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Question DetailsAsked on 4/27/2012

How do you clean your gutters?

I just moved to a new house and I noticed my gutters are overflowing with debris from a hemlock tree that hangs over the roof. I want to clean the gutters in the next week, but I don’t really like heights and it looks like it’ll be very messy. I know some people make their own tools for cleaning gutters, and I’ve heard others say a leaf blower is an efficient tool.

I would like to know what options I have, and what tools work the best?

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9 Answers


The recommended method for gutter cleaning is determined by the slope of your roof. If you have the upper body strength and balance & if the pitch is 40 degrees or less walking the roof with a gasoline powered blower can be fine. For steeper roofs working off a ladder may be best, An extension ladder should have a ladder stabilizer (a long horn type metal attachment) is best. Big box around $75.

If doing by hand a square scoop shovel like device is a nice tool,with a plastic bucket suspended by a hook (coat hanger end bent).

Another nifty device is a snorkel like device for your blower on a one story home. Consumer Report did not like the gutter rat like electric device, so it gets a down check.

Best idea a gutter filter, cheap one from the big box or go first cabin and invest in the Higgenbotham invention MasterShield so you never have to fight gutter debris again. Always be careful, leaving the ground is the most dangerous thing a homeowner can do.


Answered 8 years ago by jccasper


I don't have a leaf blower, as my property is too small for me to need one. I do, however, have a small, portable air compressor. I charge up the tank and connect a hand-operated "blow-gun" attachment to the hose. The blast of air blows the gutter clean and dislodges things a leaf blower may miss (e.g., packed, wet leaves). The compressed air also helps to unplug downspouts. You know the downspout is clear when you can see debris shoot out the other end, or see the grass blowing in the blast of air.

Protip: debris will fly everywhere - wear safety goggles!

Answered 8 years ago by Guest_96390622


First of all, walking on your roof as it has beensuggested to clean your gutters is a very dangerous task no matter what thepitch of your roof is. If you are not experienced at this and don't have the propersafety equipment it is that last thing you should do. A simple slip couldeasily be catastrophic.

Secondly, if your gutters are clogged one time then it islikely they will be clogged again and again throughout the year. Guttercleaning is usually a chore performed at least three to six times per yeardepending on the type and amount of trees in the debris field.

Inexpensive do-it-yourself type gutter protection istypically a short term solution. Consider calling out a few professionals toassess the problem for you and recommend the best type of gutter protection. Estimatesare often free and will help you compare the many different types of gutterprotection on the market.

If you are paying someoneto clean your gutters 4-6 times a year, a new gutter system could pay foritself in less than 5 years. It’s hard to fall off a roof you never have to getup on.

Jeff Viscount

The GutterShutter Company


Charlotte, NC


Answered 8 years ago by jviscount


There is a device called an iRobot gutter cleaner. It has a rotating front brush on it that propels the debris from the gutter onto your head if you are standing too close. It is remote controlled so you can send it trapsing down the gutter and then put it in reverse to come back to you. It runs on rubber treads analogous to tank treads. It is handy to tie a piece of twine to it. The twine helps you to retrieve the device if one of the gutter cross supports is somewhat low. The tapered brush will go under it when going forward but sometimes hangs up when going in reverse. It is available on You have to spend awhile charging the battery before you can use it.

Answered 8 years ago by First Fuzzy


I have a gently sloped roof (1 foot rise to every 3 feet lateral distance). I have used my electric leaf blower for years to clean my gutters. I do have the wider (5") gutters, so the leaf blower end fits right down in the gutter. I walk away from the edge, always wear sneakers/rubber soled boat shoes, and NEVER get up on the roof when it is even the slightest bit damp.

Answered 8 years ago by ART


I too have a ranch type roof with a standard 4/12 pitch. If you are uncomfortable walking on a roof of this pitch, I suspect you are even more uncomfortable on a ladder and should consider hiring someone to do the work. I have just over a 100-feet of gutter to clean and it takes about 15 minutes with a leaf blower. It takes more time to get out the blower and set up the ladder than to do the actual cleaning.

I also have a rental property with a spanish tile roof that I won't even consider crawling on, much less walking. A garden hose works quite well and extends your reach so you have fewer ladder moves to make. This roof has about 150 feet of gutter and takes about an hour with a hose. If your downspouts go into an underground storm drain, like mine do, it's a good idea to temporarily diconnect them from the underground piping so that all the leaves and debris go out on the grass instead of down the drain where they could clog up the piping.

Answered 8 years ago by Guest_9082675


Many companies around here will clean gutters using a leaf blower and just blow all the leaves and muck and garbage on the walls and ground. This is ok if it's your landscaper and they are going to clean it up right after, but most land scapers aren;t insured for roofing maintenance so this carries with it a whole new set of problems.

When we clean gutters, we do so by hand. This ensures that the garbage is neatly removed and isn't strewn about. Cleaning of the downspouts is also MANDATORY, because most gutter cleaning companies won't clean the downspouts and I couldn't tell you how many cleannig jobs we have done to just come back after someone else and clean the downspouts which are clogged. If the downspouts are not cleaned the gutters are essentially buckets.

We then wash the entire gutter system with a hose, this is to remove smudges and finger prints, but also so that we can address if the gutters have any leaks or sags. We can suggest preventive measures if we know what the problems are. This is not something you'll get from most other gutter cleaning companies, because most aren't qualified to make roofing or gutter repairs. Since we are a roofing and gutter contractor, and cleaning is a courtesy we offer, it's ez for us to address these issues.

You may want to clean your gutters 2-3 times a year, certainly check them a few times a year to ensure that they are clean. I suggest once after the seeds fall and once before the snow falls (assuming you are in a snow climate).

Your hands are your best tool for cleaning gutters. Hoses with jet tips usually work well for downspouts.


Answered 8 years ago by ReliableAmericanRoof


I have a ranch home and I get up on a ladder and scoop it out. I actually made a scoop...I took one of the tall, but skinny smart water bottles and cut it to make it look like a scoop. I then wrapped duct tape around the top of it for strength. I put the lid on it and it works great! After scooping, I always rinse everything, including downspouts with the hose. Hope that helps! :)

Answered 8 years ago by christiana72


You can buy a good gutter scooper dirt cheap. Very easy to use from a ladder. You can also buy strainers to go in the downspouts to avoid them getting clogged at all (also dirt cheap). Just keep a closer eye on the gutters as you can then get clogs at the entrance to the downspouts, but those are a lot easier to clean out than a clog inside the downspout.

Answered 8 years ago by Mike999

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