If you are looking for a new way to clean your gutters, pressure washing is worth considering. Pressure washers work by using a narrow, high-pressure jet of water to remove dirt from the gutter surfaces.
With the proper pressure washer nozzle and the right cleaning solution, you can easily and quickly blast away unsightly filth, grime, dust, mud and buildup from both inside and outside of your gutters. In addition, using a pressure washer saves you the time and effort of not having to climb up and down a ladder to reach the gutters.
Continue reading to discover more about what type of pressure you should use, the attachments, cleaners/solutions, steps to pressure wash, safety tips and more
Electric pressure washers are typically the best for cleaning all types of gutters. Electric pressure washers typically range between 1,500 and 2,500 psi which is the recommended water pressure for power washing gutters.
While gas-powered pressure washers typically offer more power, electric pressure washers are mostly preferred for their combination of cleaning power, portability, and overall versatility.
An electric pressure washer is easier to use than a gasoline pressure washer. It doesn’t need oil changes, spark plugs, or throttle adjustments. It doesn’t require a tricky pull-start either. The user just hooks up the hose and throws a switch to turn the machine on. Electric pressure washers are also more portable and a lot quieter than gasoline-powered pressure washers.
Another ease-of-use feature to look for is quick connect fittings for nozzles and hoses. These spring-loaded fittings snap on and off quickly and easily. You do not need a wrench.
Following are the attachments you need for your pressure washer cleaner.
You will undoubtedly require an extension wand to connect to your pressure washer hose. This allows you to reach high places without using a ladder.
When you turn on the pressure washer, it produces a recoil, which can throw your balance off if you’re not careful. Your two feet will be firmly and safely planted on the ground thanks to an extension wand. There is no danger of falling and injuring yourself from an unsafe height.
A telescoping wand is a better option. This basically means that the extension wand is adjustable and that you can make it the length you want. Telescoping wands are available in 12 foot, 18 foot, and 24 foot lengths. If you have a two-story home, you should get a 24 foot wand.
Although not absolutely necessary, it will boost your power washing’s cleaning ability and efficiency. With a brush attachment, you can use the bristles to push and scour away the filth and grime.
Spray Flexible Wand
Flexible wand can easily clean areas where the normal wand cannot since it can bend in any direction at a 90° angle. This 12-inch attachment can withstand pressures of up to 5000 PSI and will maintain the shape you give it. Connect it to the end of any telescopic wand or your existing wand. It has numerous uses for those difficult to get regions, and notably beneficial for cleaning gutters and washing different sorts of equipment.
The Gutterball uses a bilateral cleaning mechanism to reduce the intense downward pressure you would often experience with a gutter cleaner.
The innovative nozzle design guarantees that the dirt is broken loose and washed out of the gutter into the ground. Because the two opposing nozzles are equally matched, the recoil from one of them is balanced out by the other. This guarantees that the operator won’t suffer any recoil problems when using Gutter Ball at the maximum pressure required.
To use, simply rock the Gutterball back and forth in your gutters for the best cleaning. The bidirectional system will lessen the quantity of water that splashes back into you while you stand on the ground.
Gutter Cleaners for Pressure Washers
Besides simply clearing the gutters of leaves, twigs, dust and other types of dirt, you need to give them a proper cleaning to remove any unsightly stains and to ensure mold and algae don’t grow on them.
Use of gutter cleaners is necessary because it will make the job simple by making cleaning easier. Without it you risk damaging your house siding because more water force will be required to remove the dirt and grime. There are specific detergent solutions formulated for cleaning your gutters
When it comes to cleaning solutions for your gutters, you have a choice between commercial and homemade options.
- White Vinegar & Water
- Bleach and Liquid Detergent
- Baking Soda Solution
There are numerous commercial gutter cleaners designed specifically for cleaning gutters.
Commercial cleansers all come with usage instructions that you should follow carefully for safety and the greatest results.
Some of the top gutter cleaners on the market include Krud Kutter Gutter Cleaner, Ultimate Aluminum Gutter Cleaner Spray, CHOMP Gutter, Cream of Tartar, Gutter Butter, and several others.
When using commercial cleaners, make sure to divert the downspouts from any tanks to keep runoff water and cleaners out. Also, cover the vegetation around the house with a plastic sheet because the products may harm the landscape.
How to Pressure Wash Gutters
Step# 1 Fix the required attachments.
It is not safe to use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder. Instead, you should use a telescopic wand and adjust the length of the wand to reach the desired height.
Next, attach a gutter cleaning wand attachment to the telescoping wand. Because of the bend, the nozzle can reach around and inside the gutter to remove debris such as leaves and twigs.
You can also attach a gutter ball with two horizontal nozzles that allow water to be sprayed left and right. These are more efficient at cleaning gutters since they clean both gutter sides at the same time.
Step2# Remove debris from the gutters
To make pressure washing as simple and efficient as possible, it’s ideal to remove as much material from gutters as you can before beginning.
Even the toughest caked-on algae and filth is easier to pressure wash if the big chunks of material are cleared out of the way.
Furthermore, if you are going to use a gutter cleaning solution, you can simply spray it straight on the remaining gutter debris and scrub or pressure wash it away.
Step3# Apply the gutter cleaner
Fill your detergent container or pail with your preferred cleaning solution. Make careful to dilute concentrated detergent as directed on the detergent container if you’re using one.
Make sure the gutters are damp before applying the cleaner to them so that it can adhere to the surface and work on the stains.
Next, attach the detergent nozzle, turn on the detergent tank, and start evenly spraying the solution on the interior of the gutters then the exteriors.
Instead of facing your gutters directly, aim ahead of you and slightly to the side. This will direct any blown detergent water away from you. After thoroughly coating your gutters with the cleaning solution, allow it to work the dirt and stains loose while you switch spray nozzles.
Step4# Clean the inside of the gutters
Next, disengage the detergent tank and adjust the pressure gauge to medium-high (1500-2000 psi).
It’s a good idea to test any pressure washer on a small inconspicuous area of the surface you intend to pressure wash. Check to see if there is too much pressure that chips, scrapes, or damages the surface.
Hold the nozzle 6 inches away from the gutter and move it back and forth in a sweeping motion to remove any algae, dirt, or debris. (Holding the spray in one area might cause damage, so constant movement is preferable.)
If it takes more than one or two passes across the gutters to remove the dirt and algae, move the nozzle a few inches closer until the debris is easily removed.
Again, begin at one corner of the house and spray the dirt and grime towards the gutter downspout at the opposite end of the house.
Step5# Clean the outside of the gutters
When using a pressure washer to clean the outside of the gutters, set the pressure gauge to medium-high (1500-2000 psi)
Sweep the spray back and forth across the outside of the gutters while holding the nozzle 18 inches away from them. If necessary, gradually move the nozzle closer to the gutters to remove debris more quickly.
Finally, begin in one corner of the house and work your way slowly around until the gutters are clean.
Step6# Rinse the surrounding foliage
When you’re finished, switch to a low-pressure nozzle preferably the white nozzle and spray clean water over the surrounding vegetation to rinse up any spilt detergent. You can also scrape away fallen leaves and other trash with a rake.
Helmet – To protect your head from injury and getting dirty by debris falling off the gutters.
Safety Goggles – Wear protective eyewear or goggles to protect your eyes from injury. Goggles will protect your eyes from both the sun and the debris you will come across. Your gutters may be clogged with leaves, twigs, pollen, insects, and other debris that your eyes need to be protected from.
Protective clothing – Wear protective clothing that covers your entire body to avoid coming into contact with the debris and bugs that fall from the gutters.
Safety harness and lifeline rope: These protect you from falls, especially when working on high gutters
Ladder for high gutters – A sturdy ladder is essential. Falling from the ladder can cause a variety of injuries, including death.
Having someone hold the ladder while you’re on it is the best way to keep it stable. Another safety precaution is to maintain three points of contact at all times (both legs and one hand on the ladder). Reaching out to the side is also not recommended since it can cause the ladder to shift.
If you’re climbing a single-story structure, use a four-legged ladder; for taller structures, use an extension ladder.
Wear Rubber-Soled Shoes – Rubber-soled shoes provide traction, which will keep you safe while working on a ladder. To protect your feet, avoid wearing sandals and open-toed shoes.
When power cleaning your home’s exterior, the last thing you want to do is cause damage or injure yourself. Here are some simple things you can do to ensure you finish the job safely:
Avoid Ladders – You should avoid using a pressure washer from a ladder if at all possible. Instead, use a pressure washer gutter cleaner. These curved attachments allow you to hold your wand up and spray directly into the gutters while keeping your feet planted securely on the ground.
Keep an eye out for electrical lines – Many houses have a secondary above-ground electrical line connected to them. Unfortunately, these are frequently only a few inches from the gutter. Consult your utility company about installing an insulating rubber blanket or having your power disconnected while you work in that area of your home.
Clearing the working area – Another super simple thing to do is to clear the area of any objects that may obstruct you so that you don’t forget about them and trip over them.
Avoid resting the ladder on the gutter – Never rest the ladder on your gutters because they are not designed to withstand that much pressure. They may scratch, dent, or collapse as a result of the extra weight. Purchase ladder stabilizers.
NB: Never aim a pressure washer spray at another person or place your hand or foot in front of it. Severe bodily harm is possible. To avoid property damage, always test the pressure in an inconspicuous area before fully cleaning.
Follow are the benefits of pressure washing your gutters
You can use a pressure washer with a gutter wand to blast away and wash away the accumulated debris in your gutters without having to use a ladder. Simply walk around the perimeter of your home and spray the inside of your gutters from the ground. It’s much safer and easier to complete the task.
Pressure cleaners are effective at removing dirt, grime, and debris from gutters, leaving them completely clean, unlike other methods, which are often inefficient.
Pressure washing is environmentally friendly.
There are no harmful chemicals released into the environment during pressure washing. Pressure washers work by blasting water at high speeds, and the power of this water stream is often enough to remove stains and mildew without the use of harmful chemicals.
Ease of operation
Ease of use
Traditional cleaning tasks typically necessitate a significant amount of time, energy, and elbow grease. There is no need to scrub and strain to loosen stubborn debris when using pressure washing.
Pressure washers allow you to keep a strong upright posture while directing the force of the water at unsightly stains. The setup for a pressure washing treatment is also quite simple, requiring only a few simple steps that even a novice can easily learn and follow.
When compared to traditional cleaning methods, pressure-washing saves time because it is faster and requires fewer steps. Pressure washing also eliminates the need for time-consuming ladder work by simply directing the nozzle towards difficult-to-reach areas.
Risk of damage
High-pressure washing can result in structural damage to both your roof and your gutters. Too much water pressure can loosen the granules on your shingles, which then flow into your gutters and cause damage by creating extra weight and blockages.
There is always the possibility of damage when you complete a project by yourself. This is especially true when you are controlling something as powerful as a pressure washer.
These machines can expel water at 3,000 PSI. It’s powerful enough to punch holes or erode your gutters and shingles.
Applying pressurized water to your roof might remove the dirt, but it can also remove paint from your gutters. In fact, pressure washing is one of the methods professional painters use to remove paint from wood, metal, concrete, and other exterior surfaces. Even if your exterior paint is new, a high-pressure wash could easily strip it away, leaving bare spots on your gutters and possibly even along your eaves. In fact, if you accidentally send high-pressure water blasting through your eaves, you might leave your attic a sopping wet mess.
Creates a mess
Using a pressure washer to clean your gutters creates mess to the surrounding environment as debris is blasted off the gutters and spewed all over.
Debris removal is not controlled and is unprecedented making it difficult to control and prevent a mess to the surroundings.
Pressure washing basically works by blasting much water to a surface at high pressure thus utilizing much water in the process.
Pressure washing is considered the biggest water-spending gutters cleaning method as compared to other methods which are relatively water efficient.
There are five different types of nozzles, each with their own function. The type of nozzle to use when pressure washing your gutters depends on where you are in the process.
- 0° – red nozzle: Produces a narrow, powerful stream of water. Used to remove difficult stains, caked mud, and dirt that has been on a surface for a long time.
- 15° – yellow nozzle: The yellow nozzle has a small spray angle for concentrated cleaning. Excellent for difficult-to-remove dirt and areas that require extra attention.
- 25° – green nozzle: Green nozzles provide a medium spray angle for washing sensitive surfaces. Use this nozzle to protect your deck, fencing, and other outdoor areas.
- 40°- white nozzle: The white nozzle has the widest spray angle. Use it to clean large surfaces such as driveways and patios.
- Black nozzle (65°): The Soap tip is used to spray cleaning fluid. Only use spray cleaning. Only spray cleaning solutions with the black nozzle.
Use the white nozzle to spray the ground around your worksite. You don’t want to harm the foliage you’re attempting to protect. When applying the detergent, use the black nozzle.
After allowing the detergent to dissolve, spray your gutters with the yellow or red nozzle. If you have a lot of leaves and mud, try the yellow nozzle first before moving on to the red. To avoid damage, always apply the least amount of pressure possible.
Finally, when cleaning the leaves and mud off your driveway and other surfaces, use the white nozzle.
You should clean gutters at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall, when tree leaves are mostly blown to rooftops. Most people prefer to clean their gutters three or four times a year. This is entirely dependent on a couple of factors.
If you live near a lot of trees, you may feel obligated to clean your gutters more frequently, particularly if there are a lot of pine trees nearby. Pine needles are particularly prone to accumulating on and clogging gutters.
How Long does it take to Pressure Wash Gutters?
The cleaning duration is variable and actually depends on some factors, mainly the length or perimeter of the gutters you are working on, the amount of debris you are dealing with, and difficulties encountered. However, as earlier stated a pressure washer makes cleaning relatively quicker as compared to other methods.
For instance, pressure washing the gutters of a 1500 square foot house typically takes between one and two hours. This entails clearing out any loose debris and pressure washing the gutters’ exterior and interior surfaces. If some of the gutters are on a two-story home, add an additional hour to account for the time it takes to lift a ladder periodically or handle extra wand attachments.