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Gutter-Cleaning Vacuums and Other Implements
Cleaning the gutters is an unpopular seasonal home ritual. However, helpful gutter-cleaning devices are available at several technology levels. Gutter-cleaning vacuums, leaf blower attachments and manual claws can all help you do the mucky job.
High-Tech Gutter-Cleaning Vacuums
The iRobot Looj, brought to you by the Roomba self-propelled vacuum cleaner company, is a line of self-propelled electric gutter-cleaning vacuums. Like many other gutter-cleaning vacuums, the Looj pushes most of the debris onto the roof and the ground. It is the most high-tech way of avoiding the yuck factor of reaching into the gutters, but you still need to pick up the leaves.
Weed Eater makes attachments that turn the company’s leaf blowers into the opposite of a gutter-cleaning vacuum: electric gutter-cleaning blowers. Various tubes with a 10-foot reach let you blow the leaves and debris out of the gutter without leaving the ground. Similarly, long hose attachments can turn pressure washers into gutter-cleaning washers.
Medium-Tech Gutter-Cleaning Devices
Other gutter-cleaning devices bridge the gap between power tools and work gloves. The Gutter Sense tool and similar brands make what is basically a claw on an extension pole. They allow you to pull out the leaves without the hazards of climbing on a ladder.
The Gutter Getter kit is a set of gutter-cleaning implements with extension poles that let you either scoop leaves straight out of the gutter or reach up and grab at them from the ground.
Low-Tech Gutter-Cleaning Implements
Even with all the nifty gadgets, many homeowners still rely on old-fashioned gutter-cleaning implements. Even if you’re willing to spend the bucks on a gutter-cleaning vacuum, it’s hard to find something that works better than a basic garden trowel. Just scoop out the debris and bag it up or toss it in the yard to rake up later. Thick work gloves can even be considered a low-tech gutter-cleaning implement. Just reach in there and grab at the goop.
There are various gutter-cleaning devices, including gutter-cleaning vacuums, gadgets and plain old work gloves. After using almost any of them, you will also likely need two final items for gutter cleaning. A garden hose will help you wash out stubborn, caked-on debris and make sure the water is flowing out of the downspouts again. Finally, a rake will help you pick up all the leaves you pushed out of the gutters.
Author Steve Graham is an expert on green building who writes for several home improvement publications. He’s full of great, practical home improvement answers, and incidentally, he’s pretty funny – so send him a message.