Of course, the Looj isn't the only product available for those who want to avoid ladders as much as possible. Depending on what you've got in your garage, there could be something on the market that will work with the tools you already have. If you have a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, you can purchase certain cleaning accessory kits to add to it. A wet-dry vacuum has the capability to either blow debris out of the gutter or vacuum it up, depending on the situation. That set-up allows you a little more flexibility when tackling either a major clog or a light infestation of leaves. And, with an extender that hooks over the edge of the gutter, the operator can remain on the ground for most of the cleaning.
The same principle applies to two other types of products: gas-powered blower attachments and hose attachments. Likewise, you can find gutter-cleaning attachments for power washers and even garden hoses.
Of course, any of these extension tools require that you do the work almost entirely blind. If you run into a particularly vicious clog or just want to make sure you've left no leaf unturned, you will still need to use a ladder to get a closer look. But, like the Looj, all of these tools reduce the number of trips you make up and down the rungs.
As autumn approaches, those of you with gutters will be contemplating ways to keep them clean and leaf-free. Make sure you know what kind of gutters you have; it's likely you'll be able to find a product on the market that can help you. And, if you end up on a ladder, remember to be careful.
For lots more information on the Looj and related topics, see the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Clark, Emily. "iRobot Looj cleans up at innovation awards." GizMag. Nov. 13, 2007. (Sept. 2, 2009)http://www.gizmag.com/irobot-looj/8342/
- Consumer Product Safety Commission. "Ladder Safety Alert." 2009. (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/ladder.html
- Flight, Georgia. "How They Did It: Seven Entrepreneur Success Stories." Bnet. April 18, 2008. (Sept. 2, 2009)http://www.bnet.com/2403-13070_23-196890.html
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Ladders, Swings, and More Can Cause Peril." April 2009. (Sept. 8, 2009)http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.aspx?docID=625322
- Vishots. "iRobot Looj -- Inventor discusses gutter cleaning robot." YouTube. April 30, 2008. (Sept. 2, 2009)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEfulldLx_U