Gutters and soffits are some of the most difficult areas in your house to keep clean. A pressure washer might make it easy for you to keep these hard-to-reach places but you need the right technique and best tools to do the job efficiently. In this article, we will interest you with a few useful tips to help you pressure washing gutters and soffits effectively and safely. We will also discuss power washer accessories that can help you during the process.
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Move the Furniture Away
If you have some outdoor furniture around the gutters and soffits, you might want to place them somewhere else before starting on power washing. Also, cover plants and flowers and remove vegetation that is near the gutters before you start to use your power washer.
Pressure wash might blow some dust and dirt might fall to the ground, so make sure it doesn’t affect anything in the surrounding.
Put on your safety glasses and gloves and if possible, wear a helmet before you start cleaning with pressure washers, as you will be dealing with gutters that are above your head. Your power washer can blow water and Debris that will fall from the top and may get in your hair and eyes. Additionally, check out these amazing pressure washers for house cleaning.
Use Extension or telescoping Wands
Attach a telescoping wand or extension wand to your pressure washer hose so that you can reach up high without having to use a ladder. Using a pressure washer while climbing ladders can be dangerous as the high pressure generated can create a recoil in the wand throwing you off balance. With a telescoping wand, you can adjust the length of the wand of power washers according to your need.
Rinse Soffits and Surrounding Foliage
Before pressure washing and soaping everything up to remove the tough stains, you will have to soak everything with clean water. This will prevent clogged gutters due to the surrounding foliage. Also, rinsing away the dust and large debris will allow detergent to work its magic better.
Start pressure washing with a low-pressure nozzle for initial rinse to avoid damaging foliage or propelling dirt into the soffits. Also, rinse the outsides of the gutters clean at the end. If there is not too much debris, you can pressure wash it from the top once, down towards the spout.
Rinse the Gutter
Use a pressure washer to rinse the gutters with water. Begin with the downspouts first. The pressure spray will clear and dislodge any debris that might be stuck in the downspouts. Then you can work the other parts of the gutters.
If you go full force on the gutters with pressure washers, you might end up clogging and creating problems as you go.
Add detergent solution to the detergent tank of the pressure washer. If it is a concentrated detergent, make sure to dilute it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Also, ensure you have your detergent spray tip on before turning on the detergent tank.
Avoid facing the soffits directly while applying detergent, instead aim ahead and a bit to the side from where you are standing. This will prevent any detergent solution from rebounding at you. Also, avoid spraying directly up at the soffits as it will propel more water into the soffits. Try to use the minimum amount of water you spray inside of your gutters as it can cause mildew or mold growth in the gutter.
After covering the gutters and soffits with detergent thoroughly, let it sit in for a couple of minutes and work its magic. You can switch to spray nozzle meanwhile.
Cleaning Inside Gutters
To clean gutters inside, you need to put a specially designed gutter cleaning wand attachment onto the end of the extension wand. Gutter cleaner wand attachments are available in different shapes. They allow you to use a pressure washer to clean inside gutters while keeping you safely standing on the ground. The most common wand is the one that is curved into a U-shape like a hook. It allows the nozzle to reach inside and around the gutter to remove dirt, debris like twigs and foliage.
You can also use a wand attachment that has two horizontal nozzles that spray water left and right. This wand is more helpful to pressure wash gutters as it cleans both sides in the gutter at the same time.
Clear Away Dirt & Detergent
Once the detergent has softened the stains loose, switch off your detergent tank and squeeze the trigger to spray out any remaining detergent.
Now, use a high pressure spray nozzle and start clearing away detergent from where you started and walk in the same direction. Spray evenly to remove all the dirt, debris, stains and detergent.
Once you are done, switch back to a low-pressure nozzle and spray over the surrounding foliage with clean water to rinse away any remaining detergent.
Clean the Ground
Dirt and Debris are likely to fall onto the ground from the gutters. Wash the surface clean using the pressure washer. Using a water broom attachment on the spray nozzle of the pressure washer to do the job quickly and easily. This broom has three or more spray nozzles that give expanded spray for more coverage. Spray the debris and foliage into a corner and pick it up and dispose of it into the trash bin.
Why Pressure Cleaning Gutters is Important?
Cleaning the gutters is just another home maintenance chore that needs to be done regularly. Home’s gutters play a crucial part in your home’s overall maintenance. Failing to clean your gutters on time can be costly as it can damage not only the gutters but also the other areas of your house such as the home’s foundation. Hence, pressure washing gutters can save money for you.
Regular pressure cleaning your gutters prevents dirt, fallen leaves and other debris from clogging them leading to water overflow. Also, water runoff from the sides can damage soffits, fascias and walls. If the water doesn’t flow freely and gets stagnant in the gutter, it can start giving off a smell and lead to mildew growth. Furthermore, check out this amazing guide about presser washer nozzles.
And if the weather gets cold and the water in the gutter freezes, the extra weight can cause it to sag or even break it down around your house. To prevent damage due to clogged and frozen drain due to leaves and debris, you need wash drains clean inside out.
How Often Should Your Pressure Wash Gutters?
You should clean your gutters at least once a year. The best time to clean out gutters is early winter or late Autumn; when all the leaves have already fallen from the nearby trees.
Make sure you clean the drains before rains and cold storms hit so that water drains properly. Also, remove debris and leaves build up before they freeze in the gutter in the cold weather.
How often you should clean the gutters depends on the house surroundings. Some people clean their gutters twice or thrice in a year. If there are a lot of trees around your house, especially pine trees as pine needles are notorious for clogging gutters, you might want to clean your gutter more than once.
What is the Suitable PSI for Washing Gutters?
A pressure washer with 1500 PSI is enough for cleaning your gutters. An electric pressure washer usually gives 1500-2000 PSI which is sufficient for cleaning gutters and most things around the house and diy projects.
Gas pressure washers usually give more than 2500 PSI. If you are using a pressure washer with high pressure spray, you have to be careful as it is a lot of force and a gutter is not very durable or hard to hold up to that kind of pressure.
Attachments to Use for Pressure Washing Gutters
You are definitely going to need an extension wand with your pressure washer hose to reach places high up without using a ladder. The recoil from the pressure washer can throw you off balance if you are using a ladder. This wand will allow you to do your work with your feet firmly placed on the ground and you won’t need a ladder.
A telescoping wand or a wand that is adjustable is an even better option. This allows you to reach up to 24 feet without using a ladder. For a two story house, you will need a 24 foot telescoping wand.
To wash gutters, you can use several wand attachments at the end of the wand that allow you to reach up and into the gutters. Gutter wand attachments come with a single nozzle as well as with two nozzles that clean both sides of the gutter at once. Moreover, discover this awesome guide about the pressure wash a pool and spa.
You can use a pressure washer broom for cleanup. With this broom, you can blast away all the debris that fell from the gutter on the walkway or patio. You can sweep the leaves and debris into a corner and dispose of it.
Kenneth Cutler is the founder and head editor at Clean My World. Based in California, he has been writing about home cleaning and cleaning appliances for quite some time and various major brands such as Miss Mill Mag and Lifestyle Magazine. Over the years, Kenneth Cutler has reviewed thousands of vacuum cleaners and other related home appliances and products. This enabled him to develop a unique insight into what makes a good vacuum cleaner. He keeps an eye on the market trends and USA regulations. Apart from talking about cleaning stuff, he likes to play music and enjoys live concerts.