A leaf blower is an easy and flexible way to remove debris without having to use your hands or roof rake. It works by releasing a narrow air stream from its nozzles to blow away the leaves and any other form of debris from the gutter. Some blowers can also suck in leaves and small twigs via a vacuum, and shred them into a bag.

There are two ways to clean gutters using a leaf blower. The first method employs using a ladder to reach the gutter then cleaning the leaves using a handheld blower. The second method involves using a gutter cleaning attachment that extends the reach of the blower nozzles from the ground.

Following is a detailed guide on how to use a leaf blower including ideas to choose the best blower for your roof gutters.

Leaf Blower and Ladder to Clean Gutters

This is the most straight forward way to clean your gutters. The basic items you need include

  • The right ladder,
  • Protective gear, Gloves, Goggles, Helmet, Shoes, ear protection, Harness etc.
  • Blower

Method

  1. Set up the ladder properly- position it in a manner to allow work to be done towards the downspout.
  2. Put on the protective gear.
  3. Using the ladder get onto the roof
  4. Carefully walk along the edge while blowing the leaves out of the affected gutters.
  5. Alternatively, you can blow out the debris while on the ladder. This means you have to move the ladder after completing each section

In cases where the gutter has many leaves, use the end of the blower to first scoop out leaves before blowing the leaves.

The advantage of using a ladder is that you can see the amount of dirt in your gutter. Thus, you can be sure that everything is cleaned up.

 However, using a ladder can be dangerous since accidents can occur resulting in serious injury. Using a ladder can also be quite boring and time consuming especially if you have to climb down to move the ladder after completing one section.

Extension Kit and a Leaf Blower to Clean Gutters

This is a safer method compared to using a ladder since you remain on the ground while operating the leaf blower.

It involves employing an attachment to the leaf blower, which has been specifically designed for gutter cleaning.

The extension is attached to the leaf blower and the cleaner walks round the building focusing the leaf blower onto the gutter.

This method is also quite messy since the debris will be blown all over from above. It is recommended that you have goggles and helmet on to protect you head and eyes from the the falling debris.

Since you cannot see into gutter directly, this method isn’t as effective as using the ladder. It is recommended to you repeat it at least twice just to ensure that most of the leaves are blown out of the gutters.

Both of these methods are preferable on dry leaves and debris. Using a leaf blower on clogged debris is a tough job since it gets hard to blow out the debris.

In situations where leaves are mixed with soil and growing plants, leaf blowers might be ineffective and would require you to remove the dirt manually.

Selecting the Best Leaf Blower for Gutter Cleaning

A good leaf blower should be safe, portable, fuel/energy efficient, less noisy, with enough speed and airflow to blow gutter debris and one with a strong build that will last.

In terms of size (small and medium), power) and designs/style the blowers for gutters include;

Handheld Leaf Blowers– Compact, lightweight, maneuverable and versatile. Ideal light snow and debris including dry leaves and dust. It lacks the power to blow large debris away

Backpack- There blowers are medium-sized and they with more power and longer run time. Can easily blow away wet leaves, twigs, pebbles or soil in gutters.

There other types, known as blower vacs, that can also suck in leaves and small twigs via a vacuum, and shred them into a bag.

Best leaf Blowers for Gutter cleaning

Some of the best leaf blowers include;

EGO Power+ LB6504

The Ego’s nearly 30-minute run time is among the longest of the cordless blowers. It has easy-to-use controls, a lot of power to clean wet leaves in your gutters

EGO Power+ LB6504 leaf blower
EGO

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  • Turbo Button delivers a staggering 650 CFM
  • Variable-speed control dial delivers 225-500 CFM
  • Over 90 minutes of run time: 15 minutes on Turbo; 200 minutes on low with 5.0Ah Battery

BLACK+DECKER 2-in-1 Cordless Sweeper & Vacuum

BLACK+DECKER 2-in-1 Cordless leaf blower & Vacuum
BLACK+DECKER

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Light weight battery-powered leaf blower that can be easily converted to vacuum mode for quick and easy vacuuming of debris from hard surfaces without the hassle of a cord.

Poulan Pro PR48BT Backpack Leaf Blower

Poulan Pro PR48BT Blower
Poulan PR48BT

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This lightweight blower is packed with all sorts of load-reducing harness for optimal fit, superior comfort, minimal strain, and reduced fatigue for users of any size.

200 mph/475 cfm with a cruise control and heavy-duty frame

WORX WG584.1

Worx-wg584.1leaf blower

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The Worx blower has a lightweight and ergonomic design for easy one-hand operation.It comes engineered with TURBINE technology that delivers up to 430 CFM of air velocity

It also features a 3-speed control with TURBO boost to blast leaves off any surface.

Husqvarna 2-Cycle Professional Gas Backpack Leaf Blower

Husqvarna 2-Cycle Professional Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
Husqvarna

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This is one of the best-selling backpack leaf blowers. Powerful clearing performance featuring 434 CFM Air Volume and 251 MPH Air Velocity

Features X-Torq engine design reduces harmful exhaust emissions by up to 60% and increases fuel efficiency by up to 20%

WORX WA4092 Universal Fit Blowers Gutter Cleaning Kit

This the extension kit you need for your blower of choice. Safely clean your gutters while standing on the ground. Attaches to the leaf blower, you already own. The adjustable adapter fits every major brand of blower on the market

WORX-WA4092-Universal Fit Blower  Gutter Cleaning Kit
WORX Blower Gutter Cleaning Kit

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What is a good mph for a leaf blower for gutters?

At least 190 MPH is a good speed to blow out dry leaves and debris in the gutters. Most handheld blower models that are light, easy to move around, and fit in small spaces come with this speed.

 In addition to speed which measures how fast the air is moving, it is important to check the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute).CFM is basically a way to measure airflow, a high CFM will let you move many leaves at once

Are electric leaf blowers better than gas leaf blowers?

Electric leaf blowers are cheap and low-maintenance machines. They don’t require gas and oil, and are lighter and quieter than gasoline-powered blowers.

Gas blowers are, however, more effective and powerful. Some electric blowers are difficult to use since they have long power cords.  Gas blowers are noisier and emit smoke, which poses a risk to the environment.

You should also check for the following specific features when selecting leaf blowers

  • Opt for blowers with narrow nozzles as they efficiently direct leaves in the desired direction.
  • Select leaf blowers that have durable mulching blades. They rarely get damaged while removing leaves.
  • Leaf blowers that have vacuums and a powerful collecting bag are necessary when removing wet leaves.
  • One can opt for backpack models to reduce arm strain while operating the leaf blower.

Safety Precautions while using a Leaf Blower

  • To provide a leaf blower with a longer lifespan, it is advisable to use it on dry leaves. Windy days can create too much work, therefore, cleaning needs to be done when there is no wind, or when the wind blows in the direction, you want the leaves to collect. 
  • When cleaning a large gutter, divide the gutter into portions to reduce the risk of damaging the leaf blower and make the task of blowing leaves to the desired destination easier.
  • You need appropriate protection gear for head, ear and eye
  • Blown leaves and debris can easily get into the eyes and ears. Exposure to continuous noise from the blower affects a cleaners’ hearing.
  • Leaf blowers should remove small quantities of leaves at a time.

Can you use a leaf blower on wet leaves?

Yes, it is possible. To collect wet leaves, direct the bower nozzles to the pile of leaves then blow stronger air streams that can lift and move leaves. You need a high MPH blower to blow away wet leaves effectively.

 However, it is easier to remove dry leaves than removing wet leaves. Collecting wet leaves using the blower is not advisable since it may damage the kit especially if has low MPH & CFM.

More on Gutter Cleaning

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References

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf_blower
  • https://www.lowes.com/n/buying-guide/leaf-blower-buying-guide

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