Re-visiting gutter cleaning

jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)December 2, 2008

Anyone doing things any differently with any amount of success?

One thing I did run across the other day was a guy has a 17-18gl wet/dry vac and has an attachement he bought at Sears to "vacuum" out his gutters (first floor I presume). He said it gets everything in the gutter (leaves, muck, rainwater, etc) with absolutely no backsplash like you get from a blower...and he stands on the ground to do it too. Sounds like the way to go for a ranch house.

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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

yeah, we had the 60' pecan tree next to the office taken down. no more leaves/trash in teh gutters!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 12:41PM
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But no more pecans! :(

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 7:59PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Yeah, I had 50+ trees taken down a few years ago, but that doesn't keep the other 300 around my place from "spreading the wealth" of leaves every year (heh heh heh), not to mention the neighbor's leaves visiting my lawn on a regular know, the neighbor that NEVER rakes his dam leaves up. Geeessshhh!!!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 6:43AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Okay, I have the 15gl HD Ridgid vac, and ordered the Sears gutter attachment. Let you know how that works, but from what I've heard it beats the hell out of anything else you can think of, including blowing crap all over the place, which I've done. Hope it fits, but one guy said it did.

BTW, I'm not advertising. don't give a shat one way or the other...just thought someone would be interested in another way of doing things. Whatever...y'all must be out scoopin' up the bargains at HD/Lowes because it's the slow time here again. C'mon Santa...hurry and get here with my new tools...maybe. LOL!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 6:22PM
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"the neighbor that NEVER rakes his dam leaves up. Geeessshhh!!!" Why should he when they eventually blow over in our yards. and I thought I had the only ones that don't rake?

Ice storm took care of about half my leave problem last year. Another storm like that this year and I will only get my neighbors leave????????????????

I use a water hose and blast my gutters out. Got the leave gaurds and it would be a pain to take them all off. But, dirt, shingle sand and gunk still get into them. I only hae to take them off when the down spout get plugged.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 6:33AM
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I live at the edge of the woods, with large oak and maples and other trees in abundance!
Every fall, i do the dry leaf dance, with my Snapper Hi-vac bagger. Takes about 10 go-rounds in all. Then, when snow is about to fall, the guy across the road brrings his towed lawn vac over and gets the rest, as well as his. Anything that falls after that stays until spring. I do chop up and blow some of the back yards down into the woods, too. The place looks good now, since we had high winds last week!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 12:05PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

A great deal of the leaves have fallen now, but there's always that bunch of leaves that fall just after you get done mulching or blowing or raking or whatever.

I like to mulch myself, but there comes a time after so many mulching sessions that my ground just can't accept anymore ground up leaf stuff, so I get out the Sears hi-speed sweeper that really gets all the crud up, including those dadgum sweetgum balls. I think today may be that time. Ony problem there is you really have to watch that sweeper when you turn, or you'll have to get off and re-align everything. Ahhh well, so is life.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 7:22AM
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I usually mulch the leaves in the front yard and bag the leaves in the back yard. Then the next year I reverse that so that each half gets leaf mulch every other year. And my compost pile is happy, too.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 6:34PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

But no more pecans! :(

still have plenty more pecan trees at home and in the back lot at work. we never got any off this tree anyway, folks got them all soon as they fell. actually had a couple folks come by and complain because WE cost THEM pecans. theyy said they usually got a couple hundred bucks worth off our tree!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 10:44PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Well, this old man is sore as hell today from climbing that dam ladder about 30 times yesterday cleaning out the gutters. Apparently I waited a little too long to attack those gutters, because they were filled with leaves, muck, pine needles all about 4+ inches thick. I tried to use the new attachment with some small success, but it didn't come close to cleaning out those gutters. I had to clean themwith a blower, scooping out the really thick parts with my hand, and hosing down ther remainder to clean them out.

My opinion about the attachment to extend the wet/dry vac to the gutter and vac them out is mixed at this point. I think with the limited success I had, if I had of used it 2 months ago and used it several times up until now instead of one big clean-out late in the year, I would of had a better experience, and probably would have cleaned the gutters just fine. I'll approach it differently next year, but this year I didn't recieve the attachment until a week or two fault.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:34AM
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Had to reroof and replace some wooden trim so I put up gutter shutter two years ago. Boy do I like not having to get up on a ladder near those electrical wires.......

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 1:07PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Does the Gutter Shutter keep everything completely out of the gutter except rainwater? If it doesn't, the problem I see is trying to gain access (after it's installed) to the gutter to get to the debris, if there is any, and if there is it seems to me that's a problem. How about wasps/bees/hornets nesting? That's always been a concern from what I've heard.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 6:42AM
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masiman(z7 VA)

The companies that installed those sorts of units offered lifetime cleaning warranties from what I had seen. Although I always wondered how that would be honored. I don't recall seeing many gutter companies with "Since 1952" on their trucks.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 10:07AM
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I don't mind cleaning the wet muck out of the gutters. I just put all that stuff in my compost pile. I'm nearly 56 so I may not be able to climb the ladder for too many more years, but I'll do something different when that day comes. :)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 9:09PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Well, I'll be 66 come this summer, and climbing that dadgum ladder is playing havoc on my knees. Anyway, I would rather clean the gutters as they fill up before they turn to muck, which is what I should have done to begin with.

I'll probably do that now that I have the newer way of cleaning rather than climb the ladder, but if that's the only way ... well, it's gotta be done some how, I guess.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 6:43AM
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I'm looking at the wrong side of 70 now. Had Gutter Helmet installed 4 yrs ago and ain't had to climb that ladder once since.
Gutters have stayed clean and clog-free. Onliest prob I've had is one inside corner wants to overflow in real hard rains giving me some downsplash close to my front stoop. Put me a big concrete planter pot right there - prob solved.
Gutter Helmet was expensive but worth it to me. I couldn't take climbing that ladder these days and finding somebody reliable to do it is also a real pain in the kister.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:47AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

rcbe - know what you mean about finding someone reliable, and then they want you to take out a second mortgage for the work. :-) I'd rather do it myself IF I still can. Thought about Gutter Helmet, but the price had me waffling.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:41AM
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where do you buy the gutterguard . jim

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 5:15PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Besides the advertising stuff, has anyone had any new revelations or updates that they have experienced with gutter cleaning or gutter covers(forget it, hans)? I've bought about everything you can buy except a cover, and this old man is still climbing that dam ladder.

My problem is gumballs and pine needles. Gumballs jam up the downspouts and pine needles make it nice and concrete-like. You can't really clean that from the ground.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 6:39AM
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Any ideas on how to clean gutters that are 30 feet above ground. I've thought of a using a blower/vac from ground but can not find anything that would reach. House has a slate roof so gutter guards are out. Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 6:37AM
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Steven Laurin & Company

Is this a trick question? ;-)
Not very gimmicky or original, but what I have always used to access my higher gutters.
Wear work gloves, clip a long garden hose to your belt and ascend the rungs . . .

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 6:16PM
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I have a guy who comes out when i call him, does the gutters on my Cape Cod story and a half, and charges me $50! Takes him about twenty minutes--saves my head--keeps me from falling on it!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 10:34PM
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ironhat(So. Cent. PA)

Yes, rustyjl4, after trying several of the screens, bypasses and blocks I have consistently had to go back to using a ladder. Since having congesive heart failure I have come across the same idea that you have. Hire a guy twice a year at $35 to do the job. At $70 a year it will be a decade before I get to the expense of the Gutter Brush, or some of the other things. I'm about to put a 35 year rated shingle and from there on it's someone else's problem.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 11:07PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

You folks that hire a guy to come over to do the work, how do you get in contact with these guys? Around here everything is so dadgum high.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 6:26AM
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Another option if you want to stay on the ground is to use the Gutter Sense ( I've been using one for a couple of years -- works fine for both one and two story high gutters. Takes a bit of practice, but haven't had to get on a ladder since I got one.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 6:40PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

tmj66 - bought one of those, but can't seem to get it to work with my gutters...the shingles hang over the gutter a little too much for this to work well. Starts to really work on your shoulders.

jeank - that's what I have now. I get sweetgum balls and pine needles stuck in the gutters and downsspouts with all that rainwater muck just clogging up everything. I think if I use it when I need to instead of procrastinating it will work well. I got mine at Sears and use it with a 16hp Ridgid wet and dry vac. I like it better than most of the gadgets I've used AND bought so far.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 6:08AM
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I just bought a gutter sense. I'll report back when I see how it works. I figures that for about fifty bucks, including the pole, it is worth it. I'd been paying a guy thirty bucks to clean out all my gutters each fall, and they continued to clog. We shall see....

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 2:26PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

I've got one. Hope you have better luck with it than I did. Like I said before, I couldn't get it to work because it got hung up under the overhang of the shingles and gutter. Hopefully you have better luck. But, with with all this crap I bought I have more than enough long extention poles for most uses. :-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:04AM
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I hear what you're sayin Jim. My late parent's house has a slate roof that sticks out in the way in many areas where I can hardly get my hand and wrist squeezed in there to grab the muck. I don't have a fix for you, ... just commisserating with you. I think that through the many decades, the shingles have migrated down the steep slope to get in the way. I can't see the shop vac thing being worth the powder to blow it to hell though when you consider that you are working thirty feet above your head and can't see the job that you are trying to do.

I have screens over the gutters and I'm not sure how much good they do. I only get up to that home (in Ohio) for a bit in the Fall to spruce things up and the gutters are always jam packed full of muck. I think the screens are just something extra to fight with while trying to clean the gutters so very high in the air.

No offense intended to folks that use the vacuum thing and like it but the old slate roofs are a special difficulty level in the quest to keep gutters clear.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 7:47PM
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One thing about rain gutters that i can't seem to understand is this:
The rain falls all around the house. The gutter captures that rain and it flows out the down-spout, onto the grass, or whatever. The gutter doesn't keep the ground dry around your house. Why do we have to install rain gutters, at exta expense, just to make the water flow off the end of the roof, instead of all along it? I can see a gutter over a doorway, but the rest of the house gets just as wet as ever! Somebody said it keeps the water from entering the basement. Well--yeah--but thats the water from the roof! Doesn't the water that falls on the ground beside the foundation have just as much chance of getting into the basement as the water that flows off the roof, flows to the down spout, and down onto the ground?!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:43PM
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Since this thread has been resurrected, I thought I'd answer Rusty since I'm sure some others wonder the same thing.

"One thing about rain gutters that i can't seem to understand is this: ..."

Rusty, theoretically the house and yard are constructed in such a way that water will run away from the house, therefore, rain falling in the yard shouldn't be much of a concern. Your roof catches a lot of water that would just fall directly at the foundation if it weren't for gutters and may fall at the foundation at a rate faster than could be drained away by the slope of the yard. Without gutters, over time the rain beats a trough around your house where it falls from the roof and the trough will just trap even more water to sit and soak in right at your foundation, that trough may also funnel some water away if it finds a place to drain out and cause erosion problems.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:15AM
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bernd ny zone5

This is a timely thread. I thought installing Gutter Helmet with their Lifetime Warranty would save me from cleaning out that 2nd story gutter. I am 71. But after installation 8 months ago, it got plugged up possibly 2 months ago. Yesterday I found a 4 inch long plug of debris at the entrance to the downspout. The installer said that they do not install strainers ahead of downspouts. Has anyone with Gutter Helmet on this forum installed a strainer ahead of a downspout?
Gutter Helmet has no cleanout facility at the gutter, is a closed system except for a small opening much to small for a hand, so how do clogged-up Gutter Helmet gutters get cleaned out? By removing an endcap and raking debris out? I also would need to buy a ladder corner standoff to get better access.

In respect to rusty's comment, I have to get the water from the roof away from the house to help my sump pumps in the basement. But I am thinking about a 5 ft wide strip of pond liner covered with several inches of gravel, all sloped into a drain to the lower backyard, which might be my fallback without a gutter.
Thanks for help!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 8:06PM
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bernd ny zone5

Bump up.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 6:54PM
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