When a gutter is loaded up with dirt and debris it is dirty, and is your home which is your number 1 investment. Cleaning your gutter system on a regular basis protects your home from: Infestation, rot, mold, mildew, wall warping and even foundation cracks.
If you want to make something to clear out your gutter using your leaf blower, you have a few options. We’ll start with the most basic version and then go on to talking about some other ideas you can try.
You’ll Will need the following Materials:
- 5′ 3″ PVC Pipe
- PVC Elbow
- 3 in. x 2 in. PVC Flexible Coupling
Attach the small end to the leaf blower head, attach the large end to the 3″ pvc pipe. Secure in place by tightening the screws. Still not sure how to do it? No problem man, here’s a video.
Problems from Clogged Gutters
1) Sagging and Separating Gutters
Clogged gutters disable the flow of water from the rooftop to the ground below causing the water to back-up and eventually sit in the gutter system. Over time this added weight to the gutter system and to the fascia where it is connected puts undue stress at the weak points along the gutter causing it to droop, bow, sag and pull away from the house.
2) Lawn Damage
If gutters are clogged then water will begin to flow off the side of the roof. This can result in excess water in areas on your driveway or lawn. If too much water falls on your lawn too quickly it can result in flooding. The ground will not be be able to soak up water fast enough. This can end up killing large sections of your grass.
3) Wet Walls
As water sits in the gutter system, gravity will begin to move water towards weakest points along the apparatus. In the need to release pressure, many times the water travels back towards the house where it will saturate and soak the interior of the wall.
4) Leaking Roofs
As the water moves its way through the roof tarp and plywood, it begins to gather at the lowest elevation in the ceiling of the home. Over time as the water accumulates, it will saturate the ceiling creating a slow leak.
5) Rotting Wood
With long-time standing water in the gutter system, water can get trapped inside vertical walls. Wood framing inside of the home that is exposed to moisture and dampness it will begin to decompose. If the water has not been properly dried, water becomes trapped between the plywood and the roofing tarp.
6) Flooded Basements
When the foundation cracks and leaks, eventually the water will move towards the lowest point in the home. If this problem is not properly addressed, as more precipitation occurs, the water will continue to follow along this same path. Eventually it will collect in the basement and can cause a variety of problems.
7) Insect Infestation
With all of the moisture produced from the rotting wood and water trapped in the cracked foundation, the home has now established an ideal environment for a variety of insects, including termites. The insects will infiltrate the home and begin to breed in this environment causing an infestation problem.
8) Leaking Foundations
Clogged gutters enable water to pool around the side of the home and into the foundation where it will seep into weak and exposed penetration points. As the water freezes in winter, it will expand and crack the foundation causing separation of concrete and uneven flooring.
Prevent Gutters From Clogging
1) Remove Nearby Deciduous Trees
Prevent leaf build-up in your gutters by removing deciduous trees from around the house. Deciduous trees grow leaves each summer and shed them in the fall, unlike evergreen or semi-evergreen trees that mainly have a limited shedding season. Even with the removal of deciduous trees, you may have some leaf build-up from floaters or leaves that are blown in the wind from distant trees. Removing trees from the around the home also has the added benefit of discouraging squirrels from moving in to your attic.
2) Inspect Twice a Year
Inspect gutters at least twice a year for build-up. Dead bugs, dust, dirt and bird droppings can accumulate over time and clog gutters. Homeowners have reported finding surprises such as baseballs, ping pong balls and silverware in the gutters or spouting that can cause problems in a hurry. Crows are notorious for picking up, or rather, stealing interesting or shiny objects that are left unguarded.
3) Hose Down Gutters
Hose down gutters twice a year to remove caked on dirt, bird droppings or soot from a fireplace chimney and to reveal any loose gutter nails, leaks or blockages that are not normally visible. Remove the lowest elbow of your spouting if possible and rinse out any collection of grit that has been washed off shingles by heavy rains or hail.
4) Use Gutter Guards
Use gutter guards on all gutters if at all possible. Not only will this prevent leaves from accumulating, you will also be blocking foreign materials such as grass, nuts and seeds that may be dropped by birds. Gutter guards are available at most hardware and department stores or home and garden centers, and vary in color and price starting at around $3.00 per three foot section. Gutter guards can be professionally installed for an additional fee if you don’t have a ladder or are not equipped for climbing.
Why is it so important to perform bi-annual maintenance on gutters? With regular inspection you will find leaks, breaks and clogged spouts before rainwater finds it’s way into your foundation and into your wallet for basement repairs and mold removal. A little maintenance goes a long way to prevent clogged gutters and sustain the health of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Can I Use My Leaf Blower To Clean Gutters?
Yes, With some basic hardware items and a little mechanical skill, you can transform your leaf blower into a gutter cleaner. Also gutter cleaning kit available in the market. There are two different configurations to consider. The first is a PVC attachment. The second is a flexible hose like you find on a shop vac. If your roofline is higher than one story, you should probably lean toward the PVC version.
Can I Use A Leaf Vacuum To Clean My Gutters?
A leaf vacuum will use pretty much the same type of attachment as the blower. Just keep in mind that the vacuum will be sucking debris instead of blowing material away. This could lead to clogs in the PVC.
How to make a gutter cleaner from a leaf blower?
There are two ways to do it. You can either use a ladder and maybe climb onto your roof and use your leaf blower from there, or you can use a gutter cleaning attachment and do it from the ground. 1) Using a Ladder. 2) Using a gutter cleaning attachment
What type of leaf blower is best for gutter cleaning?
To be honest, the type of leaf blower isn’t that important in this case. Since the area you’ll be cleaning is relatively small, even one of the medium-sized handheld blowers should be sufficient in most cases. So if you own a leaf blower already, chances are you can use that. If you don’t, then keep reading because later I’ll show you the blowers that I recommend for this job.
What to do if your gutter cleaning kit doesn’t fit your leaf blower?
This happens sometimes. Despite this, most gutter cleaning kits work just fine for most blowers. However, if you can’t make yours work no matter what then my advice is to use plain old duct tape to keep it in place. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it works. And certainly cheaper than buying a new gutter cleaning kit or a leaf blower.
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