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We all start autumn bright-eyed and optimistic, eager to pick apples, gaze at the stars, or watch the leaves change color before they flutter into the wind. But fall’s beauty fades when you find yourself teetering on a ladder to clear rooftop gutters of debris before it clogs, freezes, or even bursts the gutter. In the face of these unforgiving elements, the resourceful DIYer behind Spilling Coffee remained determined not to buy a pricier telescopic gutter-cleaning wand or other leaf pickup tools to reach his 12-foot-high roofline. Instead, inspiration hit while using a leaf vacuum to rid a floral bed of leaves, and the blogger devised a creative solution to gutter clutter—one that can keep your rooftop gutters clean, your wallet full, and your feet firmly planted on the good, green earth. He converted his existing chipper and leaf vacuum into a gutter cleaner.
This homemade gutter vacuum harnesses the power of everyday tools in the shed: a vacuum that can handle wet and dry debris (if not a chipper vacuum, a shop vacuum or leaf blower with a reverse function will do), a hose with extension tubing, and aluminum duct elbows. Bonded together with aluminum tape, the two duct elbows form an ingenious “hook” at the end of the vacuum hose, curved to aim your machine’s suction right at the gutters. Start up the vacuum, glide the hook across the gutter, and watch from the comfort and safety of the ground floor as your humble vacuum captures lingering leaves, twigs, and unwanted debris with ease—Spilling Coffee’s video demo lets us check out his success.
Now that leaves already starting to turn, there’s no time to lose with crafting your own before the season hits full-swing. With a handmade helper like this one, you, too, can conquer gutter clogs before they happen and go back to enjoying the fall foliage once again.
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