Autumn comes around, and leaves begin to fall from the trees. This is your telltale sign that you need to clean your gutters. This isn’t a labor-intensive project, but it is a pain to get the ladder out, climb up and scoop out the dirt and leaves into a bucket, gutter water falling on you, which has a unique smell.
I’d rather be inside watching something on the big screen. Thankfully your pressure washer has a fast and easy way to clean your house gutter.
Pair your pressure washer with a gutter wand (it’s a hook-like curved attachment), which is designed to blast away all the debris that has accumulated in your gutters. You simply walk around your house and spray the inside of your gutters from the ground. This makes the job not only safer but also much easier and quicker to boot.
I’ll share the tools you’ll need and the safety precautions to keep in mind to ensure that this job is done safely and well.
Steps For Pressure Washing Gutters
Make sure to move any outdoor furniture away from your gutters. You don’t want any of this mess falling onto them. Plants, flowers, or any other vegetation should be removed or covered with a tarp if they are close to your gutters.
Make sure there is a clear pathway for you and your pressure washer. You want to be focusing on the cleaning, not worrying about tripping over.
Debris will fall to the ground, so you don’t want that debris to fall on anything you’ll need to clean up when the job is done. You just want to pressure wash the ground to remove the debris afterward.
Make sure to wear the right clothing, so put on safety glasses and waterproof boots. You’ll be cleaning gutters above your head, and debris and water will fall from it and get into your eyes, etc.
Attach the extension or telescoping wand to your pressure washer hose. This is how you will reach up high enough to clean your gutters without having to climb a ladder (which you shouldn’t do). I really don’t recommend that you use a pressure washer while using a ladder. The force generated from your pressure washer will recreate recoil in the spray wand, which cam through you off balance and off the ladder. Using a telescoping wand is the smart thing to do. You can adjust the length of the wand to the desired height of your gutters.
Now attach the gutter cleaning wand attachment onto the end of your telescoping wand. There are a few different gutter wand attachments that you can use. The most common variety is the kind that curves into a U-shape, very much like a hook. The bend allows the nozzle to reach into the inside of the gutter and blast debris, such as leaves and twigs.
You can also find wand attachments that have two horizontal nozzles. This allows the water to spray left and right. This is more efficient at cleaning gutters as it cleans both sides of the gutter simultaneously.
Rinse your gutters with high-pressure water from your pressure washer. I suggest starting with the downspout. First, this ensures that any runoff drains away. The amount of water from your pressure washer should be able to dislodge and clear any debris that might be stuck in your downspout. Once this is done, you can move on to the rest of your gutters.
So what kind of pressure washer should you use? Electric vs. gas? How much PSI is enough? You’ll be pleasantly surprised that a portable and compact electric pressure washer with around 1,500 PSI will get the job done. You can, of course, your a gas pressure washer putting out 3,000 to 4000 PSI, but there’s no need to go out and purchase one for this task.
Wash your gutters with a high-quality detergent. Using detergent soap when you pressure wash will loosen dirt and debris, making it easier to rinse away with water.
Rinse the detergent and debris out of your gutters with plain old water. You don’t want to leave detergent sitting in your gutters, I suggest you pick a detergent designed as a gutter cleaner.
Clean up any debris that’s fallen onto the ground around your gutters. Just use your pressure washer with the appropriate nozzle tip to spray and wash the surface. You can use a surface cleaner or a water broom attachment for your pressure washer to make this part of the job easier.
A surface cleaner or broom will have two or more nozzles, which expands your spray coverage. Simply power wash the debris into a corner, then throw it into the trash.
You’ve now got clean gutters.
Why Clean Your Gutters?
Cleaning your gutters is just one of the many house maintenance tasks that you need to do. If you neglect this, it can become costly, and water damage can occur to your home, and your gutters can also suffer damage.
As time goes on, the debris will back up, causing a blockage, and water will overflow onto your walls, fascias, or soffits. Plus, the additional weight of the stuff that’s accumulated in your gutters can place strain onto your gutters, causing them to break or sag.
When the debris freezes or snow falls, the extra weight can actually rip the gutters off of your house, and when those snow, etc., defrosts, where is that water going to go?
When To Pressure Wash Your Gutters?
I suggest pressure washing your gutters at least once a year. If you have a few trees which drop leaves into your gutters, you might want to get power washing more often. I suggest using your power washer to clean your gutters around late Autumn after all of the leaves have fallen from your nearby trees.
Though if you notice any blockages or water overflow, get your power washer out sooner.
You’ll want to clean your gutters of leaves before the rains come, so the water drains freely. It’s also a good idea to get this sorted before the cold weather and snow sets in.
Some people like to get their power washer setup for gutter cleaning 3 or 4 times a year. The rate at which you need to get power washing entirely depends on your home’s surroundings. If you live near a lot of trees, you’ll be cleaning up more often. The same goes for pine needles, which are a pain for clogging up gutters.
How Much PSI Do I Need To Pressure Wash Gutters?
I covered this in step three above.
A 1500 PSI power washer will do the job. The majority of things around your home can be pressure washed with 1000 to 3000 PSI pressure washers.
There are many websites and youtube videos that suggest 3000+ PSI pressure washers, but that’s just overkill. That’s a huge amount of force you’ll be spraying your gutters with. Your gutters aren’t durable like cement, so they can’t take the force of a high-pressure spray or stream of water.
I suggest testing out any power washer on a small and inconspicuous area that you intend to for pressure washing. This allows you to check for any potential damage before attacking the entire gutter.
What Kind Of Attachments Should I Use To Pressure Wash Gutters?
You will want an extension wand to attach to your pressure wash hose. This will allow you to reach those high places when you are using a pressure washer. Don’t try to attach these to your garden hose as the pressure won’t be enough. You need to use these attachments with pressure washers.
An extension wand means you can keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
A telescoping wand is an amazing choice. It makes adjusting the length of your extension wand easy. You can get a range of these, 12 foot, 18 foot, and 24-foot telescoping wands. If you have a two-story house, I suggest a 24-foot telescoping wand.
- The gutter cleaning tool are made of brass and stainless steel. Working pressure is up to 4000 PSI. Working temperature is up to 140 ℉, Long life.
- The gutter cleaning tool consists of 6 straight rods, a curved rod. Safe and efficient. Can get areas which is hard to reach, great for gutter cleaning.
- Gutter cleaning tool have 5 high quality nozzle tips for many different uses. Soap nozzle and 40, 25, 15 and 0 degree nozzles. This variety of sizes can be used for any and all cleaning jobs!
There are also accessories for pressure washers called wand attachments. Again these don’t attach to your garden hose. Instead, you attach this to your pressure washer and then attach your gutter wand attachment to the end of the telescoping wand. This will provide a means for you to reach up and clean your gutters without using a ladder.
- Reaches up to 24 feet
- Adapter has 3/8" male threads and M22 threaded male end
- Adapter has 3/8" male threads and 3/8" female quick connect
You can also get gutter wand attachments that only have a single nozzle tip. There’s an option for two or more nozzles. A two nozzle gutter want attachment can work more efficiently in some situations, and it can handle wide gutters and also depending on how you’ve orientated it clean forwards and behind its path.
Once you’ve cleaned your gutters, your pathways will have debris all over them. This is where your pressure washer broom comes in. If you have a cement walkway or a patio that covers this area, you’ll easily be able to blast the debris that has fallen to the ground into a corner or pile for easy sweeping and disposal.
Using a pressure washer to clean leaves out of your gutters will keep the exterior of your home looking it’s best, you will avoid issues caused by leaks, and you’ll avoid one situation which will be costly, and that’s your gutters falling off due to weight issues (snow, debris, etc.). Also, it’s much easier than using your handle or trowel with a ladder.
If you aren’t using your pressure washer to clear debris, I suggest you start now. Your gutters will be the cleanest they can be as the force will ensure that the clean will be as clean as possible. The dirt, grime, and sludge build-up will be a thing of the past.