My overall opinion of the Gutter Clutter Buster (GCB) is that it is a useful gutter cleaning tool for anyone who does not want to climb a ladder to clean their gutters. I was pleased with how easy it was to put together as well as use. Clean up was simple and it doesn’t take up much room when storing. I think the product could be improved with a few simple changes, but overall I would recommend this product considering the price tag.
Unpacking the Gutter Clutter Buster
We tested a Gutter Clutter Buster Kit which includes the GCB tool along with 2 extension pieces. The kit will allow you to clean the gutters on most two-story homes. All three pieces came packaged in a cardboard box that measures 60x14x3 inches. The only other thing in the box was an instruction sheet so there is no extra packaging to dispose of. The cardboard box can be broken down and recycled or kept for storage of the GCG when you are not using it. The unpacking of this product was simple.
Putting the Gutter Clutter Buster Together
The GCB and extension pieces are easy to put together. You just have to push the two together with a moderate amount of force. Do not expect the pieces to overlap too much and do not push too hard. Once the pieces stop moving, then they are together tightly enough to continue. I made the mistake of trying to push them together past the obvious stopping point and then had trouble getting the
pieces apart later. The only thing to be careful about when putting extension pieces on the GCB is to be sure to balance the tool properly. As the GCB system gets longer, it gets a little top-heavy and hard to control. Once you have the appropriate number of extension pieces on your GCB you just connect the bottom to a standard Wet/Dry Vac hose. This connection process is the same as the process used to connect the extension
pieces. Again, be careful not to push too hard or you might have a hard time getting the Wet/Vac hose off of the GCB.
Using the Gutter Clutter Buster
In theory, when you turn on your Wet/Dry Vac, the GCB will act as a long hose extension and suck any and all debris from your gutter system. One of the concerns I had, before we started was that there would be enough suction to pull debris out of the gutter system. This was not an issue. The debris did get pulled into the Gutter Clutter Buster and into the Wet/Dry Vac. When using the Gutter Clutter Buster on gutters that were only one story off the ground, it was easy to control the tool as I walked around the perimeter of the home. One obstacle that I ran into was the gutter clips on the gutter system. Every four feet or so there is a metal clip extending from the house over the top of the gutter and I had to keep lifting the GCB up over the clips every few feet.
The pictures of people using the GCB on their website show the tool being used at an angle, but I found it much easier if the gutter cleaning tool was as parallel to the house as possible. When I walked away from the house and used the GCB at an angle I had a hard time fitting the tool into the gutters. This might not be as big a problem if your gutters are wider, but I just found it easier to use the GCB in a vertical position. I would then sway the gutter cleaning tool from left to right before moving a few feet down and doing it all again.
Unfortunately, there was not a lot of debris in the gutter system when I tried out this tool. In the front of the house, most of what I got out of the gutters was gutter gravel. In the back of the house, the situation was a little different. First, the gutters in the back of this home are much higher so I needed to use both extension pieces here. The Gutter Cutter Buster was a little harder to control with both extension pieces, so I couldn’t move the tool from left to right as much. That meant that I had to move my position more frequently, and be careful not to let the GCB lean too much in any direction.
When I started using the GCB I noticed that I was collecting a lot of water in addition to the gravel and debris. Since I am using this tool with a Wet/Dry Vac that was not a problem, but it set off some alarm bells. If there was stagnant water in the gutter system, that could mean a clog in the downspout. At this point, I went and got a ladder in order to check the downspout. Sure enough, there was a clog and we were able to correct that problem before any major damage was done or the gutter system over flowed. Without collecting that water with the GCB, we might not have noticed this problem until it was too late.
My main complaint when using the GCB was that you have to look up a lot and I got a bit of a cramp in my neck. Also, my arms got tired after a while when using the tool with both extension pieces because it was a little heavy (7 pounds) to hold over your head for an extended period of time. However, even with the breaks I was taking to relieve my neck and arms, cleaning the gutters was much faster with the GCB than when I have cleaned gutters by hand going up and down a ladder.
Cleaning the Gutter Clutter Buster
When I was finished with my gutter cleaning, there was a lot of debris and dirt water inside the GCB pieces. In order to clean the tool out, I just ran a garden hose inside each piece and the let them air dry in the yard. I then emptied the Wet/Dry Vac into a compost pile and then rinsed it with the hose. The entire cleanup process took less than ten minutes.
Storing the Gutter Clutter Buster
I chose to store my GCB in the box it was shipped in, but you do not have to do that. If I did not save the box, I would have zip tied the pieces together in a bundle for easy storage. You can lean the apparatus up against a wall in your garage or store it on a shelf if you have one large enough. Since each piece of the GCB system is less than three inches in diameter, they are easy to store in a corner or between pieces of furniture in your garage or basement. They are also lightweight so it is easy to lift them up onto a shelf if you need to.
How the Gutter Clutter Buster Could be Improved
The one suggestion I have for how this product could be improved would be to offer attachments for the end of the GCB. The most useful attachment for me would have been a piece that angled the opening about forty five degrees so that I could use the gutter cleaner at an angle with my house rather than walking right underneath. Other attachments like a brush head or a thin piece might help with the collection of gutter gravel or in the hard to reach corners of the gutter system respectively. I am thinking of an attachment collection like what you might find on a vacuum cleaner. While these attachments are definitely not necessary to clean your gutters with the GCB, they might help in certain situations and be a nice added feature.
My overall impression of the Gutter Clutter Buster is that I would strongly recommend this tool for homeowners with one-story homes. It is easy to control when you do not have to put too many extensions on it. You do not have bend your head so far back so it is relatively easy on your body. And, you do not have to work on a ladder which is a plus in terms of time and safety.
I would also recommend the Gutter Clutter Buster for two-story homes. Even though you will need to use more extensions and it may be a little harder to use, the GCB is still far better than climbing a ladder and cleaning out your gutters by hand and then moving the ladder every three to four feet. You will save time even though you may have to take breaks to give your arms and neck a rest.
Unfortunately, I would not recommended the Gutter Clutter Buster for gutters with any kind of gutter guard system. The gutter guards will prevent you from getting the GCB into the gutters. In addition, gutter guards should be preventing the worst of debris from collecting in your gutters anyway so it would be a waste of your money to buy a tool that you will not have to use.
Gutter Clutter Buster Pros
- You can use it from ground level – no ladder
- Easy to put together
- Lightweight enough for almost anyone to use
- Easy to clean
Gutter Clutter Buster Cons
- Harder to use the higher your gutters are
- Neck pains from looking up for long periods of time
If you would like to purchase this product, go here.
Gutter Clutter Buster provided GCT with a sample of their product for testing. This sample product will be shipped back by GCT upon completion of our review.