them so that you can choose what works best for you.
No matter which way you choose you to need to keep in mind that cleaning out gutters is a tough and demanding job that will take up a lot of your free time. The truth is that the easiest way to clean out gutters is going to be to hire a professional company to do it for you.
But if you don’t want to go that route, and are determined to do it yourself, the following is a list of different ways of cleaning out gutters. Above all else make sure that you are careful when cleaning out your gutters because any accident that involves falling from a ladder tends to be a serious accident.
Gutter Cleaning Methods
1. Gutter Cleaning By Hand
This is the most common approach to cleaning out rain gutters largely because it doesn’t require any special equipment. All you need is a ladder, a bucket to put the muck you pull out of the gutters into, and some heavy duty gloves to protect your hands while you are working. The approach here is simple, you go up the ladder, reach into your rain gutter, and start to pull out anything you find in there.
You are going to find some fairly disgusting stuff that is formed from a combination of leaves, dead insects, pine needles, dirt, and anything else that happens to end up in there. The hardest part of this method is that it’s going to be very labor intensive. You are going to have to go up and down your ladder a bunch of times, and you are going to have to go and empty the bucket on a regular basis as well. There really is no other way to make this method of cleaning out gutters any easier.
2. Cleaning Gutters with a Blower
If digging your hands into your gutters doesn’t sound like something you want to do, then you could opt for using a blower to clean out your gutters instead. Many blowers come with a special attachment that goes on the end of them that will narrow down the stream of air that is coming out. This then produces a narrow stream of air at a fairly high pressure that usually works quite well for jobs such as cleaning out gutters. There are a couple of issues that you may come across if you decide to use a blower to clean out your gutters.
The first issue is that the muck in your gutters is probably going to be moist and sticky. That means that even a powerful stream of air may not be enough to remove all of it. Now it’s better to get most of the stuff in your gutters out rather than getting nothing, but it’s still not as good as having them completely cleaned out. The main drawback here is that you are going to have to get back up there and blow the gutters out more frequently than you would if you were using another method to clean them.
Check out our gutter cleaning video with additional details:
The other drawback of using a blower to clean out your gutters is that it’s very easy to accidentally push the muck along the gutter and into the downspouts. This can clog your downspouts, which will generally require the use of a special snake-like tool to clean out properly.
You may be able to clean out the blockage using your blower, but this doesn’t always work. Plus there is the chance that you will leave part of the blockage in the downspout which could cause you problems down the road. Your best bet for cleaning your gutters using a blower is to simply use care to avoid pushing any debris into your downspouts in the first place.
3. Cleaning Out Gutters with Power Washer
If you are looking for the easiest way to clean gutters on your own then using a power washer definitely has to be up there at the top of the list. A power washer uses a high powered stream of water to clean and remove debris. Put into your gutter this stream of water can remove virtually anything in its path, making it an ideal option if you are doing the job yourself.
Unlike a blower, a power washer can actually remove just about every bit of muck in your gutters which means that you won’t have to clean that as often as you would if you used a blower. The other big advantage here is that you don’t have to worry about anything getting stuck in your downspouts. After spraying out your gutters you just put the pressure washer on the top of a downspout and spray until it’s clear. The only real downside here is that it’s a messy job, so you need to plan to spend time pressure washing your house and roof when you are done.
Avoid Using A Gutter Cleaning Robot To Clean Out Your Gutters
One option that some people consider for cleaning out gutters is a gutter cleaning robot. Believe it or not, a gutter cleaning robot is a real thing, and if it worked perfectly it would be a fantastic solution that enables you to keep your gutters clean without lifting a finger. Unfortunately, a gutter cleaning robot is not the best option for a variety of reasons.
Not only are the expensive, they also aren’t as effective at cleaning out gutters as a person is. Sure they do perform some level of cleaning, but that level of cleaning isn’t enough to keep your gutters clean and working properly. On top of that, no gutter cleaning robot is going to be able to spot potential problems with your gutters, which could end up causing you to need some costly repairs. While they may be good in theory, you would be well advised to stay away from any gutter cleaning robot on the market today.
No matter the way, there are reasons you can use any of the above (except the robot….). At Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning, we have used all of those methods before depending on the circumstances. The key is doing this in a safe manner and making sure that everything is cleaned up after the job is completed. If you would prefer to enjoy your weekend rather than get dirty, request a quote and let us take care of the cleaning for you.
This post originally appeared in 2017 and was updated in September, 2019.