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Gutter Cleaning

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by gcbama, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. gcbama

    gcbama LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    What is the most effiecient and safiest way to clean gutters
    on a two story house. The second story is about 28 ft from the ground and the roof is steep? Is there any suggestions?
    There is also (2) spout's that the owner said are stopped up,
    best way to unstop the spout? There is probably 200 ft. of gutters and must remove gutter guard also. What is the best gutter guard and easiest to install?
  2. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    i did some work for a gutter cleaner when in the off season a couple years ago, we climbed onto every roof versus moving ladders every 6ft (arm span). you'll need some hiking boots or good sneakers to hold your footing, we brought a hose up on the roof and flooded the gutters, depending on how bad they were we would either scoop them out as needed or sit at the downspouts and filter them out there. Most houses had "bunches" where the leaves would jam up by the gutter nails every 3-12'. As far as the downspouts, we would just poke the hose in, sometimes you had to push it down to clear out the bad ones, on these we would also remove elbows at the bottoms to help improve flow, then replace them.

    98% of the houses didn't have gutter guards, we frequently just discarded the ones with the guards cause they don't work. We did do some installs, but I do not recall the brand, it wasn't Home depot crap. Make sure you get the ones that snap in, if you have to screw them on you will be there all day.
  3. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    I normally go up with my backpack blower, and use that to clean the crap out of the gutter, then take a pipe snake combined with the blower to clean out the downspouts.
  4. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    pressure washer..... will make a mess so figure in your time to wash off any mess that gets on the house. The metal screen gutter guards work well. The vinyl ones do but will blow off of the gutter is a little bit of an odd size.
  5. Olylawnboy

    Olylawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Oly Wa
    Messages: 311

    gc, is that right? 28' for a second story gutter? wow seems quite tall. Is it all the way around or just on one side? like a side that faces a hillside? Anyway I have a commercial building that I have to keep the gutters cleaned, one story in the front and two in the back as it's on a slope. I used to get up on the roof and blow out the gutters with my backpack blower, and it also blew out any clogs in the down spouts.
    I didn't really care to get on the roof to do this stuff so I thought of putting a couple of 10' pieces of plastic pipe together with a couple of elbows on top to make it blow down. Works really well, though it takes two to handle the contraption. One to wear the backpack and one to control the pipe, control is the key and you have to do it to understand that :). I used a Red Max 8000 and the power of it works just fine! and then some , even on the downspouts. Of coarse the downside is you get cra; blown down on you at times :( But to me it's better than having to get up on the roof and has taken much less time in the long run for me, with 800' of gutters on this building. At 28' though, it may not work as well but should be worth a try. ")
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I'd be a little leery about getting on that 2 story house with a severe pitch to the roof. Maybe that's how the 'Jackass' movie got started? :p
  7. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I should add when we went on the roofs to clean out (100% of the time) we would toss the wet leaves down to the ground into piles every 10-12' then go around at the end of the job and rake it into a plastic contractors bag, you would use your feet to hold the bag spread open on the ground and use a rake to flick it between your legs.

    I thought using a backpack on the roof was smarter, however 25+ lb/s hanging off your back really hinders your balance. Also, no roof was too steep for us, we had a mountain climber as the foreman, so he would handle the 12-14 pitch roofs. if they were really steep with high drops we would use a rope and have a guy anchor him from the other side of the peak.

    This was the standard operating procedure for 25,000+ accounts.
  8. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    I have a gutter cleaner attatchment for my pressure washer & I know exactly what you mean. And it is probably worse with the p. washer. You have to turn the pressure way down to do it & I still have not found the perfect way to use it. But I will because I hate climbing ladders. :)

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Anything over a 4:12 pitch can be dangerous to walk on unassisted especially on a damp day. When I was younger I used to use the 2 man rapelling team method, but that looks bad and damages the roof shingles. The safest way is the ladder w/spreader bar like the painters use. Sometimes you have to lean the ladder on the gutter itself and that can be bad too. The biggest drawback to a ladder is having to work around mature landscapes and uneven ground, still better than walking on a roof. As far as gutter guards, they all stink. The only good ones are the ones with the fluted tops that employ a surface tension principle that allows the water to rap around a curve and fall in while the debris slides over and off.
  10. kirk brown

    kirk brown LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 164

    I usually just use either the blower method or just my hand and a latex glove, i`m only doing a few a week though.while were on the topic what`s the weirdest thing you`ve ever found in an eavstrough?

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