You can have all the fancy gutter brushes, scoops, or gutter cleaning robots that you want, but you will still need a very simple tool to make sure your gutter cleaning arsenal is complete – a garden hose. Even though a spray nozzle would give you more gutter cleaning ability with your hose, you really do not even need that. Just a simple hose and a water supply are the most essential of all the gutter cleaning tools.
The main reason that you want the water and the hose is so you can test your gutter system. Once you think you have all the debris cleared out of the gutter, you need to test it to make sure that you do not have any more clogs, especially in the downspouts. Start at one end of your gutter system and start running water. Check to make sure that the slope of your gutters is steep enough so that no pools of water form. You want constant movement toward the downspout with no accumulation. The next thing you will check for is that the water flow continues out the bottom of the downspout at the same rate that it is going in. If the water only trickles out or stops coming out all together, then you know you have a clog somewhere.
If you do have the spray nozzle, your hose can be an even bigger help when it comes to cleaning you gutters. You can use the hose to dislodge debris and clogs. A regular garden hose under normal household pressure and a jet setting on your nozzle will have enough force to loosen almost any leaf clog in your gutters. You can also use the water to clear the gutter system of debris. Use the water stream to lift and throw the leaves and twigs out of your gutters. Then once the big stuff is gone you can use the pressure of your hose to clean off the mildew and muck that forms on the bottom of the gutter trough. Because gutters are usually made of aluminum or other lightweight materials, you cannot use a pressure washer to clean them as you would siding or other surfaces. The pressure from your hose is perfect.
You need to be careful when using your hose to clean your gutters though. Handling the hose up on a ladder can be tricky and you need to make sure that you always keep at least one hand on the ladder and do not lean. Make sure that the dangling hose is not caught on your feet or in your way when you are climbing up and down. A technique that I use is to tie the hose nozzle to my belt while I climb and make sure the hose stays on the outside of the ladder. Another safety precaution to keep in mind is that your ladder rungs will get slippery when they get wet. Anytime you bring water into the equation, the danger level of any home improvement task goes up. Be extra careful of your footing and hang on tight when climbing down a wet ladder.