Traditional Methods for Gutter Cleaning vs Vacuum Gutter Cleaning: Which is Better?

Traditional Methods for Gutter Cleaning vs Vacuum Gutter Cleaning: Which is Better?

Gutter cleaning methods have changed quite significantly in the last 20 years or so.

Traditionally, gutters on individual family houses were cleaned from ladders, typically using hand held tools such as brushes or scrapers, while on larger buildings, access from the roof if possible or cherry pickers might be used. Rope access techniques have become more commonly used in building maintenance more recently and improved the accessibility and safety of gutter cleaning, but correct use of ropes requires specialist skills and training, and is thus more expensive. Issues with anchor points and access routes over fragile roofs, for example glass conservatory roofs, might also arise. 

For many properties all these dilemmas have been solved by the development of powerful and efficient gutter cleaning systems which provide a safe, fast and efficient way to clean gutters in most homes. No more guys with brushes balancing on ladders while trying to reach less accessible sections!  

Gutter vacuums have many advantages in comparison to traditional methods

Let us look at some of them in more detail. 

Gutter vacuums greatly improve safety

The vacuum method allows for cleaning of gutters entirely from the ground, removing the need for anyone to climb ladders, get on the roof and work at heights in general. This reduces the risk of falls, which are one of the main causes of accidents at work, and in the case of working at height could be serious or even fatal. 

Gutter vacuums can be more efficient 

In many cases, the vacuum method allows for a more thorough and efficient cleaning. Debris and clogs are removed more effectively than traditional methods. And when we say "removed", we mean exactly that, because...

Gutter vacuums suck up all the mess

Instead of scooping up the debris into buckets or other containers by hand, the vacuum method allows the cleaner to collect the debris in the machine's container. The machine's container can be then emptied in a controlled way in a suitable location. This not only means that there is no buckets of muck to deal with for the gutter cleaning contractor, but that it's much less likely that some of that mess ends up on the ground below the gutter, or that it gets pushed into the downpipe, potentially blocking it.

And while we are talking about "mess", let us not forget that traditional gutter cleaning methods might disturb all kinds of nasties, while...

Gutter vacuuming contributes to better air quality

Gutters create a fertile breeding and storing ground for mould, and other allergens and potential disease vectors. Vacuuming them up removes these pollutants without releasing them into the air, which might happen during a traditional clean. 

Gutter vacuuming is safer for the gutters and for your house

Because suction is used to remove debris, rather than scraping with a tool, the risk of damaging the gutters is lower than when using traditional methods. As no ladders are used, they won't be pushed or scraped against anything potentially susceptible to damage, and no tools or rubbish will be dropped from on high, risking damage to vehicles or other parts of the building. 

Gutter vacuums provide greater accessibility

The vacuum method allows for cleaning of gutters that may be difficult to reach with traditional means such as ladders or even using rope access. These include complex or steep roofs, or roofs where decorative features of the building might be in the way of access. And of course reach-from-the-ground methods are simply perfect for glass (for example conservatory) roofs and other fragile structures that still need guttering cleaned. As professional window cleaners, we can properly appreciate this aspect. 

What about disadvantages of gutter cleaning?

Although we believe that vacuuming gutters is the way to go if at all technically possible, we won't pretend the method is perfect. 

Gutter vacuuming is better done professionally rather than as DIY

High-performance gutter vacuums are fairly costly to buy, while cheaper DIY machines don't tend to provide as good results. Some training is also recommended to use these tools safely and with best results. 

Gutter vacuum might not be enough for the worst clogs

If the guttering is in a truly neglected state, vacuuming might not be enough to deal with the debris and blockages and someone will need to get up there and remove the miniature garden with a selection of trees and shrubbery that took root. Hopefully, your home has not been neglected to anywhere near this degree!

Gutter vacuuming doesn't allow for checking and minor repairs

Actually, that is not strictly true. Many gutter cleaning vacuums can support a camera and thus an inspection before and after cleaning the gutter is perfectly possible. That said, if any damage is discovered, the operative is not up there at the roofline level to fix it, and a separate contractor might be required. This, however, might be also the case with a traditional gutter cleaner, who might not be equipped to fix gutters anyway. 

All in all, though, vacuuming your gutters is the best way to get them clean and ensure the rainwater and snowmelt can flow freely away from your roof and walls (and the inside of your home). 

The photos that illustrate this article show our actual gutter-cleaning work using our trusty and powerful Gutter Vacuum Systems (GVS PREDATOR) with a high-capacity drum and high-power suction, and a reach of 12+ meters.

Our prices start from as little as £50, and if you book your gutter clean before the winter officially starts on the 21 Dec 2022, we will clean your windows gratis!

Get a quote, book a window clean or a gutter clean

Find out more about our gutter cleaning and window cleaning service in Gloucestershire and Cheltenham area.

Get a Quote