gutter cleaning question

#1
Saw this business idea on another board.
What kind of equipment do we need to start a gutter cleaning business besides a ladder and a good pair of gloves?I read on this board about a gutter getter,what is that?Is there a way to clean gutters without getting on a ladder?I looked in the search and found alot about gutter cleaning but nothing really about tools or equipment to use.From what I have read the going rate is $1 per foot.
Am I right or did I read it wrong?
Thank for your help.
Tim
 
#3
The problem that I have with the "gutter sweep" attachment is that it leaves a horrible mess when you are done. It is easier to get a bucket and a ladder and take all the junk out by hand then it is to blow it all over the yard and then rake it up. Most customers I do gutter cleaning for have well manicured lawns and are very picky about leaves and junk on their lawns. One thing I have heard people using is an industrial size shop vac to suck out the leaves. The hose has to be fairly big so it doesn't clog up.
 
#5
Thanks guys,industrial shop vac,would have never thought of that.Mark,do you sell that?
And if so,how much?A1PW.LLC,that's some awesome stuff that place has.
 
#6
Mark,
Ive tried that piece of equipment 2x, Each time ive had such a problem controling it, it wasnt worth the effort. ended up on the roof with a straight wand. Steve is right about the mess, almost have to rinse the whole house afterward.
 
#7
Try using a regular blower...there's not nearly the mess, since you're going using water. If the gutters are seriously full and have been for a while, you'll have a lot of mud from decomposing leaves, but that's usually not as bad as using the washer.

The only way I'll using the washer to clean gutters is if I'm already going to be doing the house and roof, and I have the wand on the roof already. Otherwise, I use a leaf blower. Raking leaves is much faster than having to remove it all by hand.
 
#9
Gutter Cleaning System

Hello Blizard
I have designed and built the unit you are looking for and use it daily in my gutter cleaning business. Here is a product description and a picture.
GUTTER CLEANING TOOL WITH HIGH VACUUM SUCTION
FOR COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL USE
System Includes: US Made Commercial Vacuum System Head, 13 Feet of Suction Hose, 8 Suction Tubes, Suction Nozzle Head Attachments, Instruction Manual, 2 Hours of Toll Free Phone Time to Technical Service on System Operation.
Works on the same principle as your city/town truck vacuum that collects leaves from the road side. The System is used daily in my Gutter Cleaning Company. Access to the gutters is from the ground using extension tubes allowing you to clean the second story of homes. As you do not need ladders to clean the gutters you are able to complete the cleaning task faster and safer. System Collects wet or dry: Leaves - Maple/Oak, Pine Needles as well as roof tile grit. Customers love the Vacuum Cleaning process as all the debris is collected into a container. Other cleaning processes like High Pressure Washing and Blowing the Debris from the gutter leave the residence and surrounding landscapes littered with gutter crud
 

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#10
This vaccum system method you have seems like it would be difficult to use. How can you be sure that it get's everything out? What about sticks and other large items. What about clogged downspouts? High powered back pack blowers seem like a much more effective but it does involve going on the roof.
 
#11
JGClean,

How much...

Very cool idea. Anything to keep me off a ladder. I used to be like a monkey on extension ladders til I fell about 20 ft straight down. Walked away but it scared me pretty good. Haven't been able to shake it since. Quit cleaning gutters besides my own house after that.
 
#12
Gloves, 5 gal. bucket and a leaf blower. Scoop everything out by hand then blow all excess out. blow all downspouts as well. Blow off property when done. Its the fastest way I think! Ive been doing it this way for years. Guttercleaning is a big part of my business.
 
#13
the hook attachment stinks. hard to control on 2 story houses and one wrong move you blast a shingle or two right off. Also makes a huge mess of the house and the yard. I get right on the roof and hand scoop. I can do about 10 linear feet per minute, most of the time is getting up and down the ladder. After I clean them out, I use my PW to flush the downspouts. Ask for money and go home.
 
#15
Price Depends on your area market... I get from 90 dollars to 130 dollars per single story home. About and hour to clean.

I use a 24 foot extension pole, Werner removable ladder jack that can flip to 3 foot off to the standard 18 inches. Screw on a gutter grabber spoon and you can do 48 feet of gutter in on ladder set. Pull the stuff to you scoop into a 5 gal pail hooked to your ladder and fill the bags below then move on. The ladder jacks allow safe stability from roof or the house siding and allow two hand operation.

Blowers I use when I can from roof top, but you won't find many sweet jobs as you may think! Most will be neglected gutters and have compost and muck smelly water sand and lots of interesting things. Working from roof edge is fine just use the spoon and make piles then come back and pick the up. Just don't do it after a party night :). The ladder is safer roof line is faster, but in my area Terra cotta tiles are the norm and I don't walk those.

Don't forget the roof line eves are going to be filled with junk as well so a good stiff round brush with an angle adapter is a tool box must for jobs you cannot walk on the roof and simply blow off. Blowers? I use electric they are a pain at time but are light weight and much more powerful than gas, they all so fire up with out trouble and have no overhead as the customer supplies the needed fuel. :)

Again price depends on your area, try a few jobs at whole house cost and see what works best for you by foot or job. We are really talking about not too much money so a few test runs are not a big deal. The thing with whole price jobs is you can do phone estimates. ( if you think granny is going to go out and measure her gutters your wrong) ( if you think Joe knows how many feet worth of gutters he has your wrong) Follow me? If you start running around to bid gutters your going to be loosing money. I can setup a whole October Calendar with customers in 1 to 2 days. Sometimes the one day at home you'll get 10 calls and nail them all from the comfort of your chair.

Good luck! and remember your gaining repeat biz so after the first and second year your in. And don't forget the yellow pages! They suck but the first few years are very important to build your base customers. I generate all my work from the Yellow pages. Gutter cleaning can generate loyal customers so keep the place clean, loyalty can go with the first low baller as well so a little extra goes along way.


All advice here is directed to single story homes! Two story homes are more advanced and require carful consideration before doing. I refuse two story homes and make a respectable living with simple single story only homes. :)

Blizzard Man said:
Saw this business idea on another board.
What kind of equipment do we need to start a gutter cleaning business besides a ladder and a good pair of gloves?I read on this board about a gutter getter,what is that?Is there a way to clean gutters without getting on a ladder?I looked in the search and found alot about gutter cleaning but nothing really about tools or equipment to use.From what I have read the going rate is $1 per foot.
Am I right or did I read it wrong?
Thank for your help.
Tim
 
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#16
Tim, I do gutters exactly like you except I put the standoff above the gutter on the roof. Pitches here in Vuh-jinya are typically too steep to walk with a blower. I also drag a garden hose with me and rinse the gutter after debris removal and to check that the down spouts aren't clogged. For those that are, I'll unplug them even if it takes a drain auger/snake.
One major point is that I charge per hour. $65 minimum for the first hour, $50 per hour after that. No estimates but I will "guesstimate" over the phone if I'm familiar with the neighborhood. Most jobs take 1-2 hours. Had one that took 5 hours; 350 linear feet, FULL of rotting crap, removed about 400 POUNDS of smelly, rotten leaves!
I've been stunned that gutter cleaning jobs usually lead to full service jobs (PW and window cleaning) more than the other-way 'round. I think it's because of my attention to detail on such a menial job and I never leave a mess on the deck/sidewalk/driveway/etc.
 
#17
DrWhipIt said:
I've been stunned that gutter cleaning jobs usually lead to full service jobs (PW and window cleaning) more than the other-way 'round. I think it's because of my attention to detail on such a menial job and I never leave a mess on the deck/sidewalk/driveway/etc.
In Spring till Fall I do Decks, and like you say the added jobs start. I always make sure during decks jobs to inform my customers about the gutter cleaning side, and Gutter customers of decks. You can pick nice jobs this way.

I do lay the jacks on the roof takes me above the gutters good point I forgot. And a hose of course for flushing. I've got to play this year on getting a hose that I can snake the inside of the gutters better, Sand can be a PITA flushing even after cleaning. But it has to be simple and quick...

Cheers
 
#18
Gutter cleaning answer.

Cleaning by hand and rinsing the gutter out with the gutter wand and extensions with you chemical tip is the best way to truly clean out the gutter. The chemical tip is enough to wash the gutters out without making a mess.. I love my telescoping wand. I'm the Charlotte, N.C area and get 1.25 per foot. More for difficult sections.
 
#19
JGClean: You designed that rig??
Are you selling them?? If not can you share the secret recipe for building one. You've got my attention.
 
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