You can clean your gutters without a ladder if you have an ordinary vacuum cleaner with a Gutter Cleaning Vacuum Attachment. One type of this device attaches to your (nominal 2.5”) wet-dry vacuum. Other types being developed attach to a 1.25” or 1.875″ vacuum pipe. Any can be extended to reach a 2nd floor.
The 2.5” kit consists of a pre-assembled PVC part, a flexible coupling, and a single screw. The PVC part is shaped like a ‘J’ and it is connected to a section of 2” schedule 40 PVC (not included) that you can buy at most hardware store cut to length to reach to your gutters. Home stores will typically only sell specific lengths.
If the device will be used for both 1st and 2nd story gutters, I recommend these be connected with the screw instead of bonded with PVC cement so that the pipe can be replaced with another of a different length. If you use petroleum jelly for the connection, the pipe can be replaced easily. You will need to drill a 1/8” hole in the end of your PVC pipe 7/16“ from the end for the screw to secure the connection. The pilot hole in the PVC elbow is already present for the screw.
Kits for vacuum hose sizes other than 2.5” are under development.
If your vacuum is not the wet-dry type, be sure to check for water in the gutter first before turning on the vacuum. This can be done be inserting the top of the device in the gutter and removing it to check for wetness.
A gutter before cleaning.
The gutter after cleaning.
The top part of the cleaner
A screw is used above to attach the elbow to your long pipe needed to reach the gutter. This allows for easy replacement of the long pipe with a one of another length.
A flexible coupling above connects your long PVC pipe to your wet-dry vacuum (black) pipe. You should either use lots of vacuum cleaner extension pipes (black pipes on the left) to get up to high places on your house or no more than one. In the former case, the flexible coupling has less stress since it has less weight above it. In the latter case, you can minimize the stress on the flexible coupling by handling the long pipe above this coupling. The tape on the PVC pipe marks the desired position of the boot.
In the above video, when the gutter supports are encountered, the operator has to push up a bit to get around them. The flexible coupling is low so the rigid PVC pipe is easily controlled. The nominal 2.5″ vacuum extension below the coupling is unnecesary but can be useful if the terraine is uneven and more length is needed in some areas. Hooking the flexible coupling directly to a flexible vacuum hose is ideal for most applications.
If you have or wish to purchase vacuum extension pipes (typically 2 feet long) sufficient to reach to the highest gutters of you home, you can place the flexible coupling at the top with a very short piece of 2″ PVC to connect to the elbow.
As an alternative, you can save some money by buying lengths of 2″ PVC from a home store or hardware store and placing the flexible coupling low. You should cut your 2″ PVC pipes so that the flexible coupling is between 6″ and 30″ from the ground. If this is done, the rigid pipe is more easily controlled.
Kits for the 2.5″ vacuum hoses will soon appear for sale on Amazon.com.