How to Clean Gutters On A Two-Storey House

Cleaning gutters is a bit of work; cleaning gutters on a two-storey house could actually be a pain. Why? In addition to trying to get your gutter clean, there is the problem of trying to reach it in the first place.

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So, when trying to clean gutters on a two-storey house, one important tool is a ladder. Now, let’s talk about ladder etiquette real quick.

First off, do not consider using a bad ladder. You are going a couple of feet high and cannot manage using a ladder in bad shape.

Furthermore, you want to place your ladder against the wall instead of the gutter itself.  Because while gutters are designed to hold a bit of debris and allow for the free flow of wastewater, it isn’t designed to hold human weight.

In addition to all of that, you want to ensure that the ladder has a good foothold on the ground. Try not to place the ladder on uneven ground; that is, both legs of the ladder should be on the same ground level.

If you can’t help the unevenness of the ground, consider placing weight against the legs of the ladder. And be sure that you are placing things that roughly weigh the same against both legs.

However, one sure way of ensuring that the ladder remains grounded is enlisting the help of someone to hold down the ladder. That person should, of course, be relatively strong.

What Happens If Gutters Are Not Cleaned?

The following will happen if your gutters are not cleaned:

1. The roof of your house will leak resulting in the build-up of moisture in the attic.

2. Leaking gutters can cause the soffit boards and wood fascia to rot resulting in sagging gutters.

3. Accumulation of debris in gutters is a perfect place for insects infestation. For example, insects that eat wood like carpenter ants and termites are attracted to rotting leaves.

4. Dirty gutters can damage the foundation of your house causing a major structural defect in the building.

5. Accumulation of water underneath the building from leaking gutters can cause the growth of black mold, flooding, water damage, and smells.

Gutters cleaning on a two-storey house are divided into two methods: the manual method and the machine-assisted method(s).

The Manual Method of Cleaning Gutters On A Two-Storey House

You’ll be using your hands mostly and some somewhat crude instruments including a bucket and a hose.

Before you start anything at all, it is important that you wear protective garb; gloves, an apron, and even a face mask if it is too windy. You’re dealing with sensitive stuff, so you have to be careful.

Because you want to keep the debris as far away from the downpipes as much as possible. Since debris can block the pipes, it is advisable to start at the middle of the gutter. This way, you can work your way to either end of the gutter without pushing anything down the drain.

Now, because you’re a couple of feet high up, your hands have to be as free as possible for the job at hand. Also, you need your hands to support yourself if an occasion calls for it.

Tie the bucket to the ladder in such a way that it doesn’t obstruct your movement. And be sure to empty the bucket frequently instead of leaving it to get heavy with debris.

You might need to use a shovel or small spade if some debris is stuck to the gutters. Put this small instrument in the bucket so that it’ll be easily reachable when you need it.

It is important that you try not to reach too far. If you have to stretch to reach anything, don’t do it. You might think you’re saving yourself some time and stress by reaching as far as you can from one position but you are actually putting yourself at a huge risk.

Once, you can no longer conveniently get debris out, come down and reposition the ladder.

Hosing Down

When you’re sure you’ve got all the debris out, you can wash the gutters out.

If you’re going to wash the gutters out, a hose is the best tool for this purpose. It should be long enough to reach that high; you could add on extension hoses if your hose isn’t long enough.

When you’re hosing down your gutters, the water should run along smoothly. If it isn’t, that could be an indication that your downpipes are already blocked.

The downpipes are detachable and so you can remove them. Clear out the debris and fix them back. Once, that’s done, the water should flow smoothly through and down, leaving you with clean gutters.

This is really a thorough work and it takes a lot of time. However, if you take the time and try not to cut corners, you’ll find that you can get by with doing this.

You can clean your gutters once a year or twice if there are a lot of trees in your yard.

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The Machine-Assisted Method Of Cleaning Gutters On A Two-Storey House

There are basically two ‘machines’ you could use in clearing your gutters. They are the leaf blower and a vacuum cleaner.

Note that you do not use a ladder when using either of these tools. If you decide to do without a ladder, you’ll have to find a way to see what’s going on in the gutters using a telescopic pole.

1. Leaf Blower

How do you clean gutters with a leaf blower?

The following are steps to take to clean gutters with a leaf blower:

1. Fix the leaf blower extension tube to the leaf blower nozzle to extend your reach and attach. Attach this to your leaf blower backpack.

2. Wear your protective gear like safety glasses, respiratory mask and hearing protector or ear plugs.

3. Use the leaf blower to clear away dry leaves and debris out of your gutters.

4. Adjust the leaf blower nozzle and position it at an angle towards the downsprouts. Make sure you don’t push dirt and debris into the sprout.

A leaf blower might not give you the neatest clean seeing as it blows things everywhere. However, considering that most of the stuff in your gutters is probably biodegradable, you could allow them to settle on the ground and just blend in with the ecosystem.

However, if you are looking for a neater cleaner, attaching a hose to the mouth of the leaf blower could help to target the air a bit more precisely and even extend the reach.

Nonetheless, using a leaf blower can push debris off the gutters could force them into downpipes, effectively blocking them. This happens when you don’t apply caution during the cleaning.

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Video: How to Clean Gutters With A Leaf Blower

This video will show you how to clean your gutters with a leaf blower

2. Vacuum Cleaner

How do you clean gutters with a vacuum cleaner?

To clean your gutters with a vacuum cleaner, do the following:

1. Mount the vacuum cleaner poles on a vacuum vehicle with a tank. This tank collects the dirt and debris during a suction procedure.

2. Set the telescoping poles with the camera (if you’ve got one)to see what is happening up during the gutter cleaning.

3. Vacuum away from the downsprout slowly.

4. Monitor your cleaning as you vaccum using the camera.

5. Dispose off the debris you picked up with the vacuum cleaner. Repeat cleaning if necessary.

If are using a vacuum cleaner, use the suction tool. This one allows for a neater cleaning since it will be sucking the debris in.

The cleaning will be more effective if you use a cordless vacuum cleaner. However, if yours has a cord and the cord cannot get as high as you need it to, you’ll need to get an extension cord.

When you use a vacuum cleaner to clean your gutters, you won’t need a ladder. You can vacuum a two-storey house or more easily from the ground. With the different attachment tools available for this cleaning, this is achievable.

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Video: How to Clean Gutters Safely With SkyVac

The video below shows how to assemble and use a vacuum cleaner to clean gutters right from the ground.

What Are Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards allow rainwater to flow through your gutters and keep pests, leaves, and other debris out of your gutter system. If this debris are allowed to enter the gutters, they can block your gutters and downpipes in the long run.

As a result, it becomes imperative that you clean your gutters to remove these debris and to prevent damage of your gutters. This is avoidable when you get a good gutter guard. Gutter guards are also called gutter protection systems.

What are the benefits of a gutter guard?

The benefits of a gutter guard are:

1. Gutters keep twigs, leaves, seeds and other debris.

2. Gutters reduce the growth of mildew and mold.

3. Gutters prevent the rot of the fascias and the peeling of your gutter paint.

4. Gutters protect your house from bushfires.

5. Gutters protect your home and your gutter from pests, birds, snakes and rodents.

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Interesting DIY Ideas For Cleaning Gutters On A Two-Storey House

The methods we already mentioned are pretty traditional methods of how to clean gutters on a two-storey house. However, there are some interesting tools and we’ll quickly share a few. Some examples of such tools you can use are smartphones, a GoPro, a pole, and a brush roll.

How to Make Homemade Gutter Vacuum

What are the materials you will need to make homemade gutter vacuum?

The following are materials you will need to make homemade gutter vacuum:

1. 2 inch ABS pipe.

2. 2 inch sink trap.

3. 2 1/2 inch – 1 1/2 inch rubber reducer.

4. Extra extension.

How do you make a homemade gutter vacuum?

Follow these steps to make homemade gutter cleaner:

1. Fix the rubber reducer to the vacuum extension tube end.

2. Use a wrench or screwdriver to tighten the hose clamp.

3. Cut the 2 inch pipe to your desired length.

4. Fit the pipe into the sink trap.

5. Connect the other end of your sink trap to the rubber reducer. Your gutter cleaner is ready to be used.

When assembling your homemade gutter cleaner, do not glue any part of the cleaner. This is because sticks and leaves can get stuck inside the cleaner. Secondly, you can easily disassemble the gutter cleaner unit when you are done cleaning.

Make sure you cut the pipe to the correct length that can reach your roof. Also, when tightening the hose clamp, do not tighten it too much so that it won’t crack the plastic tube.

Check out these interesting articles from our previous post:

Conclusion

If you have gone through the options available to you and aren’t particularly excited about any, there are people who make it their business to clean your gutters; you could call them.

They could also help you install a gutter guard. The gutter guard is some sort of protection that you place inside the gutter.

It stops your gutter from getting messy by collecting all the debris. This saves you the time and stress of cleaning your gutter because all you’ll need to do is pull out the guard and dispose of its content.

How to Clean Gutters On A Two-Storey House – Related FAQs

Can You Use A Pressure Washer To Clean Gutters?

You can use a pressure washer gutter cleaner to clean gutters. A pressure washer gutter cleaner has curved attachments that allow you to clean the interiors of your gutters without climbing a ladder. It is safer as you can spray your gutters directly while your feet are planted on the ground securely.

To use the pressure washer gutter cleaner, spray water near and away from the downspout down to the gutter. The force of the pressure washer gutter cleaner propels debris out of the gutters.   

How Do You Clean Mildew Off Gutters?

To clean mildew off gutters, do the following:

  1. Clean out the debris in your gutter with a garden towel.
  2. Clean the grime and mildew with a power washer.
  3. Mix 1 part bleach and 4 parts water in a bucket. Another alternative is buying a bleach spray. 
  4. Use a soft brush and the bleach solution to scrub the gutters.
  5. Clean downspouts with a long gutter brush.
  6. Rinse the gutters using a hose.
  7. Check your gutter periodically for signs of mildew growth. If it continues, you have to seek professional assistance.

Why Do My Gutters Overflow In Heavy Rain?

Gutters overflow in heavy rain because they are blocked, ineffective, or damaged. This can be due to buildup of debris or the gutters are not regularly cleaned.

Normally, gutters collect dirt and leaves along with water. These leaves stop water from flowing freely to the gutter downpipes. This causes the gutters to overflow with water along its sides.  

Overflowing gutters may just mean that the gutters are leaking. Check the gutters for signs of rust, bowing, loose fittings, fascia water damage, and cracks. Gutters help to divert water away from the roof into stormwater.

This prevents water from seeping into the foundations which can cause serious structural damage outside your home. 

Is It Safe To Put Ladder On Gutter?

It is safe to put ladder on gutter. Gutters are made to be strong enough to resist years of exposure to elements such as seasons and weather. Manufacturers know that they will be cleaned periodically. Hence, they are built to be very strong and for ladders to be able to lean on them. 

However, you must first decide if the gutter can withstand the weight of the ladder. If your house is new or at least 10 years old, you don’t have to worry whether it’s safe to  put ladder on gutter.

If your house is older than 10years, inspect the gutters so you can know if they are stable. 

How Do You Remove Black Stains From Gutters?

You can remove black stains from gutters using any of these methods:

Method one:

  1. Mix 1 cup TSP-PF, ¼ bleach, and ¾ hot water.
  2. Apply this mixture on the gutter surface with a rag or soft brush. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes. 
  3. Mix vinegar and warm water. Pour the mixture on the gutters and allow it to sit for 1 hour.
  4. Scrub gently and rinse with clean water.

Note that Trisodium Phosphate-Phosphate free (TSP-PF) has degreasing and cleaning properties. 

Method two:

  1. Scoop all debris and dried leaves from the gutters.
  2. Mix white vinegar and warm water.
  3. Pour vinegar mixture in the gutters and allow it to sit for about 1 hour.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with a hose pipe, then brush off any left over grime.

Why Gutter Guards Are Bad?

Gutter guards are bad due to the following reasons:

  1. Most gutter guards are wrongly installed. 
  2. Gutter guards still need to be cleaned and they make it difficult for you to clean the gutters too. In some gutter guard brands, you can not remove the screens. So, you may resort to flushing it at high pressure.
  3. Gutter guards can harbour small leaves and debris at the raised portions such that water cannot flow through the gutters. Most times, there is an eventual growth of algae and moss in the gutter.
  4. Gutter guards don’t take in when the temperature is high outside. Hence, they drip icicles during winter.
  5. If you get a curved gutter or one with a solid cover, it will be a good nest for birds and bees.

How Do You Unclog A Gutter Downspout?

Follow these steps to unclog a gutter downspout:

  1. Tap on each side of the downspout and try rinsing it with a garden hose pipe.
  2. Put a small towel on top of the downspout and insert the hose pipe to create a seal. This will help to force the clog out of the opening at the bottom of the downspout.
  3. Feed a handheld auger into the top or bottom opening of the downspout. Turn it clockwise and push it inside, then pull out several times to remove the clog.
  4. Use a power washer, leaf blower, or a vacuum cleaner in the downspout opening, at the top. 

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