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what to use to clean TALL gutters out?

Discussion in 'Power Washing' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    A customer of mine asked us to clean out their gutters. We do small time pressure washing and gutter cleanouts in our normal routine, but this house is TALL.

    Its only a 2 story, but the ground isnt very high in the back and feels like your reaching up to a 3 story almost.

    I couldnt get on the roof, too steep of a pitch, to blow them out or wash them out with the hose so we have to do it from the ground.

    I have a 24' fiberglass extendable pole with a "U" shaped fitting for the end that acts as a hook to aim downward into the gutter and blow them out.

    Few problems though.

    1. Probably not enough gpm, no matter what nozzle, it doesnt have enough power, 2.8gpm doesnt blast them clean like id like to.
    2. Height, with the pole reached to its maximum we can just reach the gutter, but the gutter filled with mud and junk means the pole holder/operator is standing directly underneath all of the MUCK falling down out of the gutters :/
    3. Probably comes back to pressure/flow volume, but the hook aims directly down, not to the side, i need it to blow to the side along the gutter to blow everything back out.
    4. Cant see whats clean/not cleaned yet. Had the guys at the house last weekend cleaning the gutters. They got a lot out and all downspouts free, the customer is telling me today that she looks out her "only" back window from the one bedroom and still sees the gutter filled with junk... so the only way would be to look out this same window while theyre cleaning it to ensure they get it all, or climb a nearly 30' tall ladder to watch while theyre on the ground blowing it out. Our only tallest ladder expands to something like 22'.
    5. All downspouts are connected directly to 4" corrugated drain pipe into the ground or through the patio, its obviously not great to wash down any junk in the gutter only to jam up the drains in the ground, but the gutter downspouts, 3 were already fully clogged with a slow drip :/

    Its just a whole huge mess. I added $85 to their work order for all of their cleanup, trimming, mulching work for the gutters and now its going to consume the most amount of time, prep, headache of the entire job.

    What can you recommend?

    This is what we have http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200223174_200223174

    I think about 200 gallons of water with a 3" hose and a bit of pressure would work best , like a trash pump with a reducer at the end to 2" lol
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    Taller ladder?
  3. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    yeah that could work lol. Do all of you 100% pressure washing/gutter cleaning companies use 20-30ft tall ladders with guys up there and pressure washer guns though?
  4. 1wezil

    1wezil LawnSite Senior Member
    from tn
    Posts: 535


    FCPWLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    We don't clean out gutters. We leave it for the Handyman type guys. We haven't found a way to make it as profitable as simple house washes.

    No ladders for us until we get over 3 stories and then it is lift time.

  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    ya got that right... i dont think ive ever made a few bucks on gutter cleaning alone. I usually offer it just to entice clients to call or we will add it onto landscape maintenance etc.... after everything you have invested in equipment, the $100~ usually to clean gutters is hardly worth it.
  7. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 721

    Some gutters are so clogged the only way to get the gook out good is by hand and then flush with a hose. You will probably have to get a taller ladder and do it by hand to do a decent job.

    I don't mind 1 story ranchers, but I try to stay away from 2 story houses if I clean gutters. I have to work by myself and don't like working off tall ladders unless I have a helper to hold the ladder.
  8. IntegrityGuy

    IntegrityGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 781

    rent a higher gpm power washer to be abe to blast the muck out.
  9. precisionpower

    precisionpower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Good point Mike K. Exterior gutters are always easy, but those interior gutters can be a major PITA. We use our roof cleaning pump to spray the exterior gutters and then lightly brush (if needed) then rinse.
  10. Den69RS96

    Den69RS96 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    As a homeonwer with a 2 story house, I use a combo of an 18 ft extension u shaped adaptor and a ladder. I bought my extension and u shaped adapter from northern tool. i found that my extension pole is extremely hard to control fully extended, but its managable around around 12ft or so. I have a little giant ladder and use it as a A frame ladder and I'm high enough to get the nozzle into my gutters.

    Another option is to use a leaf blower. I know stihl makes a few extension with a u shaped adaptor for some of their hand helds. Another option is a craftsman wet dry vac that has a detachable leaf blower. My vac came with a few extensions and that U shaped attachment for cleaning gutters. Messy job no matter how you do it.

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