Pain-free Gutter Cleaning with These Fall Maintenance Shortcuts

There are probably a million other things you’d rather be doing than cleaning the gutters. Picking lint off a sweater, downloading a movie over slow internet, watching paint dry—all of these are more palatable alternatives to the back-breaking tedium that is gutter cleaning.

Getting the gunk out of the gutters means climbing up on a ladder and digging your hands into a pile of leaves, dirt and who-knows-what-else. Then you have to climb down, move the ladder a foot or so down the line and start the whole thing over again. Not exactly the makings of a great Sunday afternoon.

But cleaning your gutters is one task you don’t want to overlook, either. Clogged gutters can cause water to spill down over the side of your home, eventually damaging your siding. Or they can result in backups and pooling water that creates roof leaks, slowly breaking down your roof shingles—meaning expensive, highly-preventable repairs.

Okay, so cleaning the gutters is important. You get it. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a big pain in the you-know-what. Clever gutter-hating homeowners like you have discovered several techniques to make the whole process a lot less painful. Want to find out more? Well, come on then! The sooner you read this, the sooner you can have those gutters done and over with for the next few months!

fall leaves

Tip #1: Use a Hose

Sometimes the best approach is the tried-and-true method. If the debris in your gutters isn’t too bad, a hose may be all you need to flush them clean. Just hold the hose on one end and watch as the junk washes away down the chute. If your gutters are pretty full, though, you’ll need a trowel and a trash bag to scoop out the bigger bits of debris by hand and into the bag—a.k.a. the traditional method.

Tip #2: Use a Leaf Blower

Got a leaf blower at home? There’s no reason you can’t use it on the gutters as well as you can in the yard! Many leaf blower manufacturers sell attachment kits made specifically for gutter cleaning. In these kits, there will be several long and angled tubes that you can use to comfortably reach every nook and cranny of your gutters. It’s a million times faster than the hand-scooped method. In fact, it’s even kind of fun!

Tip #3: Use a Shop Vac

Shop vacs are handy little inventions to clean up a number of household messes—everything from a pile of sand to fireplace ashes. Little did you realize, however, that that same ingenuity can be used when you’re cleaning your gutters as well. A shop vac cleaning kit is a specialized attachment that lets you easily reach up and over the gutters and into the gunk. For best results, you’ll need a wet dry vacuum equipped with a blower port and a 2.5-inch diameter hose. From there, it’s simply a matter of turning it on and watching it go!

Tip #4: Use a Robotic Gutter Cleaner

Technology has the potential to solve all kinds of little household headaches—and now, it’s finally fixed the issue of cleaning your gutters, too. A robotic cleaner, like this iRobot Looj, is like a Roomba for your gutters. It comes with a remote control that you can use from the ground to maneuver the cleaner around corners. With multiple adjustable cleaning settings, it can handle just about any grit you can throw at it. (You can watch a demo of the cleaner at work here). Now, this is what we had in mind when we dreamed of the future!

Tip #5: Hire a Professional

Sometimes your best bet is to throw in the towel and call in the pros. Professional gutter cleaners will run you somewhere between $50 to $250, but it may be worth it if you’re afraid of heights—or just not keen on handling gunk and debris yourself. A three-story home, unruly bushes, or gutter covers may drive up the costs slightly, so make sure you get a detailed quote before you decide on a company. After that, all you have to do is kick back and watch the professionals work their magic—in other words, get busy enjoying your weekend!

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