When you are getting debris, leaves and dirt stuck in your gutters you may want to take some action, as leaving them there may cause damage your property. Once gutters are getting blocked, the blockage will naturally continue to build up. If you have overhanging trees close to your house, you may even have to do gutter cleaning twice a year.
Leaving old leaves in the gutter will produce growth of algae and mould, that may accelerate the deterioration of the exterior of your house.
If you are based around Cardiff, we suggest using our services to get professional gutter cleaning. However, if you prefer to try it yourself, please follow our guide.
How to clean gutters with a ladder?
- Set-up and prepare your tools
There is nothing worse than having to stop mid job to realise that you are missing a tool.
You will need a stable ladder, a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves, a tarp or some sort of protective canvas that will catch all the debris, scoop or a little shovel. A long garden hose connected to the water supply will be incredibly helpful too.
- To begin, spread the tarp on the ground and ensure your ladder is stable. Once you start cleaning, you can just throw debris straight on the tarp that will make the clean-up easier. Normally, you don’t have to get on the roof, but if you can’t approach your gutters otherwise, ensure you have a fully charged mobile phone in your pocket, just in case the ladder gets knocked over by an overfriendly neighbour’s dog as you may need to call for help.
- Wear non-slip shoes, preferably trainers and long-sleeved clothing as you may get scratched by debris.
- Start by picking out large debris, such as big branches or piles of leaves with your hands.
- Use a small scoop or a little shovel to dig out little bits from the gutter. It may speed up the process, however you may end up using your hands for that too. Be careful around the joints, as you may damage them and they will end up leaking.
- By this time, you should be left only with smallest debris and dirt in a gutter. Now use your garden hose and spray away all the remaining dirt and little particles.
- Check all downspouts to ensure they are not blocked and water is flowing freely. If they appear to be blocked, try washing them down with the garden hose from the top or using a long stick or broom handle to push the blockage downstream.
How to clean gutters without a ladder?
Cleaning gutters without a ladder is possible, but it requires special tools or a lot of effort, so we would always recommend just using a ladder if possible, as it is the most budget-friendly solution and it also can be the most efficient one in case some branches get stuck. There are plenty of tools and devices that allow you to do this job, so the choice is dependant on how much you are willing to spend.
- Gutter cleaning attachments – if you already have heavy-duty appliances such as leaf blower, jet washer or a heavy duty wet vacuum cleaner, you may consider using it for the job. Search for “gutter cleaning attachment” + the name of your appliance on Google and you may get lucky. Attachments normally cost £20-£40 and are basically long telescopic poles with a bend at the end that allows water or air scoop out debris from gutters.
- Specialised devices for gutter cleaning
You will find that there are plenty of devices that can assist you with gutter cleaning. We are personally quite fond of Kärcher Telescopic Jet Pipe. Kärcher’s products are always well made and this tool is not an exception. It has a shoulder belt that makes holding the washer easier and it also comes at a price point of approximately £100. What’s impressive is that it extends from 1.2 to 4 metres.
- Robotic gutter cleaner – Looj by iRobot.
Sometimes landscaping makes accessing gutters a challenge. In this case a robotics cleaner may be helpful. They can be a bit slow and cleaning may take multiple hours with a few recharges, but they do a job. Looj looks like a little tank equipped with rotating paddles that scoop out debris and throw them out of the gutter due to the rotation. Whilst Looj may occasionally get stuck if there is a major blockage, the beauty of it is that once you’ve got one you may run it multiple times a year as that will ensure that you don’t get major blockages. This robot is currently not available in the UK, but is available to buy from international merchants at approximately £300
- Manual cleaning tools
If you are not keen on spending a fortune on cleaning and your gutters can be easily accessed form the ground, just search for” telescopic gutter cleaner” and you will stumble upon a variety of manual tools that looks like a telescopic pole with a little hook, scraper or brush at the end of it. Whilst these tools do the job in most of the cases, sometimes it may be difficult to fish a stubborn branch out of the gutter. As you are working from the ground you can’t apply as much pressure with the tool as you normally would so we would always advise you to get a power tool instead.