Best Ways to Clean Gutters from the Ground

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 07/04/22
Best Ways to Clean Gutters from the Ground

No need to limit your spring cleaning to inside the house. Warming weather is a great excuse to clear a season’s worth of debris from your home’s gutters.

No ladder? No problem. We’ll explain how you can maintain your gutters with two feet firmly on the ground.

Why Is Home Gutter Cleaning Necessary?

Gutter cleaning has become something of cliché of undesirable home maintenance tasks. It might be tempting to put off cleaning your gutters—or even neglect it altogether for several seasons. That would be a mistake, however. Gutter cleaning is an absolute necessity for maintaining the integrity of your home’s roof, siding, and even foundation.

Clear gutters and downspouts channel rainwater and snowmelt away from your home. Over time, gutters become obstructed with leaves, twigs, pine needles, seeds and nuts, and all kinds of other debris. This can pose several problems.

  • Water stains. Outdoor debris forms a natural dam in your gutters. Water will pool and spill over the sides of the gutters instead of flowing down the downspout. This overflow will lead to water stains on your roof and siding.
  • Wood rot. Staining may be the least of your worries. Pooling water and spillage can also contribute to wood rot on your roof, siding, and framing. Rot only gets worse over time, and thorough structural repair can set you back thousands of dollars.
  • Insects and other pests. Pooling water in your gutters is an invitation for mosquito trouble. Excess debris can also form ideal nesting sites for mice, rats, squirrels, and birds. It’s not unheard of for people to find even snakes in their gutters. Clean gutters make pest infestations much less likely.
  • Roof leaks. Clogged gutters are a leading cause of roof leaks. With nowhere else to go, rainwater seeps into small gaps between shingles, lining, and framing.
  • Foundation trouble. Downspouts are designed to lead water away from your home’s foundation. If these spouts are clogged, that water is more likely to spill at the base of your home instead. This can erode the soil and cause cracks in your home’s foundation.

How Do Professionals Clean Gutters?

A professional crew will almost always use a ladder to clean a home’s gutters. Typically, the pros will situate the ladder near the downspout and carry up two large buckets—one to hold debris and the other to hold tools.

Professionals may use a gutter scoop, trowel, small rake, and heavy-duty gloves to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. They often start by clearing out the downspout before moving down the length of the gutter.

Once the gutter and downspout are relatively free of debris, a professional cleaner will use a house to flush the channels of grime and smaller bits of debris.

Some companies may scrub the gutters, and some offer gutter guards—narrow panels that sit over the gutters to prevent leaves and other debris from collecting in the gutters. Many professionals advise against guards, however. Debris can collect on top of the guards instead, and finer particles can still get through the guards and accumulate in the gutters.

How Long Does It Take to Clean Gutters?

If you choose to go the DIY route, expect your gutter cleaning to take a few hours. Several factors affect how long the job will take you: the size of your house, the number of stories, and your home’s architecture and gutter placement. A modest single-story home may take an hour or two. A larger home could take four or five hours.

What Gutter Cleaning Tools Do I Need?

There are two popular methods of cleaning home gutters without a ladder. The first requires a garden hose and a specialized gutter cleaning attachment, which is essentially an extendable pole.

The second method requires a wet/dry vacuum and the appropriate gutter cleaning attachments. These attachments often come in the form of an inexpensive kit. You may also be able to rent a wet/dry vacuum and gutter attachments at a local hardware store.

Whichever method you choose, you should also prepare the following items:

  • Old shoes and clothes that you don’t mind dirtying
  • A large bucket to collect debris
  • A rake, shovel, or trowel to gather fallen debris
  • Work gloves and safety glasses

How to Clear a Clogged Gutter Without a Ladder

Prep your work area with your tools at the ready. Gutter cleaning can get a little messy, and there’s a chance that you’ll be hit with some spray or small debris, so old clothes and safety glasses are essential. Work gloves will give you a firmer grip on your tools and protect your hands if you need to pick up any debris.

Refer the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the gutter cleaning attachments. Affix the attachments to your garden hose or wet/dry vacuum.

Start at the end of the gutter nearest the downspout. Spray out or vacuum the debris, working your way down the length of the gutter. Once you’ve reached the far end, work back the way you came to flush any remaining debris through the downspout.

If you notice only a trickle of water coming from the downspout, there is likely a clog. You can usually use a plumber’s snake to dislodge it.

How a Home Warranty Can Help With Gutter Maintenance

Of course, the easiest way to clean gutters is to have a professional handle it for you. The pros can also check on the status of your gutters, recommending replacement segments or brackets as necessary.

If you have a Liberty Home Guard home warranty, you can add gutter cleaning service to your plan. Use our website to file a claim, and we’ll send an insured gutter cleaning team to your home on a day and time that works for you. This is an easy way to stay on top of your home maintenance—while saving you time and money in the process.

Use our website or call (866)-851-2024 for a free quote.

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