Gutter cleaning is a necessary part of owning and maintaining a home. If left not cleaned for long periods of time, the sticks, leaves, and other assorted things can become a major problem. Experts say that if you don’t clean your gutters regularly, you’ll have problems like leaky roofs and other types of water damage. You also run the risk of attracting bee hives and other pests. So it’s definitely important to keep your gutters clean. However, it is a difficult task. It can also be dangerous. In the most recently available report on the issue, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200,000 Americans fell from ladders, often suffering permanent injuries. So what’s a homeowner to do? Hiring someone can be expensive. Having a teen or family member does it can be seen as undesirable? Luckily, iRobot, the makers of the Roomba, have brought their robot making skills to outdoor chores and created the Looj. How does it stack up to the old-fashioned way?
First the bad news, you will still need to climb a ladder to put the Looj in the gutter. However, the good news is once you do you only need to make one more climb to take it down. It’s better than climbing up and down ladders multiple times and moving the ladder. It’s also a bit noisy but not much worse than a lawnmower.
The device is remote controlled. You can use the remote control to control the speed and make the robot go forwards and back. The remote also doubles as a handle, making getting it up to the roof easier and safer. The remote is long range, about two feet. The remote is brightly colored and mounts to the robot so it won’t be misplaced. You only need to press one button too. The robot is well designed as well. It has a lithium ion battery that last a long time and a charger is available for purchase from the company. There are two sizes of auger. The large size is great for cleaning out large or built up debris but the small auger is for when you want to get done faster. Not that you’ll be spending a lot of time on this to start with. The robot is two inches high and three inches wide. It will fit in the vast majority of home gutters. The robot can clean about 30 feet of gutter in about 5 minutes, according to the manufacturer. It does this by breaking apart the debris, lifting it up out of the gutter and ejecting it to the ground. It works. Five minutes is probably a bit of an over-exaggeration. That said, it took less time than doing it manually. The results require a bit of cleanup afterwards but sweeping the driveway is preferable to cleaning up on the roof. This should go without saying but you should also avoid standing too close to the gutter. You might get hit.
The robot doesn’t need quite as much babysitting as some other robot products. If the Looj tips over, it just flips upside down and keeps going. That said, it does not know when it reaches the end of a gutter which is odd. The same company makes a robot that can move around rooms full of furniture, how did this slip their minds? Well it’s excusable since reversing it only requires a button press. I00t’s also waterproof which is great since you’ll be dealing with wet leaves and stuff. You can clean it off with your hose. The product works on all types of household gutters. For what it does, the $300 price tag is reasonable though the $30 charger should just come with the robot. You can get them both cheaper on Amazon if you pay attention to specials.
The product is by no means perfect. Having to still climb a ladder can be irritating to people. However, the flaws are easy to forgive. IRobot set out to create a product that made gutter cleaning easier. It has succeeded.