April 28

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How to Clean Gutters with a Pressure Washer

cleaning guide, Gutters

One of the best ways to avoid a costly water damage bill is by maintaining your gutters. This helps prevent them from overflowing and being unable to drain properly, which can lead expensive repercussions like mold or mildew buildup in wet areas as well as structural damages caused when rainwater flows inside or over walls.

Ideally, you want to clean your gutters every 3 months usually but more often if there are a lot of trees surrounding your home which could cause more leaves to fall than they would normally.

According to experts, the best way to clean gutters is with a pressure washer. We have you covered!

5 steps to Clean Gutters with a Pressure Washer

Remember, cleaning gutters can be tricky. If you're in any doubt you should contact a professional to do the job for you. If you are going to DIY it, here's what we'd recommend:

Scoop out debris before you pressure wash

  1. 1
    Set up your pressure washer at an ideal starting point and put any attachments you will be using on. Start it up and do a test spray (not on the house, but rather a sidewalk or driveway). This will familiarize you with the kickback and how it will spray while you tackle this project.
  2. 2
    Ensure you are wearing the correct safety equipment including gloves, waterproof clothing, boots and goggles.
  3. 3
    If using a ladder place it as close to the gutters you're cleaning as possible. If possible get a second person to anchor the ladder for you. Ensure you have a long enough hose to reach to the gutters from the ground or use an extension wand.
  4. 4
    Scoop out really large debris with your gloved hands from within the gutters including bulky sticks and large lumps of foliage as these could block your downspouts.
  5. 5
    Time to start getting those gutters cleaned! Fire up the pressure washer and work from the downspout to the inside of the gutter and repeat this until you have cleaned out all your guttering. This ensures that the downspouts have less of a chance of being clogged and that you still achieve your end goal.

One more thing! 

You may want to use a detergent to clean your gutters, so before you start spraying away make sure to apply this, so it has a little time to soak in. This will ensure all the dirt and grime gets removed and maybe even make your gutters look like new (or at least close to it)!


Considerations When Buying a Pressure Washer for Cleaning Gutters

You do not have to grab an expensive commercial pressure washer just to clean your gutters. You can use one of the smaller versions (1,200 PSI to 1,500 PSI) that are designed for homeowners.

Tips on Cleaning Your Gutters with a Pressure Washer

While it may seem like a straightforward job to take on as a homeowner (or renter if you rent), it is always useful to know some tricks that can work to your advantage. Here are our tips on cleaning gutters

  • A good way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone is to wash your house too! While you have the pressure washer out anyways, why not make your home’s exterior shine? If you spend the extra time and effort to wash the exterior of your home too, you get 2 things done at once. Just make sure when you wash your home’s exterior, you use the proper amount of pressure so that you don’t damage the siding or anything else.
  • Do not just assume the ladder in your garage will do the trick. While the ladder you have may seem like it is enough to access the gutters, you still must account for the kickback of a pressure washer. This is why it is highly recommended to use an extension ladder if a ladder must be used. The safest and best way is to use an extension wand and eliminate ladders.
  • Embrace tools that make the job easier as well as safer and always wear safety equipment.
  • Identify any damage (such as cracks) or looseness in your gutters beforehand. Since you will be using a high-pressure stream of water to get your gutters clean, you want to make sure you don’t damage them in the process.
  • Spring, Late Summer, and Fall tend to be the best times to clean your gutters. While you want to clean your gutters with a pressure washer every 3 months if you can, the end of spring, end of summer, and end of fall are the best times. This is when your gutters will fill up the most and you won’t be subject to freezing temperatures like you would be if you waited close to winter.

What Pressure Washer Nozzle Should You Use for Cleaning Gutters?

You could use a nozzle with a narrow fan that came with your pressure washer, such as a 40-degree pressure nozzle (you may want to go lower in number, but this seems to be a popular option). However, for the sake of your safety, simplicity, and effectiveness, here are some attachments recommended for those wanting to clean their gutters at home using a pressure washer.


Brush Attachment for Pressure Washers

There are times when dirt and grime require a little extra help to be removed. Sure, you could skip this extra step but there are times where it will save the appearance of your home. If you want your home to look its best, grab this and connect it to your pressure washer hose or wand.


Pressure Washer Gutter Cleaning Attachment

This is an attachment that is curved and acts as an extension as well to get to your gutters in a manner that no other attachment has been able to do. It attaches to a telescoping wand and shoots the spray right into your gutters to make cleaning them a breeze.


Telescoping Wand Extension for Pressure Washers

This allows you to extend the reach of your wand right up to your gutters without having to balance yourself on a ladder and risk slipping. It attaches to your pressure washer hose directly. Also, make sure that it reaches the needed height so that it delivers an enhanced experience.


Water Broom Attachment

When you have debris and leaves laying around after cleaning your gutters, it will catch the eye and not in the best way. Hence why a water broom attachment has become a necessity for many. You simply attach it to your pressure washer, and it uses jets of water to produce a fan that acts as a broom and can easily move the leaves and debris where you need them to go.

A smaller pressure washer is ideal for the 2-nozzle water broom attachment and the bigger ones are best using a 3-nozzle water broom attachment since they would have more power to support the larger cleaning area.,


What PSI Is Best When Cleaning Gutters with a Pressure Washer?

This depends on your skill level with pressure washers as well as the extent of how often you will use it as well as other projects you need it for. For commercial usage (and those that can safely operate commercial-grade pressure washers), you will find a 3,000 PSI pressure washer to be beneficial.

For those that want to be on the safer side of things, you will want to stick with about 1,500 PSI for gutter cleaning, so it will not damage your home.

The general rule of thumb (and requirement for many gutter cleaning attachments) is for it to just be in the range of 1,200-3,000 PSI. Always start with a low pressure and gradually turn it up.

Is It Safe to Clean Gutters with a Pressure Washer?

If you observe safety and are cautious, it is safe to clean your gutters using a pressure washer. It's always safer to not use a ladder and taking on a pressure washer attachments made specifically for gutters instead. Of course, nothing is ever 100% risk-free, especially when it comes to working at heights and on home improvement projects.

Learn more about pressure washer safety here.

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