Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gutter Cleaning - Why, How, When, Tools and More

Everyone knows gutter cleaning is important. Cleaning gutters is a job that must get done every year for most homes. It can be difficult and tedious, because unfortunately not every one knows how easy or how much fun it can be when you know how to clean gutters. Yes it is fun. Being on a ladder or on a roof gives you an adrenaline rush and when you finish a tough gutter cleaning job you feel as if you have climbed Mt. Everest and back again. Be Safe, and learn proper gutter cleaning methods and you can have fun!

Why is Gutter Cleaning Important?

Cleaning the gutters on your house is a great way to protect your investment. When they are properly working, gutters collect the water from your roof and channel it away from your home. Cleaning your gutters on a regular basis prevents them from getting clogged and over flowing. Clogged gutters can spill over into areas around your house and cause flooding and water damage. Gutters that are not cleaned regularly can rust through and then have to be replaced. This can be very expensive.

Cleaning Gutter and Fixing Clogged Downspouts

Clogged gutters are annoying and occasionally they are hard to deal with. The best way to unclog gutter downspouts that are over flowing is to start by uncapping the clog at the top of the down spout with your hand. 50% of the time this will get them flowing again. Be careful it doesn't clog back up with the loose debris. If that doesn't work, try unclogging the downspout with a toilet snake or a long garden house (be careful on ladders.) and snake your through the clog. If that doesn't work, or if the clog is further down, you will have better luck un-attaching the downspout, cleaning it out, and then re-attaching it. Where a rain suit if you have one or else do this from the side or you will get very soaked. :)
Another reason why people have their gutter cleaned is because they can see the weeds growing over the top. In the late Spring it is not uncommon to see 3 to 4 ft weed growing out of the gutters on some houses. When your neighbor start commenting on how beautiful your (roof) garden is, this is a good indicator that you need to have you gutters cleaned

Gutter Cleaning Tools

There are really several tools you need to clean gutters. Let's look at each of these gutter cleaning tools listed in order of importance and explain why each type of tools is needed.
The first tool you need is a good ladder. If you have a smaller build, I would suggest an aluminum ladder. If you have a bigger build, you may need a fiberglass ladder. Aluminum ladders typically hold 200 to 250 pounds. Fiberglas ladders hold 250 to over 300 pounds. Fiber glass is a little heavier than aluminum. In most cases a 24 to 28 ft ladder will work fine for 2 to 2 1/2 stories. It is also a good idea to have a ten foot a frame for getting on the roof on the first level.

Other useful gutter cleaning equipment you might need include gloves, a square bucket with a handle, a gutter cleaning rake, and safety line and a safety harness for extremely high or steep roofs. A gutter rake is my favorite gutter cleaning toll. You can buy these for less then $25 dollars. b They can greatly speed up the time it takes you to get a job finished, allow you to reach around windows, and stay further away from the edge. They makes the job faster and less dangerous. You want to use a flat bucket, because it balance better then a round one.
Your line and harness should be high quality. If you don't know how to install it properly ask a contractor or work with someone that does. You may also need some spiked roofing shoes for ceder roofs. One brand that I like is called Korker roofing shoes. When buying safety equipment

I usually upgrade to the most expensive equipment out there as soon as I can.
Other gutter cleaning tools you might need:
A down spout unclogging tool. (Usually a elongated coat hanger works great.)
A hose,- for flushing the down spouts when you are finished clearing them
A hammer and nails for fixing gutters as needed
A flat and a Phillips screw driver.
A sealer for patching gutters or filling nail holes in the roof.
In some cases, a wet dry vac can also be used to clean out the gutter.
These is every gutter cleaning tool I use to clean gutters on a regular basis. If you have anything else you would recommend, or think would be useful, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks, Spencer

My Experience Gutter Cleaning

For the last two years I have been cleaning gutters in some of the richest suburbs surrounding Portland, Oregon. Nearly every house is situated on a steep hill surrounded by trees and a lot of these houses are in excess of 3 stories. After two years of gutter cleaning, most extreme sports don't seem very extreme any more. Portland is likely to be the hardest place on earth to clean gutters and we were extremely busy with our start up business Fall, Winter and Spring. This is the land of perpetual rain. And in the winter, you will often have the intensity of a tropical rainstorm, down around 35-40 degrees. We have a ton of deciduous trees and pine needles. I have learned that Pine needles fall year round and the Spring time blossoms can clog almost as many gutters as the leaves in the Fall. I this job. It is very fun and exciting. Every job is a new challenge and it is always fun finding new and inventive ways of gutter cleaning, that both save me time and increase my profitability. I will try and give you the best advice I can, but you also need to be extremely careful because gutter cleaning has many variables including wind, slippery roofs and frost bite. Always dress warmly and wear the proper safety equipment. Even though it is fun to work fast, you should never rush.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Gutter Scoop and a Gutter Rake: Two Tools I Recommend

Since 2008 I have been working on cleaning out gutters for a lot of customers. As a full-time landscaper come I always had plenty of work to do in the spring summer and fall, but I didn't really have a lot to do in the winter. So that is when I started cleaning out gutters. I have probably cleaned out over 500 gutters in the last few years. Every time I do the job it seems to get easier because I become more adept and because I keep buying better tools.

There are two tools that I like to use that are not very expensive. I highly recommend these tools to you how is specially if you like to get the job done faster and you don't want to spend a lot of money to do the job right. The first tool is a gutter rake.

The first time that I bought this tool, a little skeptical. I thought maybe it was just a lot-it wasn't not help out very much. But then I started using it, and I was surprised at how much faster and easier it was to clean gutters around the house by using a gutter rake. I quickly discovered that the standard 5 foot pole that they give you at the rake isn't enough. So I went to Lowe's and I bought a 15 foot extension pole. I think I paid $30 for it, and at the time I thought man I am just using up with the money here. Soon however, I realize that having a 15 foot extension pole could save me a lot of time, especially on the houses that were not that bad. The way most houses work is that there is usually one of the four side that is really bad, and the other three are not. Most of the time, it is the side on the back of the house that gives you the most trouble. By using a gutter rake an extension point was actually able to clean the front and sides of the house twice as quickly. The reason why save so much time was because I didn't have to go up and down the ladder once for every 6 feet of gutter. Rather, I only have a go up and down the ladder once for every 30 feet of gutter. It really made a huge difference.

Another tool that I actually liked, I borrowed from a customer the first time I used it. It is called a gutters scoop. This tool only cost like three dollars, and it was definitely worth it. It really only saves a few minutes per house versus cleaning out the gutters by hand, but it keeps your hands from getting gross and covered in muck. Another advantage is that it also keeps your hands dry, which is a really good thing when it is wet and cold outside. I would definitely recommend a gutters scoop to anyone who has gutters to clean on a regular basis. There is a yellow scooper and a red one, the yellow one is really just a waste of money, you want to buy the red gutter scooper because it is much wider and works better on 80% of the houses. I have really enjoyed using a gutters do and a gutter rake to help me clean a lot of gutters.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why Are There Not Very Many Old People Cleaning Gutters?

Why are there not very many old people cleaning gutters? The whole time I was cleaning gutters, I only saw one or two people that work older than me, and I am a pretty young guy. This is why I think there were not a lot of them:

1. Old people don't clean gutters because people have a tendency to get more intelligence as
they go through life.(or at least rule out dumb choices) I started cleaning gutters when I was very young.

2. If I was not as young as I was, I never would have cleaned out some of the roofs that I did. It takes a lots of gusto to put forth the effort to risk your life to make only $150. When I worked as a gutter cleaner, I cleaned gutters in Portland Oregon. This is probably the most dangerous place in the world to clean gutters. It rained about 95% of the time. A lot of the roofs were covered with wet slippery moss. Not very much fun, but at the end of the day I feel like I had accomplished some great task.

3. Old people will get hurt a lot easier. During the last few years I have only fallen off of two roofs. But man do they hurt. At least I was using my safety line the first time. It caught me about halfway down and then slammed into the side of the house. Then I let go of my line and tell another 9 feet. It was not very much fun. I learned that even if the roof doesn't look icy on the south side, it doesn't mean that it isn't icy on the north side.

4. I also think that a lot of people who are daredevils, (and you have to be a daredevil to
clean out gutters,) don't have a very high life expectancy. I vividly remember two jobs I went to where the owners took time to point out me where the previous guys had fallen off the roof. For a minute I felt relieved that I wasn't the only one dumb enough to fall off a roof. Then I started thinking about how I needed to increase my life insurance just in case. While I am not one to be easily daunted by a hard task, I received a lot of extra encouragement from my wife and from my inner self to improve my life by starting a blog rather than spending all day cleaning out gutters. Now I am grateful that I made the change even though the first years of life cleaning gutters and blogging were actually very hard and difficult.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gutter Cleaning Tips - Start to Finish

Here are a few steps to make your gutter cleaning process easier from start to finish:

If you are a know how to clean gutters, great, this article will only help you to improve your skills that you already have.

As a professional gutter cleaner, I have cleaned out hundreds of gutters every year. Each time I clean out a gutter, I try and focus on how to do it faster and how to do a better job. I have found that it is normally best to start with clean gutters in the front of the house. This is because these gutters are the easiest most of the time. And you can feel great because you'll be moving quickly as you make an effort to clean that. If your house is only one story, and your wrist is not very steep, you can clean them simply by sitting on top of your roof and bending down and cleaning them out with your hand or with a gutters. You want to bring a bucket up along with you so you have some place but the degree that you do from the gutters. If your house is two stories, you'll be best to do it with a ladder. When I buy a ladder for gutter cleaning, I usually like by a 24 foot ladder with just all lakes. This will allow me to lease to the top of any two-story house. And it will also allow me to have a steady ladder as I climb up to clean them. Another tool that I have found helps me out immensely, is to have a small gutter snake, or toilet snake. This allows me to complete and effortlessly unclog all of the downspouts. A third tool which I like to use is a better rate. I put my gutter rate on the end of a 12 foot extension pole, and it does a great job at cleaning out gutters, especially those that are not completely full. By being able to clean out 12 feet on either side of the latter, I don't have to go up and down the ladder quite as many times, and I can still get the job done fairly quickly. If the roof is more than three stories, you will probably want to go back to cleaning it from on top of the roof. Only now, you'll want to make sure that you have a safety line and a safety harness. As you reach over the edge of the roof and clean out the gutters, make sure that you are safely anchored to the top of the roof. Safety, is your number one priority. Please be careful not to go on groups that have ice on them. Also be extremely careful when Bruce are slippery, or when you are cleaning the gutters on the corners of the house. As a general rule, a ladder that is less than 30 feet is safer than the root. When you are using a 30 foot ladder, make sure that you have a spotter that will help you put the ladder up, because if you are not used to it, you may be lacking in strength and balance.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Clean Gutters in the Winter?

If you are cleaning your gutters in the winter, then I definitely feel sorry for you. For two years, I cleaned gutters for a living, and I would be busy from about the middle of September until the middle of April. Clean gutters in the winter was one of the hardest parts of my job. When there is snow on the roof, you typically do not want to clean gutters, and you definitely do not want to go on the roof. It is possible however to clean them. To do this, you will want to use a hammer and break up the chunks of guys that are in the gutter. With the hammer you need to be very careful that you do not accidentally hit the gutter. You can dance or permanently damaged the gutter very easily when you are swinging a hammer into it. I suggest that you hack away at the ice with a 45 to 50° angle. This way most of the impact, is going sideways instead of straight down, and you are less likely to damage your gutters.

After you break the chunks out pull them out of the gutter and let them fall to the ground or else put them in a bucket and bring them down your ladder. Do not attempt to get on the roof to clean out your gutters. It is much too dangerous once there is snow and ice on them. You will have to do it from a ladder. If the ice is not very thick, you may be able to remove it in about twice the time it would take you to think out and ordinary gutter. If the ice is thick, you may want to wait until the sun has a chance to melt the gutters or at least melt the edges so that you can just pull out the chunks of ice floating in the water. In order to unclog a downspout that is full of lies, you'll want to remove the downspout from the house, and then you want to run hot water through it until you are able to remove all of the ice that is clogging it. This can take you three or four times longer to do then when you are cleaning them under good circumstances. Gutter cleaning is a lot better to do in the fall or in the spring. Cleaning gutters in the winter when there is snow on the roof and when the gutters are full of ice can take you five or six hours just to clean the gutters on an ordinary house. The average time it takes to clean out gutters is two hours or less.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Don't Get Ripped off on Fancy Gutter Filters

If you are thinking about getting an expensive gutter filtration device installed in your home, maybe it is time that you evaluated it on a financial basis. Is buying the leaf filter, gutter guard, or gutter helmet a good investment? Well, most of these services offer a lifetime guarantee, but not all of them will back that up and you really have no way of knowing if they will be around in 10 or 15 years. And chances are they will get clogged no matter what. But regardless, the gutter types that they install do not get clogged nearly as quickly as your traditional gutters. But, they are very expensive. For an average house, they charge about $5000. If you have a large house, it could be as much as $7-$10,000. This isn't heard of money. If you took $5000 and put it into a stock or a mutual fund and were able to get 10% return on your money, you would be making $500 on your investment every year. Since most people charge between 100 and $200 every year to clean your gutters, you can easily afford this on the $500 you're making off of your principal. You can even have your gutters cleaned twice for $200 and still be spending less money and still have $5000 invested. So it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense for these companies to charge so much. When I was professionally cleaning gutters I only charged an average of $125 per house.

I cleaned gutters professionally, so I am a little biased. But if you want to install a gutter filter over your existing gutters, you can do it for around $200. This is by using the gutter filters found at Home Depot or Lowe's. Is very affordable to do it yourself. And while these filters do not work quite as well as the more expensive ones, they are a lot cheaper and they still block just about everything except for pine needles. So if you are interested in using a filtration device, I would recommend that you use the filters that you can install yourself because they are the only ones that are worth what you pay for them. If you do not want to install these gutter filters your self, just hired someone who cleans gutters to install them for you. Even if it costs you $200 for the materials and $200 for the installation you are still paying $4600 less than you would to have your gutters replaced. I don't know about you but to me it seems like it is well worth the investment.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring Gutter Cleaning?

What, gutter cleaning in the spring? Actually cleaning out your rain gutter in the spring is just as important to cleaning out your gutters in the fall. In the Spring time, gutter can often be clogged by tree blossoms or even by pine needles a tree branches that have accumulated on your house over the winter. All of these things can a frequently do cause your down spouts to get clogged and overflow your gutters especially in the spring.

In the spring you often get a lot more rain then you do in the fall. In addition, the rain comes down very heavily. Heavy rain is nice, because it cleans off your roof, but the downside it that often most of the debris gets trapped in your gutters and then causes them to over flow. If you clean your gutters in the Spring you can keep this from happening. Spring gutter cleaning is less tedious and a lot more enjoyable then cleaning them in the winter. You can typically do it in half the time. Spring gutter cleaning will allow you to have clean, dry gutters all Spring and summer. This will mean that the gutter on your roof will probably last a lot longer and they won't need to be repair your replaced.

Another reason to clean them clean in the Spring it to keep weeds (and trees) from growing out of your gutter. To often, weeds and tree seeds that have blown onto your roof, start growing out of your gutters. Not only can this be embarrassing, but it can also cause damage to your gutters and down spouts. Therefore, cleaning out your gutters on a regular basis will prevent them from getting damaged or from having to be replaced and is very import to do even in the spring.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Are you anxious and filled with dread at the prospect of your next gutter cleaning task? Cheer up! This article will give you some simple tips to make gutter cleaning faster and easier.

Tip Number One:

Planning ahead is the secret to a successful gutter cleaning. You just can’t pick up any day to clean your gutters. You must choose an appropriate time for this task. First of all, you need to be in top physical shape to be up for the task at hand. If you are not feeling well, do not force yourself to do this job! Next, make sure that the weather is nice, and not too hot. You cannot work under too much heat. A rainy weather can also be very dangerous since it could lead to falls. Once you’ve picked out a day, make sure you don’t have any other commitments occurring on that day, so you will be free from any interruption.

Tip Number Two:

Prepare the tools you are going to need, such as hand gloves, face mask, trash bag, a gutter scoop or any improvised scooping tool, a garden hose that connects to a water source, a gutter brush or any hard- bristled brush, a scraping tool and a prying tool. If possible, use long-handled tools that will extend your reach over your gutters. Most importantly, prepare the ladder you are going to use. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and working properly. Finally, get a friend to help you out. Some people prefer to do it alone, but it is always best to have somebody to assist you in case you need something, and also in cases of accidents.

Tip Number Three:

Cleaning starts by manually removing the debris that accumulated inside your gutters. If you have a gutter blower, then you can use this to blow away the trash instead of scooping them one by one. (You can also use a gutter rake or a gutter scoop.) Try to reach as far as you can (without endangering yourself in the ladder). You will need to get down, move the ladder, then go up again to clean the next section of the gutters. Since you need both hands to remove the trash faster, tie your trash bag to your ladder, instead of holding onto it with one hand. Dump all your trash into the bag.

Tip Number Four:

Wash of your gutters with water. You can ask your friend to turn on the water source. Washing will
soften up the dirt and grime, making it easier for you to brush and scrub them later on. As mentioned earlier, it is best to use a long-handled brush to give you the extended reach you need to cover a larger section of your gutters. After brushing and scrubbing, flush the gutters again with water. If there are materials that block your drainpipes, you can use a prying tool to remove it.

Tip number Five:

As you make your way cleaning through the entire gutters, make sure to keep an eye for any damages, so you can fix them promptly, instead of going down the ladder, and moving it and then going up again.

This will exhaust you and consume more time than necessary. For every section you clean, always check for any breaks so you can fix it while already in that position.

Always remember, that for every undertaking you perform, a quick eye, good presence of mind, and readiness will ensure your success.


Knowing how to clean gutter is very important. Gutter cleaning can often be seen as a boring job. Not only that, it is a time-consuming and wearisome task compared to other chores within the home. However, gutter cleaning is extremely important to every homeowner. The potential problems that could arise from untended gutters are far more complicated, as well as pocket draining.

Gutters are the collecting system attached along the edges of your roof. They collect water running from your roof during massive rains. Gutters are essential to keep the heavy flow of water from falling directly into the sides of your house. Without gutters, the heavy downpour of water will damage whatever it hits below. Unfortunately, water is not the only thing that gutters collect. Due to winds and rains, different materials also find their way into our gutters. Debris such as dead leaves, twigs, dead insects and dirt accumulate within your gutters. Even kids’ toys, doggie bones and bird’s nest find their way up there! If left unattended, the accumulated materials will clog up and stuff up your gutters.

In order to clean your gutters, the first thing you must do is to plan ahead. Choose a day when you have no other things to bother you, such as a weekend. This is really important. It would be such a headache if you are constantly being interrupted in the middle of your cleaning. Also, choose a day that is fair. You cannot clean your gutters under extreme weather conditions. Intense heat will exhaust you and might possibly cause heat stroke. On the other hand, a rainy day will make your ladders slippery, which could lead to accidents.

Prepare all the tools you would need, and recruit the help of a friend who can assist you while you
perform this laborious task. Once you’re ready, set up your ladder securely before ascending your way to the gutters. Once you have reached the gutters, reach out as far as your hands can take you, and start removing all unwanted materials using a gutter scoop. You can either dump the trash below, or collect them in a trash bag. After removing the debris, wash the gutters off with water coursing from your garden hose. This will flush away any remaining dirt. Next, proceed to scrubbing and brushing. Your gutters are bound to be filled with slimy black spots and grime. This can be eliminated by using a gutter brush. The gutter brush usually has a long handle that will enable you to cover more sections of your gutters. After brushing, get the garden hose and do a final washing to completely remove all the dirt.

Before calling it a day, be sure to check for any breaks or damages present in your gutters. See to it
that your downspouts and draining systems are clear and free from any blockage. Make sure that the gutters are still intact, and all attachments are working properly. Also check that the water flows and drains smoothly. Once you’ve ascertained that your gutters are still in excellent working condition, then you can put aside all your worries and give yourself a deep breath of relief, because finally you have accomplished your biggest task of the day.

Knowing when, why and how to clean your gutters will ensure the success of cleaning your home

Useful words
how to clean gutters, how to clean out gutters, , how to clean rain gutters

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Unclog a Downspout.

Clogged downspouts can cause a big mess around your home. What is the best method for 'how to unclog a downspout'. A clog happens when water is blocked from going down the drain. Typically, the easiest way to unclog a down spout is to remove the debris that is just above the downspout that migt be causing the drain to get clogged. When you do this, you need to be especially careful not to cause another clog. Do this by not allowing addition debris from the gutters to go down into the downspout.

If the clog is inside, it may take a little more work. Three things I have used include a gutter snake, (toilet snake), a hose end, and even a wire coat hanger. Each works best for a different type of clog.

A small garden hose can be used to unclog soft clogs that are cause by dirt and and leaves. Simple slid the end into the down spout and turn the hose on full blast. If the clog is easy, it will come right out and water will start flowing down the downspout again.

Difficult clogs will require a snake. Because gutter downspout are much smaller then toilets, you will want to use the thinnest snake you buy. Then snake the top until you get to the second turn in the gutter. Pull out whatever you can and the remainder of the clog will be flushed down.

Coat hangers, are a little more smaller then a snake and almost as strong. They are good at removing bits of wood that clog gutters on shake roofs. The one disadvantage is that they are often not very long. They work well for the first bend in the gutter but not very well for the second.

If you still can't unclog it, you may have to take the downspout of, clean it and then carefully reattach it to the house. When you do this, remove the nail on one side of each support bracket. Remove the downspout that is clogged. Turn it up side down and shake it or flush it with water. The clog in the down spout should then come right out. You can also look through it or tell by the weight whether it is still clogged. After you are done cleaning it, re attach it to the hose. Make sure the down spout is in the same location.