How Do Professionals Clean Your Gutters?

How Do Professionals Clean Your Gutters?

Everybody loves the fall and spring seasons owing to the pleasant weather conditions. Yet when it comes to spring cleaning or to prepare your house for the winter, homeowners despise one particular task – cleaning out the gutters. It is a menial task that takes up most of a day but is vital for your roof and the foundation’s longevity. Gutters are metallic or plastic half-pipes that run along the edges of your roof to primarily catch the rainwater flowing over the roof (and the debris floating in it) and direct it away from the foundation. Not to paint an unpleasant picture but consider rain gutters to be like the human colon; unless you keep them clean, the waste can cause expensive structural damage to your house.

The Reason why most house owners wish to avoid gutter cleaning is that since the gutters run along the roof edges, it means you need to perch up against a ladder and manually scoop out whatever mulch clogs the gutter. There is a risk of falling from heights, so investing in safety kits such as harnesses, rubber gloves, and an extension pole to reach hard-to-reach places. So, most opt for a professional to manage the gutter cleaning as they have the experience and can clean the gutters quickly for a fee. Depending on the type of debris, professionals use different methods, and we shall look into gutter cleaning for each kind. 

How Professionals Clean your Gutters

Prerequisite Inspection

Before any professional gutter cleaning company or contractor begins working on your gutter, they inspect to understand the approach. The tools used changes as per the following criteria:

  • Gutter length
  • Roof height
  • The current state of your gutter (blocked or choked-up)
  • Gutter size
  • Placement of downspout
  • The type of debris

The most common tools used for gutter cleaning are:

  • Leaf Blower
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • Garden House & Gutter Scooper
  • Plain ol’ Hands and Human Strength
  • Power washer

Professional Gutter Cleaning With a Leaf Blower

When you have dry debris such as leaves, twigs, and the occasional bird feathers, professionals rely on pneumatics (i.e., pressurized air). A leaf blower is powerful enough to set an air stream that can easily dislodge light debris & debris, opening a path for the gutter to work as intended. Modern leaf blowers can be fitted with a nozzle attachment designed to force the air and release as a pressurized air jet. Professional cleaners use the leaf blower to push the debris towards the downspout while being careful not to push the debris into the downspout. The accumulated debris can be picked up manually or vacuumed to be disposed of.

Gutter Cleaning using a Wet/Dry Vacuum

Vacuum cleaners are a great way to suck in dust and dirt off a plain flat surface, but in the case of gutter cleaning, they may be ineffective. Instead, professionals use industrial-sized vacuum machines that pick up heavier debris such as mud or dried up dirt that holds its ground (pun intended) against leaf blowers. Using hoses and curved attachments, professional cleaners can moisten the dirt before vacuuming it up. This makes it easy for them to reach the obstructed gutters without using a ladder. 

Flushing the debris away using Garden Hose

The simplest form of gutter cleaning is when you have very low filth collected in your gutters that can be easily flushed using a garden hose. Starting from the point farthest from the downspout, the worker uses running water to pick up the light-weighted debris and wet the collected dirt. By placing a grill at the downspout area, larger debris such as leaves and twigs are collected while the wastewater flushes down the spout. This type of cleaning can be paired with wet/dry vacuum as well as manual cleaning (explained next). Provided that the gutter is cleaned periodically, the house owner themselves can do this type of cleaning.

Manually cleaning the Gutters by Hand

The most physical work-intensive, and primitive form of cleaning, involves cleaners climbing up a ladder armed with a ladder, bucket, gutter scoop, and heavy-duty work gloves. Large-sized wastes are removed by picking them up by hand or using a gutter scoop. While cleaning manually, professionals also remove the elbow that connects the gutter to the downspout to remove any grime stuck inside. Finally, they flush the gutters and check the flow on the downspout to confirm a clean gutter system.

Nuke ‘em with a Pressure Washer

The most powerful solution available is using a pressure washer to spray everything down. The water jet from the spray nozzle of a power washer is pressurized enough to unroot any dust and grime while being gentle on the gutter surface. Professional cleaners use pressure washing to clear out any obstructions in the downspout. Simply point the nozzle down the downspout and let the water jet breakthrough any obstructions allow the water to run freely through it.

How to detect gutter clogging?

As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of a gutter is to collect the rainwater flowing down the roof and direct them away from the foundation of a house. Failure to do so means water logging either at the downspout or near the foundation. This water can seep inside from the exterior walls. Suppose you notice streak marks on your walls originating from the section near your roof, or the basement feels humid and stuffy after rain. In that case, the chances are that water is accumulated in the gutter and seeping inside.  Similarly, if you observe that water is collected in the garden beds close to your house’s exterior but away from the downspout, it is from overflooded gutters. You can also check it by manually pouring water on your rain gutters.

How often to book a gutter cleaning session

The gutters need to remain unclogged to be efficient, and there is no specific number you can put the finger on when it comes to booking professional gutter cleaning. It depends on the vegetation density in your location and how much rainfall you get round the year. It is good to book one session right before winter begins as leaves tend to shed during the fall season. You can also book one during winter if the gutter tips from the weight of the snow.  Keep a close eye on the lips of the gutter; if it is full, then it’s time to book a pressure washing service.

Wrapping Up

Gutter cleaning is a time-consuming task, but with experienced cleaning contractors such as Aaron’s Pressure Washing, all you need to do is give them a call and leave the work on them. Compared to all other gutter cleaning methods, pressure washing is the most cost-effective and quickest professional cleaning method. Thanks to the pressurized water, you don’t need any other chemicals or cleaning solutions for grime removal. Moreover, due to the pressure, the power washer can be operated from the ground or from a flat surface, eliminating the ladder altogether. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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