The Fastest Way to Clean your Gutters (In Less than 15 Minutes)

Cleaning your gutters does not need to be a time-consuming, sweaty, or dangerous endeavor.

What if I told you it’s possible to clean your gutters in under 15 minutes without breaking a sweat or having to climb up and down on a ladder?

To do this all you need is some simple tools and you’re ready to start cleaning in no time at all.

The Fastest Method for Cleaning your Gutters

powerwashing gutters

It’s 100% possible to clean your gutters at a super fast speed while also doing a thorough job. You’re gutters will be sparkly clean.

You don’t need to spend hours scooping leaves out by hand or gently scrubbing the gutters clean, nope. There are tools that will do that for you in a jiffy (and better).

Nowadays, you don’t even need to climb up and down a ladder. You can do it safely from the ground. Here is how it’s done.

Step 1: Get the Required Tools

To do the job fast, we need specific tools. Luckily, most of it you’ll already have on hand. The main piece of equipment needed is the leaf blower. A leaf blower will be our primary tool for clearing out the gutters.

You don’t need anything fancy, a simple leaf blower will suffice. Just make sure it’s properly fueled up (or charged if you use electric).

Next you’ll need a specialized blower attachment. This is the key to clean your gutters in no time at all.

This attachment will allow you to reach the gutters from the ground floor without a ladder. The end tip will be in the shape of a U, so it can redirect the air from the blower and into the gutters.

If your gutters are on the first floor, it will be very easy to reach with this attachment.

If your home has two stories, you’ll need an extra extension so you can reach up higher. It will require a bit more strength to hold up the extra attachment, but it’s still much safer than climbing a ladder and doing it by hand.

Also, expect a lot of dust, leaves, and water to fall on you, so wearing a hat and glasses can help keep you clean and protected when the debris falls.

Step 2: Blow Leaves Out of Gutters

Now that you’ve got all of the equipment, it’s time to put the attachment on, start up the blower, and get started.

Start at the corner of your gutters insert the end of the leaf blower into your gutters and start blowing.

You’ll see all sorts of leaves and mud start to fly out of your gutters. This is the exactly what we want.

Stay in one spot for a few seconds and then slowly move the leaf blower along your gutters, walking as you move. Your goal is to move slowly and remove any large debris that may be lodged in your gutters.

Work your way around your house cleaning out all of your gutters.

After your first pass, you can double back and go once more to clean out any leaves that you may have missed. It’s common on the first pass for the leaves to fall back into the gutter, so a second pass just makes sure everything is fully clean.

Once you’ve done two passes and no more leaves are getting blown out of the gutters, you can move onto the final step.

Step 3: Clean Out Downspouts

The downspouts commonly get clogged with leaves and debris, just like the gutters.

These clogs are most likely to happen at the top and bottom, anywhere there may be a turn or elbow.

So with your attachment on, you want to blow air into your downspouts from the top to shoot out debris from the bottom.

Then remove the attachment and blow leaves up into the downspout from the bottom to clear out any other clogs that may still be there.

Occasionally, this may not be enough to clear out the downspout, in which case you can try using a hose instead to loosen the leaves or sometimes simply banging on the downspout will work.

Once your downspouts and gutters are clean, you’re done! See that was pretty fast, huh? Who needs to pay a contractor when you can do it so quickly.

Other Quick Ways to Clean your Gutters

clogged gutters that will lead to ceiling leaks
Image from Canva

Using a leaf blower with a specialized attachment isn’t the only way to clean your gutters. If time is not a limiting factor, you could clean your gutters using several other methods. Here is a quick overview of other popular ways to clean gutters.

Clean Out Gutters by Hand

You can always do it the ol’ fashioned way, I mean, you don’t need equipment.

If you don’t have the right tools, you can always clean your gutters by hand. Just grab your favorite ladder and climb up to your gutters.

Then get scooping. Just use your hands (with protective gloves on), and start scooping out all of the leaves and gunk that have built up.

You’ll need to work in small sections, then climb down the ladder, move the ladder, and climb back up. Yes, it’s a little repetitive, but it works.

Once you are done, you will get a sense of accomplishment that you don’t get when you use a leaf blower, because you chose the hard path.

Clean Gutters with a Pressure Washer

Ok, this method is actually very fast and better than a leaf blower, but it requires more tools (that most don’t have on hand) and you’ll most likely get wet.

If you’re cool with that, keep reading.

You need a pressure washer with a U shaped attachment on the end so you can spray out your gutters from the ground level. Then simply follow the same steps as the leaf blower method.

Work your way around the house spraying out the gutters. The benefit of this method is you’ll clean out more of the mud and shingle grit that ends up inside of your gutters.

Plus if you have extremely clogged gutters with a lot of plant growth, your pressure washer can cut through it like nothing.

Once you’re done, spray out the downspouts to make sure they aren’t back up, and you’re done.

Suck the Leaves Away

If you don’t want to blow the leaves everywhere and make a mess on your roof and yard, you can suck the leaves up with a vacuum.

This method is probably the preferred way, it’s just not as effective as blowing the leaves out. Why?

If your gutters are wet and muddy, it can very difficult to suck out the leaves and debris. You’ll need to save this method for a very dry day and it will need to be several weeks after your last storm.

Otherwise you won’t be able to get everything out.

This method also works better when your gutters aren’t too full of leaves. If your gutters are too full, you may struggle to suck all of them out.

Plus it can be more time consuming, you need to carefully move the vacuum attachment around to suck up all of the leaves. But since you’re at ground level you can’t actually see if it’s working or not.

Factors that Impact How Long it Takes to Clean your Gutters

To get a better idea of how long it will take to clean your gutters, you should do an assessment of your home beforehand. Don’t worry, this doesn’t take long.

Just go outside and walk around your home, noting anything that may slow you down. We’ll give you a better idea of what to look for here.

Number of Floors

It’s no surprise that the number one thing that will increase the time it takes to clean your gutters is having an additional floor (or two). Cleaning out gutters that are higher up naturally poses more of a challenge and increases risk (if you plan on climbing up there).

If you have a second story, you can expect to pay more to have your gutters cleaned. If you’re DIYing it, expect it to take longer.

Roof Size

A larger roof size = more gutters to clean. Simple as that.

If you have a large home with a big roof, you will have more linear feet of gutters surrounding your home. This will make it more time-consuming to walk around and clear out your gutters.

Especially if you are doing it by hand.

Type of Gutters

If you have half-round gutters instead of K-style, you’ll find it’s easier to clean them.

Half-round gutters have a smooth shape to them in the shape of a semi-circle, this means there are less spots for leaves to get caught on.

So half-round gutters are much faster and easier to clean. Plus they need less cleaning overall. Keep in mind, there are significant advantages to K-style gutters though, such as being seamless and they handle a lot more water flow.

Underground Gutter Drains

Gutter drains located underground can increase the time and complexity of your gutter cleaning.

You will need to use specialized tools such as a blow bag or drain snake to properly clean these out. They are also very susceptible to clogging and you may encounter damaged pipes.

For more info on unclogging underground drain pipes, check out this article.

Gutter Guards

While gutter guards are excellent at reducing the amount of leaves that end up in your gutters, they can also slow down the cleaning process.

That’s because gutter guards will sometimes need to be removed to clean out the gutters.

It’s a common belief that if you have gutter guards, you’ll never need to clean your gutters, but that’s not true. Yes, you’ll need to clean them less often, but you’ll still need to clean them every now and then.

Ease of Access

If you have a lot of plants or landscaping around you home, it can make it awkward to clean out your gutters. You’ll need to navigate around the obstacles to clean everything.

Keep in mind, these can add more time and effort to your gutter cleaning process.

Weather Conditions

If you are experiencing extreme heat, you’ll need to take frequent breaks or take some time in the shade. Or if it’s raining, you may get interrupted while working.

Always try to calculate how the weather may impact your gutter cleaning.

What is the Best Time of Year to Clean Gutters?

The best time of year to clean your gutters is in the Spring and Fall. You will most likely need to clean your gutters twice a year. This will keep your gutters fully operational and avoid issues like clogging and overflowing.

Most homeowners choose the late Fall to clean out their gutters after all of the leaves have fallen, so they are prepared for Winter. Then in the Spring they will do another clean to get through the rest of the year.

How Often do Gutters Need Cleaning?

For most homes, it makes sense to clean them twice a year. However, if you live in area with a lot of trees and heavy leaf fall, you may need to clean them out multiple times during the Fall season.

It also depends on when you experience your rainy season and how much rainfall you expect.

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