Cleaning the gutters is a necessary task, but like any other fall home maintenance chore, it can be made easier if you have the right tools. Yes, we here at MHC Gutters do use a few select power tools, but we also believe that manually cleaning a gutter system is still the most effective gutter cleaning method. To make the job easier on you, here are our top 7 essential gutter cleaning tools you’ll need this fall.
Soft Bristle Broom
Start cleaning the gutters by cleaning the roof first. Soft bristle brooms or soft push brooms are ideal for cleaning roofing shingles. Especially when sweeping debris off of an asphalt roof, use a soft bristle broom to help save the shingles’ protective granules. Ensuring that the roof is dry before standing on it will keep you safe, but it will also extend the life of the broom.
The best type of ladder in general for home maintenance chores is one that made of metal since wood tends to warp as it ages. Whether you purchase a metal stepladder (ideal for one-story homes) or a straight or extension ladder, make sure it is manufactured from quality high-grade metal.
If your house has aluminum gutters or seamless aluminum gutters, a ladder stabilizer, also known as a ladder standoff, is a must. When cleaning the gutters, it’s advisable to use ones, since aluminum can be easily dented. Designed to be used with an extension ladder or a straight ladder, a ladder stabilize keeps the ladder from coming into direct contact with the gutter system.
When purchasing a standoff choose one with features such as strong tubular arms, thick non-stick rubber pads, and a minimum span of 48” if you want to use the stabilizer when cleaning around windows.
Gutter cleaning is messy work. Sludge, germy debris, sharp twigs, rusty nails – safeguard your hands with thick, water-proof gloves. If they are also puncture-resistant, that’s even better.
Use goggles or safety eyeglasses to protect your eyes from splashes and flying bits of debris.
Invest in a gutter scoop. You might think that a trowel will do just as good a job as a scoop; it would be a good guess but not the right answer. While a trowel is generally made from metal (potentially harmful to aluminum gutters), gutter scoops are designed with high sides to handle more debris and are made of plastic. A scoop with an open grid back allows water to drain away before being emptied into a trash bag or bucket.
A gutter rake is an inexpensive yet safe way to reduce the number of times you will need to climb up and down the ladder to move it along the gutter run. A gutter rake allows you to pull the debris toward you. When attached to a short extension pole or a broom handle, the gutter rake now has a reach of up to 15 feet.
The safer choice is a garden hose with a pistol-grip spray nozzle. A pressure washer could loosen hardware, dent seamless aluminum gutters, or push water in between the back of the gutter and the fascia causing wood rot. When gutter cleaning, it might seem faster to blast the debris with water, but in actuality, all it does is make the debris wet and cause clogging at the gutter outlet or inside the downspouts. It’s more efficient to clear away the debris by hand first and then use a garden hose to rinse away any residue.