Best Cleaning Tools for Your Rain Gutters: All You Need to get the Job Done!

May 12, 2017

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Rain gutters cleaning ladders
Maybe you have gone out to your porch recently and after checking your rain gutters, you realize they need to be cleaned immediately. Rain gutter cleaning is not an activity most people enjoy spending their time doing, but most people also care about the state of their home and would not like to suffer all the consequences of failing to upkeep their rain gutter systems. After all, rain gutters are the shield that guards your home against the perils of rain and water damage.

Rain gutter cleaning is vital for the longevity of your property. Gutters that are clogged with leaves and debris let rainwater cascade over your lawn, eroding your garden, dampening your foundations, and flooding your basement. These are all very costly damages that can only be avoided with rain gutters that work properly, and for rain gutters to work properly they need to be cleared of any debris that can clog or damage them.

Maybe you don't know how to tackle such an overwhelming task, which is why it is better to learn and understand how to go about it first. There are two main ways to do so: cleaning from the roof or from the ground, and both require different types of equipment and ability.

The most popular way to clean your gutters—and what many people mistakenly think is the only way—is up on the roof. For this, you need a ladder to get on your roof and then use your hand or a trowel to remove all the gunk and debris, then hose down the remaining dirt in the direction of the downspout. The difficulty with this method is that getting up on a ladder can be dangerous, especially if you suffer from vertigo, dizziness, or other conditions that affect your balance. In any case, to reduce the possibility of an accident, the best you can do is get the proper equipment and be extra careful when cleaning.

For this type of cleaning there are several important tools that are essential for the task:

  • Ladders. Heights are risky, everyone knows this. Choosing the right type of ladder can be the difference between being safe and exposing yourself to a life-threatening fall. As a general rule, use step ladders for one story houses and extension ladders for two story houses. Make sure your ladder isn't showing any signs of damage like rust, dents, or anything that could cause it to give in as you work. Also, make sure to position it on solid ground and have someone hold it in place if necessary. Consider getting aluminum ladders since they are lightweight and sturdy.

  • Trowels and scoops. There are several varieties of trowels and scoops to choose from at any hardware store to help you clear out your gutters. To make your job easier, choose a gutter scoop; they work best with your gutter's measurements and are fabricated in materials that won't scratch or break them.

  • High-pressure hose. To rinse away dirt as fast as possible, choose a high-pressure hose. This piece of equipment sprays a hearty gush of water that will remove the remaining debris.

  • Gloves and safety gear. It isn't wise to clean your gutters with your bare hands. A gutter filled with debris can hide many problems. Rodents and birds, mold, and puncturing edges are just some of the elements that could put your health at risk. Use work gloves to protect your hands; you can use latex gloves beneath them for an extra layer of protection. Remember to also protect your eyes with safety goggles, and use a dust mask to protect you from mold spores.

  • Plumber's snake. When cleaning rain gutters, many first-timers limit themselves to just the main gutters and forget the piece of resistance—the downspout. It is a fact that, unless you had a leaf strainer to filter big debris, your downspout could also have buildup waste inside that will clog it if left untouched. But how do you unclog a long and closed pipe? A plumber's snake. This is a small auger mechanism that you can introduce in your downspouts to help break all solid mass inside, so you can flush it away later.
Rain gutters cleaning debris and leaves
These are the most basic yet best tools to keep your gutters sparkling clean and ready for the next rainy season. However, going up the ladder is not the only way to achieve these results.

Another method —and a safer one— is to do you gutter cleaning from the ground. How do you clean gutters from the ground? The answer is simple: specialized equipment. To clean your gutters from the ground, you first need to get your hands on an extension for your wet/dry vacuum cleaner, or you can get an extension with a high-pressure nozzle for your garden hose, clamp accessories on an extension pole, or a rotary gutter cleaning system. A combination of two or more of these tools is all you need to clear and clean your rain gutters without exposing yourself to dangerous and back-straining maneuvers on a ladder.

  • Wet/dry vacuum or leaf blower with an extension. If you already have a vacuum cleaner or a leaf blower at home, the only thing you need is an extension suited to the height of your gutters. This will get rid of the leaves and other loose debris clogging your gutters, speeding up the cleaning process quite a bit. This tool, however, won't work for two story homes, as extensions that long are difficult to find. It also won't work on heavy or very wet debris, as the vacuum may not have enough force to clear them.

  • High-pressure garden hose with an extension. The market offers a wide variety of extensions for your garden hose, which you can use both for one and two story homes. Connect a high-pressure nozzle to your extension, and work your way from the farthest end of the gutter to the downspout to get rid of all dirt and debris. Just be careful with how much pressure you apply, as some types of gutters can be damaged if the force of the spray is too high.

  • Clamp accessories. If you prefer to neatly pick up the debris and residue in your gutters, you can do that using this particular clamping tool. It consists of a prong-like head attached to an extension pole that allows you to grab the debris and place it where you want. Some of these accessories also come with mirrors, so you can be certain of how much debris is left in the gutter as you pick it up. They also come with ropes and stabilizers so you can use them on two story homes.

  • Rotary gutter cleaning system. So, your gutters are a real mess and they are overflowing with waste and you're looking for the strongest tool in the market to help clear them out. Then you need a rotary cleaning system for your gutters. This tool can be the most expensive option, but there is not a damp mass of debris that can resist it. It works with spinning brushes that get wet leaves, branches, and everything else out of your gutters. You can use it at any height, and you can also attach it to a hose to get the cleaning action of a pressurized hose as well.

Of course, there are many other combinations of tools you can use to tackle your rain gutter cleaning, but at the end of the day, this basic equipment is all you need. Rain gutter cleaning is very important to protect your gutter's longevity, so don't be caught off-guard when the next rainy season strikes.

Many people, however, still find it disadvantageous to spend a lot of money gearing up for a task they will only perform once or twice a year and that, if done incorrectly, could result in damage to their rain gutter system or even themselves. This is why many opt to hire a professional and experienced contractor to do the gutter cleaning, saving them time and money in the long run.

If you are unable to do your gutter cleaning yourself and need an experienced team of experts to tackle the task before the next rainy season in Miami-Dade, here at Rain Gutters Solution we are happy to assist you. We have a great track record of more than 20 years serving our fellow residents by providing our rain gutter cleaning and rain gutter installation services. Feel free to call us at (305) 270-7779 or fill out our contact form to get a quote. For more useful information on all kinds of rain gutter topics, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook at Rain Gutters Solution, Twitter @RainGuttersSolution and Instagram @GuttersSolution.

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