As a homeowner, you may lack the motivation to climb a ladder, lack trust in the ladders in your store, be afraid of heights, or dislike incessant nagging from your family members to take care when climbing a ladder. Luckily, with some tools and tips, it is possible to wash your gutters without a ladder.
You can clean roof gutters from the ground without a ladder by using a garden hose, telescopic cleaning tools, pressure washer, leaf blower, or vacuum with attachment. You can also hire a professional roof cleaner to get the job done.
Regular cleaning frees gutters of dirt and debris and protects the gutters from damage arising from clogging. The following are details on tools and ideas for cleaning your gutters without risking being at an uncomfortable height.
Before choosing any of the methods below, inspect your gutters to check for clogs and possible causes. Inspecting helps you to determine the amount and type of dirt. Light dirt, such as dry leaves and twigs, requires a less aggressive cleaning method than heavy and sticky dirt.
For safety purposes, have goggles, sturdy long-sleeved clothing, raincoats, gloves, helmets or any other protective accessory to protect you from any possible injuries, especially from falling dirt.
A garden hose is common in many households. Even if you don’t have one, you can get it with just a few bucks. This is one the most straightforward and cheapest method to clean your gutters from the ground without a ladder.
It works by using water to blast dirt in your gutters. A garden hose can be challenging, especially if you position it on a specific section of the gutters. You can simply find a sturdy tube with a bent end.
This method is ideal for gutters with light debris such as dry leaves, twigs and dust.
- Attach the extension tube to the garden hose
- Place one end (the curved) over your gutter
- Turn the hose on gently and turn it up until the pressure is adequate.
- Start blasting dirt out of your gutter from one end towards the downspout.
- Turn the hose off for a few minutes after doing each side of the house to let the water flow out.
Remember to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes. You may also need a rain jacket to keep you from getting wet.
Ensure the garden hose is long enough to reach all your gutters.
- It is the easiest method to use
- Effective for light dirt
- Not powerful enough for heavy and stubborn dirt or clogs
- Using the garden hose on its own is challenging
- It is messy- you will have to handpick the debris after the washdown
- Time consuming-you need to wait for the water to drain completely to continue
Vacuum + Extension Attachment
Vacuuming is one of the ways you can clean your gutters without using a ladder. This is ideal for gutters with light debris, including dust, dry leaves, twigs and pine needles.
All you need is a wet/dry vacuum and a specialized extension kit that will reach your gutters to make cleaning possible.
The extension kit connects to the vacuum and has a bending end that goes over the edge of your gutter to suck the dirt into the vacuum chamber or bag
- Attach the extension kit to the vacuum.
- Turn the vacuum on while standing at the end of the gutter
- Place curved end of the extension into the gutter
- Move from one end (away from the downspout) to the other end the gutter with downspout.
- Flush the gutters and downspout with water from a garden hose
- Apply the same procedure for the other gutters.
If you have stubborn and sticky dirt in your gutters, do moisten it first before vacuuming.
- The gutter vacuum causes no mess since it sucks in all leaves and other waste present in the gutter.
- It is cost-friendly since you can access up to 2-story gutters from the ground without purchasing other access equipment. The vacuum can also be used for cleaning different areas.
- A gutter vacuum is safe because it does not expose you to the danger of falling from higher heights.
- You might need to use other tools to remove the remaining dirt in the gutter since the gutter vacuum might not suck all the leaves and twigs from the gutter.
- It cannot effectively clean heavy and sticky dirt
- Some vacuums can be costly
DIY Vacuum Attachment for Gutter Cleaning
A leaf blower with a nozzle attachment is also another easy way to clean your gutters without climbing on a ladder. The nozzle attachment is created in a way to allow out a narrow stream of air ideal for blowing away or cleaning light dirt like dust, dry leaves and twigs.
A specialized attachment such as the Worx kit extends the reach of the leaf blower.
- Attach the nozzle to the leaf blower.
- While standing at the end of the gutter away from the downspout, ensure the attachment is above the gutter.
- Turn on the leaf blower and move from end to end while removing the leaves and waste in the gutter.
- Flush the gutters and downspout with water from a garden hose to clear any remaining dirt
Note: Be careful to avoid blowing leaves into the downspout
Further Reading: How to Clean Gutters with a Leaf Blower+ Best Blowers
- The leaf blowers have a nozzle that can be connected and disconnected anytime.
- The electric leaf blowers are light and hence you can use them for long without getting tired.
- The maintenance cost of leaf blowers is economical and can be used for other cleaning purposes
- Effective for light debris
- Blowers tend to spray dirt everywhere which means extra work
- Cannot effectively remove clogs and sticky dirt
- For the leaf blowers that do not come with the attachment, you might need to buy one which might bring about extra costs.
Gutter Flusher and Hose
A gutter flusher utilizes a high-powered jet stream hose attachment to blast away any dirt in your gutters.
Most of the flushers come with telescoping metal poles which can be attached to any garden hose.
- Attach the jet stream hose to the flusher.
- Ensure that the attachment us above the gutter.
- Turn the flusher on and move from end to end of the gutter.
- Repeat the same for all the gutters.
- Cheaper compared to other methods
- Good for stick-on debris
- The gutter flusher might not clear all the waste in the gutter.
- The water and dirt from the gutter get scattered everywhere, thus causing the place to shatter.
- Not ideal for light dirt.
Clean Gutters with a Pressure Washer
This is the best option for tough gutter debris that has built up over time. It is also ideal for clogged gutter downspouts. It basically works by blasting dirt with a fine-spray nozzle that is attached to your power washer.
Here are the tools and procedures you should follow when using the power washer.
- Pressure washer
- Telescoping wand
- U-shaped attachment
- Goggles and a rain jacket
- First you will need to connect the telescoping wand and the U-shaped attachment to the power washer.
- To avoid getting wet, put on the goggles and rain jacket too.
- Standing at the end of the gutter, place the attachment above the gutter.
- Put the power washer on and move from one end of the gutter to the other. (To ensure that the water drains, it is advisable to make several stops.)
- Repeat the process for all the gutters and also clean the outside of the gutters to make them spick and span.
- Rinse exterior walls, roof and parts of the house affected by dirt from the power washer
For clogged downspouts, point the nozzle down the hole and rinse the shaft until water can run freely through it.
- Effectively clean stubborn debris and clogged downspouts
- This method of cleaning leaves your gutters sparkling cleaning hence no need to use extra equipment to remove left out waste.
- The process might be time consuming since you have to you have pause frequently to allow the water in the gutters to drain.
- Learning to correctly use the power washer may take some time.
Telescopic Gutter Cleaning Tools
These are tools consisting of concentric tubular sections or poles designed to slide out from one another to lengthen so as to reach gutters from the ground without a ladder. When not in use, they slide into each other to shorten and allow for easy storage.
Other telescopic tools feature pads/brushes for cleaning or a claw arm for grabbing debris that is clogging your gutters.
- Best high gutters on the second or third floor
- Versatile-Can be used for other tasks other than cleaning
- Holding these tools up long period will strain your neck
- Some may be messy.
Further Reading: Telescopic Gutter Cleaner Types and How to Choose the Right One
Hire Professional Roof Cleaners
If you are uncomfortable with cleaning the gutters, you can hire professionals to do it for you.
This is a convenient method for people who have demanding jobs and hence cannot get time to do it or those who feel uncomfortable doing it by themselves.
There are probably a couple of gutter cleaning companies in your local area that would be more than willing to help you.
The pro cleaners can visit your home at regular intervals to clean and inspect your gutters.
You can easily find professionals to do that at the gutter cleaning companies whose services are very efficient.
- Better outcome- Efficient and effective work due to qualified staff and specialized equipment
- It saves time since you can do other things while the professionals do the cleaning.
- The professionals could identify if there are any other problems with your gutters and fix them for you.
- Could save you from potential accidents
- Could save money/time
- This method can be costly.
- The companies might send in people who might not be so corporative to clean, and you might have a hard time
- Some companies may provide low-quality services
Tips and Tricks to keep your Gutters Clean
Gutters are designed to catch and channel runoff water from the roof to the downspouts. Debris that has built up causes clogging and often forces water to overflow. It is important to ensure that they are always clean.
To avoid the burden of cleaning gutters regularly, you could use a few tips to prevent them from leaves and twigs. Here are some of the tips and tricks:
Shear your trees
Most of the waste in gutters comes from trees as it is mostly made up of twigs and leaves. Shearing the trees will reduce the amount of waste falling into the gutter. This will decrease the leaves that need to be cleaned.
Using gutter screens
This is another tip that can be helpful in keeping the gutter clean. The gutter screens prevent leaves and twigs from falling into the gutter. However, the downside of the gutter screens is that smaller waste such as seeds and needles can pass through to the gutter.
Install fine mesh gutter guard
Unlike the gutter screens, the fine mesh gutter guard prevents the entry of small particles such as needles and seeds into the gutter. They are also easy to install.
More on Gutter Cleaning
- How to Clean Outside (Exterior) of Gutters
- How much does it Cost to Clean Gutters
- How Often & When Should you Clean Gutters?
- How to Clean Tiger Stripes on Aluminum Gutters
- How to Clean Gutters with Leaf Blower
- How to Clean Gutter Downspouts
Gutter Cleaning Tools & Solutions