How to Clean Rain Gutters Safely

Part of being a savvy consumer is knowing when discretion is the better part of valor. Arranging to clean your rain gutters safely is one example

Most people don’t think it’s worth the effort to take the time to clean rain gutters safely, since it’s a fairly straightforward process and you don’t have to do it all that often. But here’s the thing: all it takes is one ladder wobble or patch of mud to cause a fall that costs you a lot more than being careful.

That being the case, we’d like to offer a few suggestions on tools that you can use to make cleaning your gutters safer. Yes, you’ll have an initial cash outlay; however, these tools are cheaper than even a few hours at the hospital, and less expensive over the long term than hiring someone to do it.

Gutter Tongs

With gutter tongs, you never even have to leave the ground. As the name suggests, these tools are great big tongs that you can use to fish leaves, debris, and even ice out of your gutters without ever climbing a ladder. This won’t entirely insulate you from falls, but at least they’ll be from much shorter heights.

All you do is hoist them tongs to the gutters, scoop up a load of junk, bring it down, and repeat. It takes a while, but it’s safer than climbing a ladder at your age. To finish the cleanup, lift the water hose up there in the tongs to wash out the remaining dirt and debris.

Don’t expect gutter cleaning tongs to save you time; it’ll probably take even longer to clean your gutters this way, but it’s much safer. Some hardware stores sell these tools, but you may have to go hunting for them on the Internet. Expect to pay somewhere between about $30-50 for a pair.

The iRobot Looj

If you’re a technology buff, here’s a nifty-neato tool that’s sure to please: the remote controlled Looj by iRobot, which also makes the Roomba and Scooba sweeping and mopping robots. You can get a new Looj for as little as $130, and even the top-of-the-line model costs just $170.

This little robot (and that’s what it is) fits snugly into your gutter system and then crawls forward on treads, auguring the debris out of the gutter as it moves forward. Now, you’ll still need to reposition it occasionally, so some ladder-climbing will be necessary; but it’ll be far less than with traditional gutter cleaning.

Are They Worth It?

Well, let’s see. With these tools, you needn’t worry as much about falling; they tend to be cheaper than hiring someone; and they’re pretty cheap anyway. So yes: I think any method that helps you clean rain gutters safely is worth a little extra cost, especially if it’s as minimal as this.