Over time, gutters accumulate dirt, debris, mould, mildew and a bunch of other weird and wonderful things (we know some gutter technicians who have seen full-blown cactuses growing out of a gutter on their cleaning missions). This can lead to a reduction in the overall functionality of the gutter, not to mention the cleanliness and aesthetic appeal. When people notice their gutters need a clean, many reach for the pressure washer, especially those who choose to run with DIY gutter cleaning instead of calling in the pros. So, we’ve put together this article to answer the question, ‘Can you pressure wash the outside of gutters?’ as well as touching on whether it’s safe or recommended to power wash inside gutters, or along the fascia, soffit, and eaves of a building. You might be surprised at the answers!
Can you pressure wash the inside of gutters?
When it comes to cleaning the inside of gutters, pressure washers are often not worth the risk that comes with using them. While they are powerful tools for removing stubborn debris like mould mildew and rooted plants, they can also be too forceful for the more delicate gutter materials such as silicone joins.
High-pressure water jets may cause damage, from dislodging gutter joints and creating leaks to stripping paint. Even more worrying, the intense water pressure generated by pressure washers can potentially cause gutters to bend, dent, or even detach from the roofline if too much force is applied inside the gutter.
Can you pressure wash the outside of gutters?
Cleaning the outside of gutters with a pressure washer can be a quick and easy way to remove dirt, grime, and stains that accumulate over time. However, much like the inside of gutters, the outer sections can also be quite delicate.
Again, when asked if it’s ok to clean outside of gutters with pressure washers or similar products, many gutter experts will recommend proceeding with caution. A low powered pressure washer with the right settings may be useful on some external gutter washing jobs. The tricky part will be getting the pressure washer up close to the gutter while maintaining safe and secure footing.
Is it ok to pressure wash soffits and fascia and eaves?
The fascia, soffit, and eaves are extremely important parts of the roofing system. Soffits refer to the materials beneath the eaves that connect the far edge of your roof to the outside wall of your house.The fascia sits behind the guttering and works to protect the rafters and interior elements of the roof. The eaves extend from the roof and overhang the walls of the building to create a shaded underside.
Again, pressure washing can be an effective tool to remove dirt, mildew, and other grime from these surfaces, BUT it’s important to weigh up the potential cost of damage that can be caused when you pressure wash under eaves or on and around the fascia and soffits of a building.
Take a look at the material these sections of your home are made of. Typically, they’re constructed from wood, vinyl, or aluminium. Wood and vinyl can generally handle a low to moderate amount of pressure, stronger aluminium may be less easily dented.
Additionally, if you have any existing issues like cracks, gaps or peeling paint, pressure washing fascias and similar areas can make these worse by forcing water into problem areas.
How to clean gutters with a pressure washer
If you do want to attempt cleaning gutters with a pressure washer, you should always use the lowest possible setting at first to see how that goes. To avoid causing damage or making any existing issues worse, be careful when increasing the water pressure.
To save yourself the trouble of the potential damage that pressure washing can cause on gutters, our first gutter cleaning recommendation is to get a quote from a professional gutter cleaning service.
Better yet, you can pair a professional gutter clean with the installation of a high-quality Gutter Guard like the ones we stock, install and maintain here at Leaf Shield. This will help reduce the frequency of gutter cleans needed in the first place.