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There seems to be a bit of a war raging between ladderless guttering systems, and we have ringside seats. Ladderless gutter cleaning is the new wave of clearing out the debris and leaves from the guttering, but how do you choose between the vacuum and the new iRobot Looj?

Vacuum cleaning

With both domestic and commercial buildings all needing regular guttering clear-outs, the new ladderless vacuum systems are becoming ever more popular. With the use of a ladder, and all the dangers attached to one, becoming obsolete, the vacuum gutter cleaner is one of the best sellers these days. It’s not just the safety element that makes this an attractive tool, the benefits of a vacuum ladderless cleaner are it’s safe to use, simple one-man operation, powerful, adaptable and hard wearing.

How it works

Aluminium 2” diameter poles are locked together with T-bolt clamps and attached to a 1400 watt, 30 litre capacity vacuum. With a reach of up to 40ft, these lightweight poles are sturdy enough to be guided up into guttering, where the powerful suction removes all debris into the cavernous cleaner chamber.  They are equipped with adjustable heads, standard for regular gutter, thin head for tight gutter, round head for wide gutter, weed hook for pre-vacuuming removal of plant matter and moss.

The vacuum itself is as small as a household vacuum and the lightweight aluminium poles fold up concertina style to allow for compact storing. This means that the whole system is portable enough to be carried in small vehicles for trade, or stored in a small area for home or office use.

iRobot Looj

Is the hype around the iRobot Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot deserved? Let’s take a look at the benefits. First off there is no standing on ladders to operate, cleans in four stages removing all debris and uses long lasting lithium ion battery, so it works for hours without any need for recharging

How it operates

Although the use of a ladder during operation isn’t required, it is when positioning the robot. Once placed however, it’s a matter of pushing the button and leaving it to do the work. The  iRobot Looj initially breaks through and ejects the debris, sweepers brush the trough and the scraper removes the dirt and sludge. Although being completely autonomous, you do have control over whether you wish to move it forward or backwards. You also have control over which direction the ejected debris is propelled. Another great feature of the iRobot is that it is waterproof, allowing it to be used in all weathers, and to be jet cleaned after use.

There are a few disadvantages of the irobot Looj that aren’t found with the vacuum gutter cleaner. For example, the debris and leaves are ejected onto the ground, so post clean-up is required, the device will run out of power at some stage, the use of a ladder is required before and after operation, it’s a lightweight device and finally, it’s remote controlled.

There is no getting away from the twice yearly chore of clearing guttering, and if like this one iRobot fan said “I love that you can use the remote to control what direction it goes and that it works from 50 ft from away and it has a belt clip” – maybe the new way of cleaning gutters means it doesn’t need to be a chore anymore.

Photo by Alan Levine