Gutters are one of our main services that we provide as general contractors. We understand that proper maintenance is essential for all facets of a home. The purpose of this article is to provide some alternatives for homeowners who don’t have or don’t want to hop on a ladder in order to clean gutters and downspouts for their residential homes. Or perhaps, you simply want to clean them from the ground. As we all know, our gutter systems are responsible for making sure that water does not pool around our roofs. Water pooling can lead to deterioration and leaks around your home. Therefore, we need to make sure that our they’re able to do their job properly.

Some obstructions like debris, leaves, twigs, pine needles and even insects can accumulate(especially during fall time) so routine gutter cleaning applicators are a must. Normally, we instruct to clean your gutter systems during springtime and fall.

Before Inspection

Before you begin, make sure to walk around your property. Inspect the condition of your gutter systems up close. Glance at the upper portions that are not reachable and make sure they look in good standing, are not sagging or have missing fasteners or screws. Next, gather some items that you will need, such as goggles, gloves, hardhat and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants. These provide security and if any issues arise, you will be protected from injuries.

Creative Gutters Cleaning Methods

We go over some of the best cleaning tools available without having the need for ladders or getting off the ground. We show you how below

Garden Hose

Probably the simplest and fastest method besides manually going up a ladder and cleaning it yourself. As long as there are no clogs and there’s just a small amount of dirt and small debris on your gutter systems, then using a garden hose is one of the easiest and less pricier ways to have your them cleaner than before.

  • Simple yet effective when there are no clogs or large items found on your gutters
  • Move from one end of the house to the other as you make your way towards the downspouts
  • Keep in mind to pause every couple of minutes in order to allow the water to flow properly and avoid unnecessary flooding
  • Make sure that the water pressure is strong enough to move the items and dirt through
  • Can get messy once all the dirt pools at the ends of the downspouts and will require additional cleaning

gardening hose used to clean residential gutters

Gutter Flusher

A flusher or gutter cleaning applicator wand attaches to a garden house and is able to convert the water into a high power jet stream. These are designed exclusively to clean them.

  • Similar to using a garden hose. Start at one end of the home and make your way towards the downspouts slowly.
  • Stop once in a while for the items inside the gutter to make their way and to avoid flooding your gutters.

Leaf Blower

Leaf blowers are used to clear areas of scattered leaves during the fall. They can also be used to effectively clean your gutters.

  • Make sure your leaf blower has a nozzle attachment. This is the best type to use, as the nozzle shoots a strong and narrow stream of air and is easier to control the direction of the leaves
  • As stated above, use protective goggles to avoid any injuries


leaf blower being used to clean gutters and downspouts

Power Washer

Another tool that is not meant for gutter cleaning but can double as such. The perfect DIY cleaning tool that you may have laying around your home.

  • Use your power washer to clean your gutters, we do recommend to start on a lower level and up it as you go along. Too much pressure can cause damage and you do not want that.

Shop Vacuum

Keeping along with the other items you might have around your home and can use to clean your systems, we have the shop vacuum. A shop vacuum or wet-dry vac, along with additional attachments, can work as a gutter vacuum. It helps to clean from the ground and there’s no need to use gloves or ladders. This is also a great option if you do not have other items on this list.

Extendable Metal Poles

An extendable metal pole is a great option to stay on the ground while cleaning your gutters from a safe distance. A great option of extendable metal poles is the Orbit 58543 Telescoping wand. Along with a garden hose and the telescoping wand, you are able to extend the wand from 40 to 70 inches, and reach the lower gutters from the ground. The telescoping wand is a simple, yet effective tool to use. As for how to start, we recommend starting the nozzle at a lower water pressure then upping the water pressure.

Hire a Professional Gutter Cleaner Service

Definitely the easiest how to choice on this list, but not one of the cheapest. Also ideal if you do not have time to do it yourself or winter snow is around the corner, relying on a cleaning company is not a bad idea.

  • They have the right cleaning tools to use
  • Have the experience and guarantee that your gutters will be clean and in pristine condition
  • Avoid potentially damages, especially if its your first time cleaning them yourself
  • You can be sure that your gutters are good to go for the winter or summer time. When there’s plenty of snow or rain.

Climb on your Roof

This one depends on the pitch and size of your roof. Do not attempt this if your roof is steep as it can be dangerous and you could loose your footing. If the pitch of the roof is one that you can walk on, then put on flat shoes, gloves, a hardhat, long sleeve shirt and pants and hop on. As long as you’re comfortable, of course.

  • Always take safety precautions, make sure the roof is dry after a storm, there are no sagging areas or leaks and you are wearing protective items of clothing
  • Walk slowly towards the edge of your roof, and use a gutter scoop or tool to remove the debris from the gutters
  • Work slowly as you get more comfortable being on the roof

Other Methods

Boiling Water

  • Ideal for small areas, or one area in particular. Boil hot water and pour it on your gutters to help break any difficult debris or debris that is stuck. We do advise to be extremely careful not to splash any of the water on yourself, for obvious reasons.

Gutter Guards

If you are tired of dealing with constant maintenance, then look into installing gutter guards. Their whole purpose is to protect your gutters and make sure large leaves, twigs, pine needles or insects do not accumulate by passing thorough the small holes. There are multiple options to go with gutter guards, from budget friendly options, like vinyl and more costly and durable ones, like steel. Ask your roofing contractor for different price points and the benefits of each of these, if its something of interest. The great thing is there are lots of gutter guards and how these are beneficial with all types of price points.



When Cleaning Your Gutters is Not Enough

Let’s say you cleaned your gutters without a ladder  but you notice they’re still not doing their job properly. You want to fix this issue as soon as possible. A dysfunctional system will bring more dire consequences to your roof over time. Then, its time to have a professional look over and see what the issues are.

Not sure if its time to get a replacement? Call a general contractor for an inspection. Consulting with a professional puts your mind at ease. They’ll provide the best solution and help protect your home.

Need additional tips or home services? Contact Oscar Roofing to help care of your gutters and downspouts today.G