When you take on the responsibility of a home, whether through purchase, rental, or otherwise, taking care of the property becomes your responsibility. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know on how experts clean gutters from the ground and how you can do so yourself!
To ensure that the money you spent purchasing or renting the home is worthwhile, you need to take care of and maintain it. Some home maintenance tasks are easy to remember, such as replacing a roof or fixing some sort of water leak in the home, but others are not as noticeable and can be easy to overlook.
The Benefits of Gutters
One task you may not always remember to complete as often as you should is: cleaning your gutters.
Gutters are not just added to your home for aesthetic. They do create a nice, crisp border around the roof and border of your house, but their main purpose is much more important than their look. They help guide rain water and storm water away from the roof and the foundation of your home.
Several Risks can Happen Without Gutters or Maintenance of them
This intentional movement of water is crucial to safely maintain the foundation and structural integrity of your home. Without these gutters, or maintenance of them, one of several things can happen:
Maintaining and cleaning your gutters or having a professional do so, will help prevent any of these three events from occurring, but will also help you save a significant amount of money in the long run.
The buildup in gutters does not typically come from the water itself, although water can significantly build up. The build-up of water is usually caused by other items and debris falling into your gutter. Leaves, twigs, and other outdoor debris have the ability to fall into the gutter from any angle of your home and block the ability of the gutter to properly drain water.
While water itself has the ability to clog gutters, it is the removal of this debris that is usually paramount to the proper flow of the system. The damage that can occur from not cleaning or maintaining your gutters well can be detrimental to the health and longevity of your home.
You are also more likely to spend more money repairing whatever the water happened to damage than you are by just cleaning them out or having someone else clean them out regularly.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
Depending on where you live, you should clean your gutters about twice a year or have experts come and complete the task. (Related article: How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters? A Practical Guide)
If you live near a significant amount of trees or a wooded area, you will likely need to clean them more, every three months or so. If you live in a highly rainy area of the world and regularly have storms coming through your neighborhood, you may have to clean them out more as well to prevent all of that extra water from building up and causing damage.
Cleaning your gutters does not have to be difficult or intimidating and you can have a professional come and complete the task if you like. But if you are wanting to complete the task yourself — that is possible. It may take some effort to get the hang of it, but once you figure out what works for you, you can take care of cleaning your gutters twice a year, no problem.
How to Clean Gutters from the Ground
Many people may clean their gutters by using a ladder. And while this is an effective method of being able to reach the upper areas and efficiently clean those parts of the gutter, it is not always feasible for everyone. Some may be nervous about climbing up onto a ladder that high.
It can be nerve wracking — and dangerous. Not only are you usually at the top rung of your ladder, but you are also using your hand to free up the blockage and clear the area. It is difficult to both hold on tightly to the ladder and efficiently clean the gutters while you do so.
All that being said, it is possible to clean your gutters from the ground. You do not have to use a ladder if you do not prefer to. There are several methods you can use to clean out the blockage from the ground. Experts are always there to help, but if you would like to complete the task on your own, the methods experts use can be completed yourself.
Here are a few ways you can clean the build-up without a ladder or how to clean gutters from the ground:
1. Use a hose.
The most accessible option that comes to mind when coming up with a method to clean out your gutters is your garden hose. Your house likely has one and it is an easy and simple method to implement into your gutter cleaning efforts.
You can take your hose and a gutter cleaning attachment and reach even the most hard-to-clean areas if your hose is long enough. That is one factor you need to make sure of before you begin your efforts with a hose. Make sure your hose is either long enough or is in an area of your yard where it can easily reach various areas around the roof or foundation.
Begin by making sure the attachment is up in the gutter and turn on the water pressure. Start at one end of the gutter and then work your way down the side, so as you move along, the water and debris can move along with you to the downspout. Once you reach the downspout, give the water time to drain before you begin on another area.
Using your hose and an attachment is not a foolproof method. If you find that the hose and attachment are not moving the debris along the path, you may need to try something more powerful.
2. Use a Leaf Blower.
There is a big difference between trying to clean your gutters during a dry spell and a wet spell. Before a significant amount of debris is present, wet spells can help move along some of those leaves, dirt, and other items that get clogged and block your drains and gutters.
However, if there is a significant amount of debris present during a wet spell, the drains get clogged and the whole situation is a wet, muddy mess. This can be removed, but not usually with a leaf blower. Leaf blowers can be used to remove debris, leaves, and dirt when the weather is dryer and the items inside are easily movable and not stuck together in a wet and muddy mess.
Just how you can use an attachment with a hose, there are also attachments for leaf blowers as well. When you purchase a leaf blower, many of them come with several attachments and may include a curved attachment just for this purpose.
If you do not have the attachment, you can easily grab one at a hardware or home improvement store. Using a leaf blower can begin just as the hose would. You can start blowing stuff out of the gutter and drain at one end and follow the path until you reach the end and everything is removed.
Cleaning out your gutters regularly during dry months can help prevent any clogging when inclement weather starts to pick up again. If you do not clean out the debris when it is dry and easily movable, the rain will make the debris wet and result in all of it sticking together in a muddy mess that will most likely clog the gutter.
3. Power Washers can help.
Using a power washer can be extremely helpful when wanting to remove debris and other clogs in your gutter, but it should be used cautiously. Power washers have enough power to damage your gutters if not used correctly, so be careful to watch what is happening while you do it.
Just like a hose, power washers use water, but the pressure is significantly higher. So, if you have a clog that a regular garden hose has been unable to remove, a power washer may be able to do the trick. Also just like garden hoses, they make attachments specifically for this purpose.
You can begin down at one end of your gutter and move the debris along to flow out. Power washers are extremely helpful if you have been attempting to remove items with other methods like a garden hose. The pressure is significantly higher, but this is also a reason to be careful as well.
Power washers have the pressure to damage strong and sturdy structures or materials, so being careful when you use this tool is extremely important. If you do not own a power washer, you can rent one.
4. Gutter Tools can do the Trick.
If your garden hose is not working or you do not have a leaf blower or power washer, they make tools specifically for cleaning out gutters. These are typically called telescopic tools and they are generally long poles with an attachment for cleaning out the gutters.
They are not always expensive and you can find gutter tools like this for under $50 in some places. Sometimes these tools have hooks like the curved attachments that were used with the hose, leaf blower, or power washer.
The poles are easily adjustable for different heights and the attachments that come with them may vary. There may have the hook attachment or a brush attachment that looks like a bigger version of the head of a toilet cleaning brush. Some may come with an attachment cleaning pad that you can easily run through the gutter and areas that are clogged or need cleaning.
Many of these poles can be used on their own with those attachments, but also come with the option to be attached to the end of a garden hose or power-washer. If your budget is tight, try out the garden hose method first and then give this a shot. If you do not have a leaf blower or power washer and do not have the budget to purchase one, this is an inexpensive option to utilize before purchasing or renting those items.
When you attempt to clean your gutters from the ground, you are likely going to end up dirty or wet at some point. Experts always wear gear to help keep themselves protected and clean. Since you are not above the mess, but below it, the dirt and debris has to fall down somewhere and it will likely fall down near or on top of you if you are not careful.
It is extremely important to wear goggles or some sort of protective eye gear when you are completing this task. Dirt in the eye will not only prevent you from finishing your task, but it is also extremely painful and can result in a trip to the doctor.
If you are using the garden hose or power washing method and you do not want to get wet, you can wear a raincoat or other sort of waterproof gear to keep your clothes from getting to wet.
However, you will likely get slightly wet anyways. Experts expect this. Cleaning your gutters from the ground is not only a way to save money if you do not have the budget for hiring a professional, but it is also significantly safer than using a ladder or climbing on the roof.
Many injuries happen each year because people choose to clean their own gutters from up top. Tools were made to help keep you from having to do so and allow you to complete the task safely on the ground. Experts are always there to help, but it is possible to learn how to clean gutters from the ground yourself if you have the right tools and tips.