No one likes cleaning gutters. It can be messy, smelly and time-consuming. However, because gutters clogged with leaves, dirt and other natural debris are heavier than clear gutters, they can begin to pull away from the roof. Also, with nowhere to go, water in clogged gutters can back up onto the roof and under the roof’s shingles, creating soft spots and potential leaks. Make sure water flows freely in your gutters, and that they stay snuggly against your roof, by cleaning your gutters with a pressure washer. It’s fast, but it requires you to use the right attachments and ensure your gutters can handle the force of the water.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Gutter spikes (optional)
- Outdoor spigot
- Garden hose
- Pressure washer
- Extension or telescoping wand attachment
- Gutter-cleaning attachment
Inspect the spikes holding your gutters to your roof to ensure they are secure by getting onto your roof via ladder and carefully checking each section of gutter. With a hammer, drive loose spikes back securely in place or, if necessary, replace old spikes with longer ones. You don’t want the water shooting through the pressure washer to push your gutters away from your roof.
Choose a section of gutter near your outdoor water source to begin your gutter-cleaning process.
Set up the pressure washer following the manufacturer’s directions, attaching it to your water supply.
Attach to the pressure washer an extension or telescoping wand and then, onto that, a gutter cleaning rod attachment. The gutter cleaning attachment should be curved to help you guide the water into the gutter while standing beneath it without having to climb a ladder again. Make sure the extension or telescoping wand is long enough so you can reach the inside of the gutters with the attachment while standing firmly on the ground. Get a longer extension wand if needed, or completely extend it if is the telescoping type.
Turn on the pressure washer.
Clear the nearest downspout by shooting water down it first. If it is extremely clogged, you may need to use a snake (like you would a clogged drain) or, if your downspouts run under ground, sewer-jetting accessories. Repeat this step for all downspouts.
Guide the extension wand with the gutter-cleaning attachment along your gutter, starting at a nearby (cleared) downspout and working toward the opposite end so that the leaves, dirt and other natural debris in your gutters either flow down the downspout or out over the gutter’s side and onto the ground.
Hold the rod near the top of the downspout, once that section of your gutter is cleared of debris, to dislodge blockages that may have formed.
Move on to the next downspout and the corresponding section of gutter. Repeat the process until all downspouts and gutters are clear.
Turn off the pressure washer and disassemble the attachments. Then use a rake or broom to clear the ground under previously clogged gutters of fallen debris.
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