Cleaning your gutters can be a hassle. Leaves and pine needles will drop into them, and they can easily get clogged and overflow, causing you homeownership headaches. Keeping them clear is important, not just during the rainy season, but as winter weather rolls in, as keeping gutters clear will help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.
But getting up on a ladder to clean out gutters isn’t always the safest or most convenient option. Here are some tools and tool extensions that will help you clear out your gutters without ever leaving the ground.
Use a blower extension
An extension for a standard leaf blower will allow you to clear gutters by stretching the nozzle to roof height and adding an attachment that points down toward the gutter. This universal leaf blower extension kit will work with most leaf blowers and can reach up to 11 feet up. You can also use this extension with a shop vac converted to a blower by switching the vacuum hose from the intake to the exhaust port.
Use water to blast leaves out
To avoid a climb, use water to blast leaves out of your gutters. You have a few options here. The first is a garden hose attachment that will squirt water from your hose up into the gutter, washing leaves up and over the sides. This telescoping garden hose attachment can reach up to seven feet, six inches into the gutter, making ladders unnecessary on first floor gutters.
If you have lower water pressure or a more challenging packed-in leaf situation, using a pressure washer extension is a good choice. This universal pressure washer extension will reach up to nine feet, and can accommodate up to 4000 PSI to blast caked-together leaves out of your gutters. (Just be careful not to use too much pressure, or you’ll risk damaging your gutters.)
Use a long extension pole
If you have a tool that works from the ground, starting with a good telescoping extension pole can set you up for success. A standard seven- to 24-foot extension pole will reach the gutters on most houses, and you can use one pole to swap out multiple tools. Keep in mind that the longer your pole is extended, the more difficult it will be to control.
Use a grabber
If you have a clump of leaves or another object like a ball blocking your gutters, fish it out using a grabber on an extension pole. This gutter cleaning grabber is operated using a rope and a pole and can be mounted on most tool poles. Its jaws will open up to about a foot to accommodate even relatively large objects—but be careful picking up anything too heavy, since the spring operated mechanism isn’t geared for major extractions.
Use a tiny rake
For a low-tech option, you can use attach a telescoping handle to a tiny rake that you can angle to reach into the gutter to remove leaves. Since it attaches with standard fittings like those on painter’s poles, you can use it at whatever extension you like. As it’s small, this rake might be a little too floppy for larger jobs, but it will get the job done for most standard cleanup operations.
Use an inspection mirror
You can also use an inspection mirror to check out what’s in your gutter so you know what tool to use to clear it. Discovering that what you thought was a clump of leaves is really a ball can totally change your approach to the project. Add an inspection mirror to your telescoping pole to see what’s going on from the ground, and check them out again when you’re done to make sure you’ve cleared everything out.
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