You want your home to be fully protected when winter comes, so cleaning your gutter system this fall is a priority. While the attraction of gutter cleaning gadgets is expediency, it is the experience of many gutter cleaning professionals that hands are the best tool. When used with a gutter scoop or other basic gutter cleaning tools, a person has better control and more maneuverability. And in many situations, getting out the ladder, and clearing away the debris from inside the gutters by hand protects your gutter system from potential harm.
Gutters and Power Washing
A power washer has the potential to do more harm than good. Water can be forced behind fascia boards or splashed up into the soffit where moisture and dampness might create the ideal breeding ground for mold, mildew, or wood rot.
Power washing can add stress to gutter sections, loosening hardware. A powerful jet stream of water used to clean off the outside of a gutter system might dent aluminum gutters.
To prevent clogs from forming – and creating more work for you in the long run – the debris should be removed without the use of water. While power washing can break up the organic matter inside the gutter channel into small enough pieces that it can flow into the downspouts, it is best to save water for rinsing rather than removing.
Gutters and Leaf Blowers
Leaf blowers work best when the debris inside the gutters is mostly dry. Even then, leaves, twigs, acorns, and pine needles can get blown into the downspouts where they mix with the grime and dirt already in the downpipes and then create clogs. Blockages inside a downspout are harder to remove than ones inside a gutter section.
A leaf blower might blow the debris up onto the roof where it has to be dealt with to avoid it from ending back into the gutters on a windy day.
Depending on the make and model, leaf blowers have a lot of power. Using a leaf blower for cleaning the gutters can loosen hardware, damage shingles, or dent aluminum gutters.
Using Gutter Cleaning Attachments
Machines such as shop vacs, leaf blowers, and power washers can be used with special attachments to allow a person to clean the gutters while standing on the ground. However, cleaning attachments often are hard to handle, and unless the attachment includes a detachable mirror or can be fitted with one, you won’t be able to know for sure if the gutters are thoroughly cleaned and entirely free of debris.
Gutters and Robots
Gutter robots can be the most expensive type of gutter gadget. The major drawback with the gutter cleaning robot is the gutter system has to be “perfect” for the robot to successfully clean the gutter channel. Gutter robots tend to work best if the debris is dry and more uniform in size. They are known to be easily bogged down if the bottom of the gutter channel is muddy or filled with silt.
Gutter System might need Repairs
When you’re up on a ladder cleaning the gutters by hand, it allows you to inspect the downspouts for blockages; the gutters for dents, clogs, standing water, and leaking seams; and siding, soffit, and fascia for rot and mold. Gutter cleaning without gadgets can alert you to problems that might require immediate attention before winter sets in.