I got my iRobot looj “gutter robot” yesterday. I’ve been really looking forward to getting one for a while now and finally got it ordered late last week. Not bad for a delivery time! I think I ordered it on Thursday and received it tuesday with free shipping.
Include in the box were two batteries, a charging device, the robot itself including the remote, a beltclip, and two augers. It came in a nice tool case (like you might get with a cordless drill or other cordless power tools) that will allow me to store it neatly out of the way when I’m not using it so I’m liking that too.
I’m writing this because I read various reviews and some were good while others were not so much. I wanted to write it while it was fresh in my head (I just used it about 2 hours ago) because I remember thinking while I was using it that “man, I didn’t realize…” so I figured I’d give a heads up to anyone else looking to spend their money.
First, I want to say that I think this will make cleaning my gutters much safer. I hate getting up and down off the ladder. The way my house was built leaves me with what amounts to second story gutters and I just hate climbing up and down over and over again to clean them. The other option I had was to climb up on the roof and just crawl along the entire roof line on my hands and knees scraping out the gutters by hand. This required me to be way to close the edge contantl and made me really nervous on the steeper graded parts of the roof (which
also happened to be over the highest part of the roof directly over my stone patio). With this looj I was able to find one place that I could climb up, place the looj, and then let it do its thing to clean pretty much the entire gutter area on the back of my house.
It worked pretty well. The gutters got clean enough. I can honestly say that if I was paying a person to clean my gutters. I would require them to have done a better job as there was still some debris left when all was said and done, but probably 95% of it was able to be cleared by the looj. Keep in mind this is a rookie “driver” and I was in a bit of a hurry as I had to get back to work so it might have done even better if I knew what to do, but it worked pretty well regardless.
You do have to pay attention while you use it. You can’t just set it and forget it. For example, I did encounter a couple of times where the looj rolled over. Basically the auger got stuck in some mess that it wasn’t able to break up and so the robot itself just started spinning. It was amusing in a way, but not so much in that I had to go rescue it. It seemed that several times it just quit responding for a few seconds, but then it when right back to working. I don’t know if it got to the edge of the range of the remote or what… in any case it did not make the device unusable, just a little quirky.
I did have one downspout for which the auger never was able to clear out the opening. I had to climb up and clear that one downspout myself. This is still significantly less work than I normally have to do.
This first use was in gutters full of dry leaves, some acorns, and very few pine needles. It hadn’t rained for a couple of weeks so the leaves weren’t wet and the gutters weren’t wet. It took a few passes to get everything out. I plan to use it again soon after a rain (it will rain tonight and I don’t have time to do the front before the rain will be here) so I’ll be able to see which way works best. The second test will includes lots of pine needles so we’ll see how it actually handles them!
I do not think that this device will make my gutter cleaning faster. Working the looj back and forth to get it through heavier jams may actually make it take longer, but I do think it will make it much safer and require less physical exhertion on my behalf.
Cleaning the device for storage was super easy. I just turned on hose and rinsed the looj off. It was pretty “cruddy”, but nothing major and cleaned up quickly and easily.
If they make another model then I would recommend making it a little heavier (maybe 50%) and make the tread motors a little tougher.
I plan to do another review once I get a chance to try this on my gutter that has a pineneedle problem just to report on how that goes. For now though, I’m pretty darn satisfied with the value I received for the money I spent.