Cleaning the gutters - not a question

Page 1 of 2  

More of an observation, or series of rhetorical questions. But is there any worse task than cleaning gutters? I used to think so, but after doing it for the first time I'm wondering. Standing on a ladder with a high-pressure hose in your hand, manually removing compacted Douglas-fir needles with your sopping wet-gloved hand. Just waiting to jam your fingers in that one spot where the wasps decided to over-winter. I was lucky enough to not strike wasp when pulling that muck out of there, but when I swung around the front of the house to clean them I was swarmed by wasps and wisely decided to come back another day. Maybe after the first hard frost.
I finally discovered why my drain system wasn't working, and also discovered why that big tall strong Douglas in my backyard isn't such a wonderful thing afterall. Those things shed needles like MAD.
Uggghhh, maintaining the gutters before the Seattle rains come is probably the only important thing I need to do this year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eigenvector wrote:

They make an attachment for the shop vac. That way you can stand on the ground (away from the wasp) and either vacuum or bow the needles out. It works best if they are dry and you don't let them get to bad... but it would keep you a good distance from them..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
message

the pine needles soaking wet trying to pressure wash them out.
Well I still have to do the front gutters, so maybe I'll go for it.
Honestly I was strongly considering replacing the gutters. I still have those old 1960's rain gutters that aren't nearly large enough to catch the runoff from the roof and the downspout it all of 2 inches in diameter. Man when you live in Seattle you need SERIOUS rain gutters.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eigenvector wrote:

I still have mine to do. They will, as usual be near full with dirt/leaves. I use a putty knife and flip them over the side, no sopping wet mess to deal with that way (other than what is already there). Of course it does require moving the ladder several times per gutter.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eigenvector wrote:

2" diameter downspouts are fine, especially in Seattle. While the Pacific NW is known for rain, it is long-duration, low-intensity rain. The intensity is the least of any other place in the U.S. No hurricanes. :) I think round downspouts look nicer and make it easy to bridge compound angles with one run.
That said, it wouldn't hurt to put those bulbous wire strainers at the tops of your downspouts. I like to walk around my roof a few days after every heavy rain spell, and about once a month during the wet season, and clean out my gutters. It's pretty easy. Then again, my roof isn't super steep.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You mean they weren't wet already, and you got them that way??
If they're dry to start with, just go up on the roof with a leaf blower. Gutters will be clear in moments.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Eh, the top part was dry, the lower levels were decomposing - so damp maybe?
I'll try the shopvac trick. The person who put the new roof on has it hanging half-way over the actual gutters, so there isn't much space to fit anything in - although a shop vack angle attachment would get in there.
BTW: It rained last night and what do you know - actual water flowed down my gutter drains? Whoever said that Seattle only has gentle rains needs to live here in November, December, January, February, ......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eigenvector wrote: .

Ah-hem. I do. You need to live in other parts of the country.
Here's a rainfall intensity map (Google the term for other examples):
http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/images/wq0322art02.jpg
As you can see, we get off easy in terms of rain intensity, but the months of grayness does suck.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

rain is largely undeserved, but when the winds come in November it sure feels like a monsoon. Heck, today my area started out with a drizzle, then turned to rain, then to snow, then sleet, the clear skies.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Observations inline...

Yes. Rodding your sewer line or cleaning out your grease trap come to mind.

Most hardware stores sell a "scoop" for cleaning gutters. Through the crap on the ground or carry a bag to put it in. No biggie.

Something to be said for doing this work on a cool day.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Get gutter helmet, ends cleaning gutters forever!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had gutter helmets and they were worthless. Depends on slope of roof. Leafguard gutters with builtin helmets work well though.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

No Gutter Helmet ends easy cleaning of your gutters forever! In my experience, all of the little things, maple seeds, pine needles, and eventually leaf pieces get under there and make a mess. And now you can't just easily scoop them out. Plus the larger pieces build up on top when wet and wick the heavy water flow up and over the gutters onto the ground. But at least they charge a lot of money for the privilege. That's strictly my opinion.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
LEAFGUARD Brand gutters. Haven't cleaned mine in 9 years.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Eigenvector wrote:

If you did it every season, it'd have been easy task.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have a friend who I have cleaned there gutters 3 times in about a year.
lots of trees and acorns, frequent cleaning really doesnt make it easier in all cases
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

like if he had *not* cleaned them 3 times in a year!
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

By me, it isn't the leaves in fall so much as the damn maple-tree "helicopters" (seedlings) in the spring. They ball up at the top of the downspout, and when they do, it's all she wrote.
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well considering I've only owned the house since March you can't fault me there can you?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can think of one... ever clean a septic tank?
No, I haven't either -- but every time I watch (and smell) one being pumped, I'm glad that I'm the guy with the pen and checkbook, not the guy with the truck and hose.

Gutter screens...
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.