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Mykie1988

@charter.com

Best way to clean gutters?

It is getting that season when leaves fall and stuff gets in your gutters. I am a new home owner and I wonder what is the best way. Just get up there and scoop out what you can with you hands and then use a wet/dry vac to get the rest? Not sure if others have a better suggestion. Thxnks

-Mykie



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT

I scoop out what I can, the rest I flush with a hose.

You may want to look into something like this:
»www.amazon.com/dp/B003H9LXS4/?ta···03H9LXS4


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to Mykie1988

Leaf blower to blow out the dry stuff, then scoop out the wet junk, finally flush with the hose.



Darn leaves

@charter.com
reply to Mykie1988

Get GUTTER SCREENS at most hardware stores it's a lot cheaper then the foam. The foam thing scares me because it looks like it couldn't stop a rapid flow of a hard heavy rain.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to Mykie1988

Definitely put something up once you get them clean or you'll be back up there three more times in the fall and twice more in the spring cleaning them again.

I put on screens like these »www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/sto···02938895 and they've been alright, they DO keep debris out of the gutters.

Installing them wasn't too bad, but I added two screws per piece to positively lock them to my aluminum gutters. I just used #6 3/8" self drilling screws on my power screwdriver and zapped them right in. DEFINITELY put the upper edge under the lowest shingle tabs, that's a must.

I have to say I'm intrigued by the foam inserts, they have them at Costco, too. I'll probably give them a try on my next house (lots of trees). They look like the absolute simplest system to install.



Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Question about those screens. Do leave still get stuck in them? It seems that over time you would get leaves stuck in them and have to clean them. Or do you have to clean them just not as often?

With the foam things, how do they perform in heavy downpours? Seems like they wouldn't be able to handle heavy rain (water wouldn't be able to flow through fast enough) and it would just cause water to over flow the gutter.Not to mention that it seems more things could get stuck in the foam as there are more holes for leaves and things to catch on to.
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

1 recommendation

reply to Mykie1988

Wet/dry vac?? Are you kidding? Just use a gardening hand trowel. Done.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to Voxxjin

said by Voxxjin:

Question about those screens. Do leave still get stuck in them? It seems that over time you would get leaves stuck in them and have to clean them. Or do you have to clean them just not as often?

I had them for 4, maybe 5 years. For the most part they remain leaf free. Occasionally you might get a leaf that falls stem down and gets snagged, but it wasn't that big of a deal. I found that cottonwood seed pods that didn't break open still made it through, as did other miscellaneous organic matter that eventually collected to the point it needed cleaned out.

After cutting down several of the trees in the back yard, replacing the roof and gutters, as well as the sun's rays turning the plastic brittle, I never replaced them. Once or twice a fall I get up on the roof with the gas blower and just blow them out, gunk and all.


Mykie1988

@charter.com
reply to Mykie1988

Awesome responses, thanks.

Gutters seem to always be an issue and there doesn't appear to be a "final solution" to keeping them clean (other than manual cleaning 4 times a year). My house has some areas where the gutters are 25 ' off the ground on a steep slope (on the roof and ground) so getting up there can be precarious and with a gas powered leaf blower, I'm afraid I may propel myself off the ladder, lol, that is why I was thinking a shop vac with an extension. A lot of trees here and big leaves so the gutters get their fill....

-Mykie


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to Voxxjin

said by Voxxjin:

Question about those screens. Do leave still get stuck in them? It seems that over time you would get leaves stuck in them and have to clean them. Or do you have to clean them just not as often?

I've never had to clean them yet, the leaves really do blow right off. One possible downside is that the gutters do seem to hang onto more ice in the winter, not too terribly much but definitely more.

said by Voxxjin:

With the foam things, how do they perform in heavy downpours? Seems like they wouldn't be able to handle heavy rain (water wouldn't be able to flow through fast enough) and it would just cause water to over flow the gutter.Not to mention that it seems more things could get stuck in the foam as there are more holes for leaves and things to catch on to.

That's an excellent question. I doubt much will collect in the foam, I'd expect most junk to blow off. As for gutter capacity, that ought to be "pretty much" unaffected assuming the gutters' slope is sufficient. Like I said, I'm going to try them on my next house -- I hate cleaning the damn things.

I hear you on the hazards of the job. Most of my gutters on on the second story of a colonial and I risk my life just to clean gutters. No way, that's why I tried the screens and they've been excellent.


Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Good to know. I have never used anything other than my hands before to clean the gutter. Regarding the foam, idk, it just seems like it would backup. Like pouring a lot of water through a sponge. It just seem like it would push the water through all of the foam fast enough. Maybe it is a lot holier than I think it is.

My parents installed a Gutter Helmet on their house a few years ago. But it has no screens. Seems to work pretty well for them.

»www.gutterhelmet.com/
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

said by Voxxjin:

Good to know. I have never used anything other than my hands before to clean the gutter. Regarding the foam, idk, it just seems like it would backup. Like pouring a lot of water through a sponge. It just seem like it would push the water through all of the foam fast enough. Maybe it is a lot holier than I think it is.

My parents installed a Gutter Helmet on their house a few years ago. But it has no screens. Seems to work pretty well for them.

»www.gutterhelmet.com/

Gutter Helmet is WAY overpriced! No way it's worth that much and small stuff does follow the water around the loop into the gutter. Not a problem is the slope is sufficient to carry that stuff out, but if there are flat areas it will accumulate.

As for the foam, it's not at all like a sponge but more like the nylon mesh that's used to clean dishes. Very open.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

Someone here posted an analysis that for the cost of Gutter Helmet, you could hire someone to clean your gutters 3 times a year and come out ahead.



Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to garys_2k

It might not be a gutterhelmet, it might be a knockoff version but that was the thing I could think of. Anyway whatever they have it looks like a gutterhelmet.

As for the foam, I just checked their website »gutterstuff.com/guttering/ I see it doesn't completely fill the gutter as I thought it did. I just wish the video would show how well it lets leaves 'roll off' the foam.
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

The wind blows them off. The surface isn't any rougher than my screens and they're covered with leaves now, on and off, depending on the wind. This will be the fourth year I haven't had to clean them.



lew_b
Premium
join:2003-05-11
Poughkeepsie, NY

1 edit
reply to Mykie1988

Here's my 'system':
Got me one of these .
Connect it to the hose and turn on valve on the wand. Get an extension pole from the local pool supply store. Not sure if it will make your distance but you never know. Duct tape the wand and the hose to the pole at intervals down the entire length of the extended pole. Raise pole/wand assembly to the gutter. Turn on water at the spigot. Move the wand down the length of the gutter. You may need to linger at the downspout to get all the stuff to come down the pipe. You might get a little wet, but you ain't climbing no stinking ladders
--
Roadkill 2015



Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
reply to garys_2k

I will definately consider the foam when we buy our permanent home. Thanks
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war


boaterbob
Premium
join:2005-08-01
Moncks Corner, SC

Here's an interesting blog on the subject. This person does not seem to like the foam solution, however it seems a couple of folk from this forum have had positive results with the foam. So, bottom line - sometimes things work, sometimes they don't!
»www.guttertalkblog.com/?p=260

>



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Mykie1988

Best options are:

1) Gutterglove: »www.gutterglove.com/

2) MasterShield: »www.mastershield.com/

I have MasterShield on my house and it's been awesome. And I have fine pine needles, and nothing has gotten in those gutters after years of use. Both systems are great, but I'd give the nod to Gutterglove by just a hair. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for in this case.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to boaterbob

said by boaterbob:

Here's an interesting blog on the subject. This person does not seem to like the foam solution, however it seems a couple of folk from this forum have had positive results with the foam. So, bottom line - sometimes things work, sometimes they don't!
»www.guttertalkblog.com/?p=260

>

That site's author seems affiliated with one of the higher priced gutter protection systems, that's for sure.

Like I said, the screen type protectors they deride (and I linked to, above) have been great for me for four (maybe five now) years. Stuff lies on it until it blows off, which it ALWAYS does. My ash tree has been dropping a ton of leaves over the past two weeks and none of them have caused any hint of a clog, at all.

This ain't rocket science and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. The main thing is to keep solid junk out of the gutters as much as possible. Screens, foam inserts, brush inserts, "micro" screens, fancy bent covers, they all should do the same thing: Keep the junk out. The slope of the gutter is critical to it being able to handle the tiny junk that gets in (stuff will get in, no matter what any of the sales guys say).

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to Mykie1988

I have a 10-foot section of 2-inch PVC, 2 DWV long-sweep 90-degree elbows and a 2-inch coupler. The 90's go at the top end, to form a 180. The coupler goes at the bottom end and the hose on my shop vac fits into it perfectly. I use a bit of duct tape to hold the hose and fittings in place. Now I can safely walk along the ground while cleaning the stuff out of the gutters.

A thinner, lighter 2-inch plastic tube would be even better, to reduce the weight.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Mykie1988

My gutters have the screen on them, installed by the previous owners.

So far I haven't been up there yet, but I will this fall just to take a closer look. From my bedroom window I can see the gutters from the floor below and there's just a little bit of junk here and there, but ya, it tends to blow away as it is on the surface.



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to Mykie1988

My method? I let the landscaper do it. He charges me $50 and does a better job than I would.

No ladders, no mess, and buys me back an afternoon. Worth the $50 to me!



nonameyet
I Make Them Ring..Ring
Premium
join:2000-12-19
Sellersville, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Mykie1988

I would go with the Home Depot ones, but, Not the screen ones, but, the Solid ones, I had the screens on, but, in my area, those helicopter seed pods from the maple trees were totally clogging up the screens, perfect shape for holding the seed at the right angle and then after they got nice and soggy would drop right into the gutter and about 3 or 4 weeks, I'd have maple saplings growing back Up those little holes , I just replaced them all with the solid ones, screwed them on, so far ( about 2 months ) it's all been good.


Mont

join:2006-05-02
Saint-Leonard, QC

2 edits

Galvanized mesh can be used too , it's a bit more work but it does the job and you don't have to worry about ice.

Expand your moderator at work

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to nonameyet

Re: Best way to clean gutters?

said by nonameyet:

I would go with the Home Depot ones, but, Not the screen ones, but, the Solid ones, I had the screens on, but, in my area, those helicopter seed pods from the maple trees were totally clogging up the screens, perfect shape for holding the seed at the right angle and then after they got nice and soggy would drop right into the gutter and about 3 or 4 weeks, I'd have maple saplings growing back Up those little holes , I just replaced them all with the solid ones, screwed them on, so far ( about 2 months ) it's all been good.

The screen ones I got from Home Depot have a really fine mesh that won't admit maple seeds (and I have a honkin' big maple in my front yard that tests that every spring). It even keeps out the finer seeds from my birch, which partly overhangs my second floor roof.

I did see some "screens" with sort of a diamond mesh shape, pretty open (the slots were maybe 1/4" wide at their widest). I passed on those, even though they were all metal. It sounds like that may be the type that admits the maple seeds.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Mykie1988

Single story... no big deal. Two-story... very, very carefully! I would definitely invest in some kind of "gutter guard" to, at least, keep the bigger debris from collecting in the gutters. I have one of those "micro-screen" (Leaf Filter) gutter guards installed on mine. They wont even allow shingle grit to get in. The problem, though, that I've experienced is that some debris still collects on top of the screen, and if it dries there, it tends to block the water from falling into the gutter. I have to take a stiff broom and, periodically, sweep them clean. It doesn't take a lot of effort, but I'm not particularly fond of heights. I may remove the system and just pay some "handyman" sevice to clean the gutters once a year. I suppose I could just drag the hose up there, thereby keeping me away from the edge, but I've hesitated to do that so far... wet roof = slippery roof and I'm not comfortable with that situation either. My eaves are 18' off the ground... and I ain't gettin' any younger!
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to Mykie1988

Mykie there is no "best way"--there are too many factors which may/may not apply to you.

We have Gutter Helmet on some of our gutters, and after almost 10 years it still works great for us w/no maintenance. Very expensive, but we may yet put it on our other gutters.

For those "other gutters" I have a monster Shop Vac with a curved 2" gutter attachment and extension tubes (Sears). Works real well, but hauling the shopvac around, with extension cords, is a PIA.

Some solutions involve water, which doesn't work for us (we COLLECT rainwater and need to filter leaves and save every drop). I have simple screens on the non-Gutter Helmet gutters but these quickly clog.

I'd recommend Gutter Helmet for the 25' high gutters at least, and everywhere if you can afford it. As I said we collect rainwater here in TX (our sole source of domestic water) and the GH works even in our rare gully-washing heavy rainfalls to get the water into the gutter w/o the debris from our metal roofs.

For gutters you have ready access to, you can save the GH cost and use a large Shopvac. I do this ahead of significant rainfall events, which (unfortunately) are becoming more & more rare here.


RoseWater

join:2012-10-03
Joplin, MO
reply to Mykie1988

I use a ladder and place it against the house. It is always nice to have someone holding the ladder, too. If the gutters are dry it is much easier to remove debris. Then, flushing the gutters out can be done more easily I think. If there is a lot of gunk in the gutters which are open and accessible - I take a small hand broom and "scrub" them out a bit.