I am trying to clean the gutters of my house. Is there any special ladder that I need to use to do that? Do I also need some other tools? Any reference link or pictures will be highly appreciated. I don't want to hire gutter cleaners as it looks pretty simple job (but still that could be my misunderstanding.)

I also found this question here but it is about how to clean gutters while staying on the ground. I don't have such requirement.


4 Answers 4


I have cleaned gutters at multiple one-story houses by kneeling down from the roof, but I wouldn't risk it on a two-story house.

If you have a two-story house or are wary of cleaning the gutters from a one-story roof, then you have two options:

  1. As BMitch has said, get a stabilizer bar (~$25-75; I recommend this one as it is easy to adjust and has no nuts and bolts that you can accidentally misplace) and an extension ladder (if you are a bit on the heavy side, get fiberglass; fiberglass ladders are heavier but stronger.) This will make your ladder more stable, as ladders can very easily slide along the gutters, leading to a fall. Despite this additional stability, you should avoid becoming too confident and leaning over instead of getting down and moving the ladder. Remember to slope the ladder correctly. The easiest way to get this right is to put your toes against each foot of the ladder and put your hands out, straight forward. You should be able to touch the ladder, but just barely. When moving a ladder that's already set upon the roof, it's easiest to stand underneath it, between the base of the ladder and the house. This keeps the ladder's center of gravity above you. Watch how this fireman lifts the ladder, starting at 2:56. Pause the video at 3:01 and imagine that the building is behind him, and all he would do to move the ladder at that point is to take a few steps to the side and place it back down.

  2. Another option is to remove the material from the roof, wearing a harness for fall protection. You will need a harness, lanyard, rope, and something to attach the rope to. You can get all of this for $100-200. (Example) Make sure you wear the leg straps pretty tight, as they can slide up into and damage your thingamajoo if you fall when they're loose.

As far as what tools to use, whatever gets the job done. Hands (gloves recommended), small hand shovel, or maybe something like this. A broom will also work. If you're working from a ladder, you should reach for a tool with a short handle. If you're working from the roof, you should get something with a long handle. If there's any sand/dirt buildup in the gutters, hit it with the garden hose.

  • It's not enough to have a single attachment point, you need to have them every 8'. Otherwise you'll just swing fall and hit the ground before the rope runs out of slack. I personally wouldn't recommend that the average DIYer get on their roof, unless they're willing to do a good amount of homework first.
    – Ian Dunn
    Oct 30, 2023 at 22:50

With some PVC pipe fittings from the home improvement store, I have built a homemade attachment for my leaf blower that redirects the air to blow out leaves from my gutters. Finding the proper sized fittings can be tricky but it works great for first floor gutters and I don't even have to get out the ladder. When I am finished I just remove the attachment (by unscrewing the radiator clamps that hold it tight to the leaf blower) and use my leaf blower to clean up the yard as usual.

  • There are commercially available options that don't require connecting the leaf blower to PVC, not sure about the cost difference. Ref: leaf blower attachment and another for shop vacs
    – BMitch
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:54
  • 4
    This answer could be improved by adding a more detailed description of your home-made attachment.
    – Niall C.
    Feb 6, 2013 at 19:31
  • Since this is an old answer, I'm not going to edit it, but this attachment would be a straight piece long enough to reach the gutters, then a U joint to redirect the air down at the gutter. Using 2x 90 deg joints would allow pointing the outlet a different direction than straight back at the user. Sep 18, 2019 at 22:19

If it's a one story house, you might be able to rig some sort of gutter cleaner rig and not have to deal with a ladder.

For the gutters that are only 1 story off the ground on my house, I took a long 2x2 and duct taped a garden trowel at a right-angle to the end. I can then just scoop out the gutter from the ground with a flick of the wrist.


This is a resource that tells you everything you need to know about cleaning your gutters (how, when, and why): Home Maintenance: About Cleaning Your Gutters

Many things can cause gutter damage, including: water damage, being too full, ice dams and vermin. The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends cleaning your gutters at least twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. Because you will need a ladder to clean your gutters and for safety concerns, it might be helpful to consider hiring a professional. But, if you choose to do it yourself, you should always use gloves, a dust mask, safety goggles and a garden trowel.

  • 4
    Can you improve your answer by adding at least the basic outline of referenced source of information?
    – Peter Ivan
    Jan 31, 2013 at 23:28
  • -1 because this barely answers the question. Next time, try answering the question directly in your own words and only adding links for additional details.
    – BMitch
    Feb 6, 2013 at 18:50

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