Read these 19 How to Power Wash A Gutter Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Pressure Washers tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you want the convenience of a pressure washer for cleaning out gutters but don't have a budget to purchase a gutter cleaning system, consider sharing the rental cost with a neighbor. Working together is safer and faster, with the added advantage of getting some experience using professional gutter cleaning equipment. Your gutter cleaning experiences may inspire you to save money for a pressure washer of your own, and even invest in starting a seasonal gutter cleaning business.
Most pros will tell you not to clean gutters from an unstable platform. If you feel you must use a ladder when using a gutter cleaning wand, keep three points of contact between yourself and the ladder at all times. This helps prevent you from losing your balance from the force of the water. When you are on the ladder, keep your hips between the "rails" of the ladder, and don't operate your gutter cleaning wand while trying to regain your balance if you lose it. It's better to drop the gutter cleaning wand and re-stabilize your position. Working on gutters places you closer to power lines and other sources of electricity, so careful not to let the stream from your gutter cleaning tool stray near a power source. If you operate gutter cleaning equipment near outdoor electrical outlets, a wooden ladder is the safest choice, "just in case".
When sizing up gutter cleaning costs, don't forget to factor in some important accessories that will make your work easier and safer. You may be working from a scaffold or ladder now, but purchasing a telescoping wand gives you the safer option of working from the ground. The telescoping wand should be used in conjunction with the flexible gutter cleaning tool. This gutter cleaning accessory is specifically marked for "ground use only" and your model may have a restriction on the amount of pressure it can handle. Don't exceed the PSI! If you are purchasing gear for a new gutter cleaning business, consider buying the optional harness belt if you plan to use the telescoping wand. It makes the whole unit easier to control, with less wear and tear on your back.
A gutter system in good repair is secure and stable enough to use a pressure washer or gutter cleaning tool on without worry of knocking it loose. Over time, the spikes that hold your gutters in place tend will loosen, and using a a gutter cleaning wand on loose gutters could indeed pry them loose. Before gutter cleaning, check for loose spikes, drive them back into place. You can also replace them with longer spikes that offer better support. The water pressure from your gutter cleaning wand should clear out dirt and debris, not push the gutters away from the building. Once the gutters are secure, clean the gutters by starting at the downspout and working toward the end of the gutter. Use a snake to clear out clogged gunk from the downspouts, and rinse out with your gutter cleaning tools.
Are you new to cleaning gutters? You have the choice of working from the ground, a ladder, or from the roof, but in the beginning stages of learning how to clean gutters it's best to play it safe an work from the ground. By using a gutter cleaning wand in combination with your pressure washer telescoping wand, and you can get most gutter cleaning jobs done without using a ladder or scaffold. Once you feel comfortable with the equipment you can try cleaning from an elevated position. When cleaning from the rooftop, check to see if the area above the gutters is easily accessible and make sure there are no loose roofing tiles or other hazards. If you aren't comfortable working from the roof, try using a scaffold instead of a ladder. Scaffolds offer a more stable center of gravity when using the gutter cleaning wand. It's best to save the ladder until you are comfortable using your pressure washer gear. Regardless of your choice of a ladder or scaffold, never work from an elevated position alone.
If you're like most homeowners, doing a gutter cleaning may not be on the top of your "to do" list. However, if you want to keep your gutters in good shape and avoid water damage, it's a necessary household task. If you live in an area where winters are harsh, plan on cleaning your gutters between springtime and in the fall. You don't want to use a pressure washer and have the water turn to ice. A good rule of thumb would be to use your pressure washer to perform a gutter cleaning twice a year.
Before you even start gutter cleaning with your pressure washer, you need to determine if there's too much debris clogged within the gutters to simply wash it out. Check for any trees surrounding the residence. If you spot any pine trees, it could be an indicator that needles are likely stuck within the spout. When you're ready to start, it helps if you have two people to do the job. One person can do a check by pouring water through the spout while someone else listens at the bottom to check if there's any blockage. If the gutter is clogged, you can clean it out with a plumbing snake or taking apart the spout if the snake doesn't do the trick.
If you're cleaning gutters on your residence, you should always start with the soffits first. Thoroughly spray the underside of your roof with your pressure washer to make sure that you release any dirt, debris, or detergent residue. This should ensure that the gutters don't cause any streaks from draining cleaners and wastewater.
There are several options of power washing equipment that will do a good job of pressure washing gutters. If you are looking for a high pressure washer to clean your gutters at home, consider getting a cart power washer. But since you are getting a power washer for your gutters, why not get one that can clean your entire house? For commercial applications, a pressure washing business needs to get the job done fast and efficiently will be best advised to go for a hot water pressure washer, it will be worth the investment.
If you need to use a ladder extention by leaning it against the gutter when using your gutter cleaner, put a piece of wood such as a two-by-four inside the gutter to prevent it from being damaged by the ladder. When using the ladder extention, insure maximum safety by keeping your hips within the rails of the ladder. As you use the gutter cleaner, never stand on the two rungs at the top of the ladder--this will help prevent you from losing your balance as you use the gutter cleaner.
A pressure washer is an effective drain cleaner, capable of cleaning out kitchen piping or bathroom piping in residential and public facilities. If you're cleaning out the plumbing in the kitchen of a small to mid-sized home, you can use a sewer jetter capable of 1,500 PSI. For larger kitchens that you might find in a public setting, you'd need 2,500 PSI of water power.
If when gutter cleaning you notice a good amount of leakage, you don't neccesarily need to spend the money to replace the gutters. If your gutter cleaning reveals leaky sections, simply treat your gutters like windows and caulk them shut again! This is an effective fix for many leaks, depending on size. It may add some extra time to your gutter cleaning, but you won't have to deal with an inefficient gutter system thanks to the application of caulk. Cleaning gutters often means troubleshooting them--fortunately leaks and clogs are quick fixes much of the time.
If you can recruit someone to help you, power washing your gutters goes much smoother as a two-person job.
Pour some water down the spout and have your helper listen to check that it's running clear. If it is clogged, you can dismantle the spout or use a plumbing snake. Better yet, use a sewer-jetting attachment on your power washer to take care of the blockage quickly.
Remove the bigger objects first (tennis balls, pine cones, golf balls, plastic bags and items blown by the wind, you'd be surprised at what ends up in your gutters). If the gutter is full of water, unplug the downspout and let it drain. The pressure washing job will be less messy. Wear rubber gloves and goggles for your protection.
You should perform gutter cleaning twice a year for maximum effectiveness. If you encounter a blockage when gutter cleaning, insert a hose or pressure washer at the bottom of the gutter and form a seal to keep the water from draining out. You can build pressure on the blockage in this manner to help clear it away. Unless the blockage is an object such as a rubber ball lodged in gutter which needs to be manually removed, the blockage should clear out because of the water pressure. You can then resume gutter cleaning as normal.
When you get ready to begin a home gutter cleaning job, it's a very good idea to plan the work for a time when someone else is home. Another vital area is proximity to power lines. Be sure to keep all ladders, pressure washing equipment and other items at least ten feet away from power lines and power poles. Beware the overhead wires! They are NOT insulated, in spite of the appearance of weatherproofing material on the lines. Always survey the area before starting your gutter cleaning work so you know where potential hazards with power lines may be.
Gutters are critical in carrying water away from a building. If they are not functioning properly, or if they are clogged, water will come in contact with walls and roof surfaces, creating humidity and possibly even leaks.
A clogged gutter will cause leaves, dirt and debris to accumulate and can become heavy. This added weight could dislodge the gutter and create a drain problem that can cause damage to your home. Pressure washing your gutters regularly with a gutter cleaner pressure washer attachment will save you time and money in water damage repairs.
After following the steps for preparation of the job, using your hot water pressure washer on your gutters is fairly simple.
Step 1: Wearing rubber gloves, pick up handfuls of debris and place then on the edge of the roofing shingles or tiles so that any drips will fall back into the gutter. Work by sections and transfer the debris into a plastic bag for disposal. The less debris left on the gutter, the better it will wash down into the drain so you won't have to do the same section over.
Step 2: Power wash the gutter and continue to the next section.
Step 3: Rinse everything with plenty of water, including the outside of the gutter because some grime always runs over.
Step 4: Check that the water is flowing freely and that there are no obstructions left in the gutter.
It's that time of the year again – time to do another gutter cleaning at the house. Now that you've got a pressure washer to help you do the job, what else do you need? Get a telescoping wand attachment to help you reach the higher areas without a ladder. Also get a gutter cleaner wand; it will make gutter cleaning almost enjoyable. You can twist or bend this attachment and it will retain it's shape, letting you spray corners and under roof lines with ease. Finally, line yourself up with a couple of trash bags just in case you need to collect or pick up any debris and you're all set to go.
The time for power washing gutters and how often you need to do the job depends on where you live and what type of trees and vegetation you have around your house.
As an example, if there are pine trees nearby you probably already know how the needles tend to get stuck inside the spout. A pressure washer will be your best friend to dislodge them. Keep an eye on the weather when you are planning to use pressure washing equipment.
Beyond the obvious discomfort of working with water outdoors in the cold, if temperatures are near freezing you could end up covering your entire house in ice! Therefore, in most areas the best time of the year to pressure wash your gutters is either spring, late summer or early fall.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|