How to Pressure Wash 2nd Story Gutters: Plus 6 Ideal Gutter Inserts

How Do You Clean Second Story Gutters Without a Ladder

Connect the telescoping extension to any pressure washer and start cleaning your home’s rain gutters without leaving the ground safely, quickly, and efficiently. (See image below)

Related: Electric pressure washers that won’t break the bank

Homeowners no longer have to climb up their stairs or, worse, go up on the roof to clean their gutters and no longer have to leave the ground. You’ll be able to reach the 2nd level of your home with this affordable rain gutter cleaner tool. The mechanism consists of feeding on the pressure washer, really simple to connect and use. You have to be prepared for the rain, and that’s why we have rain gutters. Without these simple rain gutters, rainwater, especially during big downpours, can damage the foundation of your house, your outdoor plants, and even outdoor equipment such as air conditioning units or swimming pool equipment.

You need to have rain gutters, and if you have plants or trees, we are now talking about leaf sticks and other debris that can clog those rain gutters. Rain gutters sometimes need to be cleaned two or three times a year; however, this will depend on the type of gutter guards you are using in your home. (Below) you’ll find six different gutter insert options that you should consider to avoid the hassle of constant rain gutter cleaning.

6 Ideal Gutter Inserts to Consider

What Should You Look for in Gutter Inserts? There are some factors to consider before investing in gutter guards. Every homeowner knows the value of having one installed in their gutter. With so many products to choose from, it’s easy to get confused and even frustrated, so I came up with these six suggestions to help you decide. There are several types of gutter guards available on the market; anyone, even a homeowner, can install some of these gutter guards.

Others require hired professionals to carry out the installation process. Of course, the most important factors that you should look for in gutter guards are material durability, and performance, meaning which design is better for the task. Here are the six most common gutter guards’ materials, designs, and which one is best to keep your home gutter clean of debris.

1. Raptor Micro Mesh Gutter Guard

As its name indicates, this system consists of a mesh with very fine pores that only allow rainwater to pass through. Not even sand particles can pass through this type of protector, and this fine mesh prevents the gutter from getting clogged. The Raptor Micro Mesh Gutter Guard is the most preferred by homeowners, and of the six inserts on this list, this is the one I recommend, and here’s why.

Advantages of the Micro Mesh Gutter GuardDisadvantages of Micro Mesh Gutter Guard
The complete seal prevents leaves and large debris from entering the sewers.This is comparatively more expensive than other options.
Even the smallest debris cannot enter the gutter system.You have to choose the right local contractor to perform the installation carefully.
If you use surgical grade steel, you will not have any organic growth under the screen.
This system will leave you free of stress for years.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Micro Mesh Gutter Guard

2. Aluminum Gutter Guard Inserts

These easy-to-install screens are readily available and are made of steel or aluminum. They can be installed in existing gutters. Metal screens can prevent large sheets from entering the gutter but cannot prevent finer particles from entering the gutter.

Advantages of Aluminum Gutter Guard InsertsDisadvantages of Aluminum Gutter Guard Inserts
Aluminum guards are stronger than other options available on the market.The concave structure can lead to the accumulation of leaves that can lead to clogging.
These screens can be cut to size and therefore provide protection for all sides.Cleaning gutters protected by aluminum inserts is cumbersome since you will have to remove the mesh to remove debris throughout the gutter, and then reinstall the inserts.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Aluminum Gutter Guard Inserts

3. Foam Gutter Guard Inserts

It’s easy to install; just put the special foam inserts in your gutter. This allows water to drip through the foam while the debris stays out. But this material is flammable because debris and leaves can stay stuck to it for a long time.

Advantages of Foam Gutter GuardDisadvantages of Foam Gutter Guard
The tactic is simple and does not require much effort for installation.Since the foam remains outdoors, probably in direct sunlight, the foam will deteriorate within a year or two.
You only have to place the foam in the gutter.The gutter’s top may become clogged with leaves and may need to be brushed at regular intervals.
Dust particles can pass through the finest pores of the foam and may clog the gutter anyway.
This can lead to fungal and other organic growth.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Foam Gutter Guard

4. Brush Gutter Guard

The brush gutter guards are somewhat like a bottle brush. The barbs that protrude from the wire help keep the gutter clean. But the finer debris and dirt can get trapped and cause the gutter to clog. Also, the brush inserts are not as easy to maintain.

Advantages of Brush Gutter GuardDisadvantages of Brush Gutter Guard
Since it is like a brush, the simple act of moving the brush can clean the debris from the gutter.Larger leaves can end up in the gutter and cause blockages.
Proudly Made in the USA.You will need to spend a good amount of time cleaning the brush.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Brush Gutter Guard

5. Plastic Mesh Gutter Guard

They are similar to metal guards and have the advantage that they can be slid into place. But they can allow smaller debris to enter the gutter, defeating the purpose.

Advantages of Plastic Mesh Gutter GuardDisadvantages of Plastic Mesh Gutter Guard
They are easy to clean, as they can be easily removed.Although they do not corrode in the water, plastic cannot tolerate sunlight very well.
Larger sheets cannot enter the system, but they accumulate on the mesh.
Smaller debris can enter the chute through the mesh, and blockage could be a problem.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic Mesh Gutter Guard

6. Mill Finish Gutter Guard

This type allows only rainwater to enter the opening while the debris is washed from the roof’s edge. But these covers can easily get stuck and may need to be cleaned regularly.

Advantages of Mill Finish GuardsDisadvantages of Mill Finish Guards
Mill Finish Guards help keep larger debris out of the gutter by allowing only water to enter.Due to the design for water to pass through the guard, it can be obstructed by the leaves.
Made of aluminum for better durability and will not rust. Proudly Made in the USA.You will need to inspect for blockage signs and continue to clean the area to prevent water from falling over the edge.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mill Finish Gutter Guard

Related What exactly are rungs on a ladder

For more on what exactly are rungs on a ladder read the full article.

Advantages of Cleaning Gutters from the Ground

The most significant advantage, besides being so easy, is the safety factor. If you are like most homeowners who want to stay away from a tall ladder and incredibly high roofs, it can be dangerous to be up there; you should consider using the technique explained above. Thousands of people get hurt each year, sliding downstairs in high places; injuries or worse can occur, and who needs that? I have to admit that gutters can be nasty, a clogged gutter is an inefficient gutter, and that’s not good. More than half a million people are hurt each year from falls downstairs, and more than 300 are fatal.

There are significant advantages to using this type of product, especially for those who do it themselves and like to save money. Imagine that it probably costs at least $100 or more to hire someone to clean your gutters. Hiring someone can be very expensive and can lead to very costly accidents. So next time you clean your gutters, apply this method that I mentioned earlier. This method is straightforward, saves time, and money, and prevents injuries. 

How to Clean Black Streaks from Gutters

One of the biggest inquiries is whether the gutter edge cleaner really works. Gutter Edge Cleaner not only works on algae and dirt; almost any cleaner can be effective at it. To give you a little history on this common topic of gutter front edge stains. There are a lot of stories about this stain and where it comes from. I have heard that many of them will be that the stain comes from the roof in the roof that is causing stagnation. But the water from the roof coming into the gutter has nothing to do with the stain. Water coming from the roof never reaches the front of the gutter. Unless your gutters get clogged, it will obviously hit the front, but most of the time, if the gutters are free-flowing, you won’t have that water hitting the front of the gutter.

Where Does Gutter Black Streak Come From?

It’s that water hitting the gutter’s upper area to the front of the gutter and rips off the bottom edge. If you contact an aluminum manufacturer, they will tell you that the stain is from contamination. So there’s a little bit of particulate, there’s dirt inside the rain that’s falling, it’s hitting the front edge of the gutter, dripping down the front of the gutter into the bottom edge.

The sun comes out and bakes the lines that stay in the gutter, and you can’t just water them. If you’ve already been down that road trying so many different cleaners, spraying it on can’t really get it off. Some cleaners won’t have any effect, even though they advertise that many of them will remove algae and dirt from the gutter. You could almost get a rag with water and remove it. But if you have a stain on your gutters, you will use the Gutter Cleaner and spray it to clean it just like that. (See image below)

To recap the real gutter black streak story, the water hits the upper lip, runs down the face, and drips down the bottom; the sun bakes it.

Two Factors to Consider Before Cleaning Gutter Black Streaks

The two factors you have to keep in mind include: 

  • Factor 1: If you look at your gutter and see the stain in the gutter, the good thing is that you can see the stain. It tells you that the gutter’s protective layer is still there because that’s what the stain sticks to. It sticks the protective layer to a gutter, so if you look at your gutters, you still have the stain; your gutters are still salvageable, I guess I should say.
  • Factor 2: If you look at your gutters which are old and worn and dirty, you don’t see the gutter’s black streaks. Most likely, the gutter has rusted, and what that means is that the protective layer of the gutter is gone. And if you go up there and touch the gutter, it will feel like limestone. Sometimes, you’ll get a little dust on your hands, which means the gutters are rusting at the edge of the gutter, the cleaner won’t add paint to the gutter.

So it’s not going to be really effective; you’ll have to replace the gutters if you want to get that clean look.

Again, the other question is, did you know that when you use the cleaner, it has to be used at a certain outside temperature? If you want the cleaner to be effective, you’re going to want to use it at temperatures no lower than 50 degrees. Anything less than 50 degrees, the aluminum will get very cold, and when you spray the cleaner, if it’s colder than that, it really won’t be as effective. You will find yourself scrubbing a little harder. But if you wait until a beautiful day around 50 degrees, the spot cleaner will come off much easier, so basically, that’s it.

If you don’t have the stains and your gutter has rusted, know you won’t be really happy with the cleaner because the cleaner won’t add or restore the paint. Since there are so many gutter guards in the market, it can be tough to decide. You should also choose these gutter guards carefully so that you don’t violate the roof warranty.