Cleaning out your gutters is one of those tasks as a homeowner where you tend to just keep putting it off. After all, no-one can see if your gutters are blocked and dirty, so it doesn’t have the same visual gratification as other tasks, such as cutting the grass or raking the leaves.
Keeping your gutters clean and unblocked is important to the well-being of your house. Standing water can damage your structure, and if the water can’t go down your drain pipes then it will find somewhere else to go, usually in your loft space. A gutter vacuum is a handy tool for this task, and the best gutter vacuums will allow you to clean high gutters without the dangers of climbing a ladder.
Gutter vacuums are specialized vacuum cleaners that have long telescopic poles, and they come with lots of tools and accessories to make your job a whole lot easier.
SkyVac Atom Gutter Cleaning Machine
SkyVac is a well-known name when it comes to gutter vacuums, and the SkyVac Atom is one of the best in their range. It is a lot cheaper and smaller than its commercial brothers, making ideal for a domestic setting. It is powerful enough to use as a commercial gutter vacuum if you wish.
The Atom comes in a variety of different models, but the only difference is the size of the poles. It comes in 6 metres, 9 metres, and 10.5 metres. The size you need will depend on the height of the gutters you are cleaning. If you are using it in a commercial setting it’s best to get the longest reach you can afford, this way you will be able to take on more jobs.
Powerful Gutter Cleaning and Large Capacity
The SkyVac Atom gutter vacuum system is a powerful 1600 watts, which is more than enough to get rid of all the mucky stuff hiding in your gutters. It has a huge 35-litre dirt capacity, meaning you won’t have to empty and clean it in the middle of jobs. The Atom is easy to empty after a gutter cleaning job; you simply detach the motor from the drum and lift it out.
The poles are made from advanced carbon fibre, making them much lighter than traditional stainless steel poles. You will really notice the difference when you are trying to guide a 10-metre pole into your gutters.
The SkyVac Atom comes with a wide range of tools and accessories to help you in your gutter cleaning quest. It comes with carbon fibre poles, crevice end tool, steel dirt breaker, daily end tool, round dusting brush, and two different neck tool holders, which make allow the end tool to bend into the gutter. There is also a handy tool and accessory bag included.
The SkyVac Atom is not a cheap bit of kit, but if you want the most powerful gutter cleaning vacuum along with all of the tools to help you, you don’t have to look any further than this model.
Gutter Sucker Junior
The Gutter Sucker Junior is a budget gutter vacuum system that still packs a punch. It is half the price of the cheapest SkyVac, but it still has the power and tools required to clean any gutters on your home. Like the SkyVac it also has different pole sizes. The cheapest model has a 4-metre reach which is ideal for bungalows and other low buildings. There is also a 6-metre reach version and a 9-metre reach version, and the size that you need will depend on the height of your gutters.
Powerful Suction and Strong Fibreglass Poles
The Gutter Sucker Junior may be a lot cheaper than the SkyVac, but it has roughly the same suction power. It is powered by a 1500 watt motor and is more than capable of cleaning even the toughest gunk in your gutters. It also has a 37-litre dirt capacity so you won’t spend all of your time emptying the vacuum.
The poles on the Gutter Sucker Junior are made from strong fibreglass. Fibreglass isn’t as strong as carbon fibre, but it has more flex in it, meaning it is easier to manoeuvre the poles at a height. The poles are lightweight and weigh less than 340 grams each, which also aids you in guiding the poles.
This gutter vacuum comes with a range of tools and accessories, all with the aim of making it easier to clean your gutters. There is a flexi hose, fibreglass poles, a day tool, a reducer tool, and a crevice tool. There is also a 135-degree gooseneck, which enables the cleaner to bend into the gutter. A carrying holdall is included to make transportation easier.
The Gutter Sucker Junior is a great budget alternative to the SkyVac Atom. If you want to clean your gutters without having to climb a ladder, then this gutter vacuum will ensure you get the job done safely and properly.
How to Choose the Best Gutter Vacuum
Choosing a gutter vacuum to clean out your gutters is a sensible decision, as it eliminates the need for you to climb up a ladder. Climbing up a ladder can be dangerous if you don’t follow safety guidelines, or perhaps you are unable to climb a ladder. In both these situations, a gutter vacuum will allow you to clean your gutters from the ground.
There are a number of things to consider when purchasing a gutter vac. The most important thing is the length of the poles; you don’t want to buy an expensive piece of kit only to find out it doesn’t reach your gutter. We will go through some of the things you need to consider.
Pole Size and Material
As mentioned above, the length of the poles is the most important thing to think about. The two models reviewed on this page have different versions, each coming with a different pole length. Pole lengths usually start at 4 metres, and domestic machines will generally go up to 10 – 12 metres.
A single story house, such as a bungalow, is usually around 4 – 6 metres tall. If you live in a house these sizes you can get away with buying the lowest price version of each machine, although always double check to ensure the poles will reach the gutters.
A two-story house, which is what most 3 and 4 bedroom family homes are, will usually be around 8 – 10 metres. These types of homes require a vacuum with longer poles and will be more costly.
Any buildings taller than this will usually require specialized gutter cleaning equipment, and you may want to call in a professional. These sizes are only to be used as a guide, and you should always check the height of your gutters before buying a vacuum system.
If you do buy a machine and the poles are too short, don’t fret. You can usually buy extra poles from the manufacturer.
Another thing to consider is the materials of the poles. These will generally be made of stainless steel, fibreglass, or carbon fibre.
Stainless steel poles are the least expensive, and also the heaviest. If you are cleaning gutters that are high up and require longer poles, you need to take into account the extra weight. Lifting a heavy object over your head for a prolonged period of time can put a lot of pressure on your upper body.
Fibreglass poles are much lighter than stainless steel, although they are more expensive. They are more rigid than steel and hold their shape better, although not as rigid as carbon fibre. There is a certain amount of flex in fibreglass which you may feel on longer poles or in windy conditions.
Carbon fibre is the toughest material out of the three, and it also the most expensive. It is rigid, enduring and is a great choice if you want long-lasting performance.
Can it Clean Anything Else?
One way to justify the cost of buying a gutter vacuum is to use it to clean other things. Most gutter vacuum systems can also be used as a carpet cleaner, workshop cleaner, or pond cleaner. Because of the heavy-duty nature of the machines, they can be used for lots of purposes, so you don’t have to keep it for gutter cleaning only.
Most gutter vacuums have a blow function to blow any stubborn dirt out of your gutters. This function is useful as a leaf blower, or to blow debris into a pile that makes it easier to clean.
Best Gutter Vacuum: Final Thoughts
Cleaning out your gutters is an important task in the upkeep of your home. Blocked gutters and drain pipes will mean excess water, which can lead to leaks and damage to your property.
Buying a gutter vacuum can be expensive, but you can look at it as a good investment. If you are using it only a few times a year you can expect it to last for a very long time. If you can use it for other jobs such as carpet cleaning and pond cleaning then you will increase the value you get from it.
The SkyVac Atom gutter vacuum system is my top pick. It is more expensive than the Gutter Sucker Junior, but it has longer carbon fibre poles, a more powerful motor, and comes with a wide range of tools and accessories. If you want to spend less on a gutter vacuum, then go with the Gutter Sucker Junior. It is more than capable of cleaning even the most blocked gutters.