Gutters can be difficult enough to clean out even when they are easy to reach. But what should you do if you have hard to reach gutters? In this case, cleaning hard to reach gutters can be even more difficult and exhausting, not to mention time-consuming and possibly dangerous. Luckily, there are two main methods that can help you: using ladders or building a DIY tool for vacuuming the gutters out. No matter which method you choose here is a good guide to accomplishing the task of cleaning hard to reach gutters.
Using a Ladder
Wear the Proper Attire: Because cleaning any type of gutter is filthy work, you should be sure to wear the proper attire. Essentially, you should wear old clothing that can be stained with no problems. You should also wear rubber gloves that can withstand any possible sharp edges the gutters might present. Wearing long sleeves to perform a strenuous task in the summer heat may seem counterintuitive, but it can help. The length of the sleeves can better protect you against potential insect bites and also protect your arms the same way gloves will protect your hands. Dust is another environmental hazard you should protect yourself against. By wearing a mask, you can keep dust and other allergens, such as pollen, from reaching your lungs.
Use the Ladder: Place the ladder next to where you will start cleaning the gutter. If possible, start by balancing the ladder against the side of your home. If you can’t, then balance the ladder against the gutter itself, particularly where the gutter is held in place. Before climbing the ladder, make sure it is completely steady.
Include a Bucket: You might want to consider using a bucket while cleaning out hard to reach gutters. By straightening out a coat hanger, you can create a simple hook for your bucket. Then hang the bucket near the top of the ladder. What you clean out of your gutter can just as easily be thrown to the ground to decompose, but be aware that this is a far messier solution.
Cleaning the Gutter: You can either clean out the gutters by hand or use some other tool to do so. Remember to have a friend or family member hold the ladder steady while you are on it. Move through each section of the gutter, climbing down the ladder and moving it as necessary. When you are done, use a garden hose to rinse the gutters out. This way, you can test the downspouts of the gutters for any remaining obstructions.
Building a Tool
For this step, you will be building a tool to help you clean the gutters. This tool is a vacuum extender. Be sure to choose a vacuum that can accept both dry and damp debris. Place the vacuum where you want to start, and choose a strong enough motor on the vacuum.
Besides the stiff attachment on the vacuum, you might need to add an extender to enable you to reach farther. The length of this attachment depends on how high your gutters are. Use a hacksaw to cut some material off of plastic tubing or piping to form the extender. The two extender attachments should be held together with aluminum tape. Turn on the vacuum and sweep through all the obstructions you can see.
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