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Gutter Cleaning

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QUALITY LAWNCUTS, Mar 28, 2003.


    QUALITY LAWNCUTS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    One of my customers called today and wanted me to give her a price on cleaning out all the oak tree leaves. Her gutters run all the way around her house. The house is single story 1800 sf. Maybe I can get some opinions on the most efficient way of cleaning them out. Thanks for the help.
  2. Leone LawnCare

    Leone LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    a back pack blower and charge 40 bucks works out to 500 dollars an hour
  3. MN Wildwood

    MN Wildwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    ?? $40/? what are you multiplying the $40 by? to make 500/hr

    I have done many gutter clean-outs and find a combination of hand - digging (only if the debris has degraded, have had some homes with weeds growing in the gutters), and back pack blower. If you do not have a problem with heights I will walk on the roof if I can (depending on the slope) and blow what I can out into the yard and pick it up with the bagger. As for the down spouts we stand on the ground and blow from the bottom up, shooting all leaves inside out into the air and then pick them up. I have found this to work the best for us.

    If you don't like heights Home depot and other places sell adaptors for blowers which connect and you can blow gutters out while on the ground, I cannot say how well they work, never used them. Hope that gives you some ideas. MN Wildwood
  4. If you get a blower-adapter, then you better wear an over-shirt and a LARGE hat. That is one nasty job. It will shower you with nasty muddy sludge and splatter all over everything (windows, siding, driveways, sidewalks, landscaping, etc.). So you'll probably be washing all that mess off as part of the job. Square-footage doesn't mean anything, you're interested in linear feet.

    Get a ladder and look at them from above. Also, if they're damaged (about 73% chance), you may tear part of the gutters down or loose just cleaning them. Be sure to point out sagging gutter sections to your customer, so they know the risk. Might be a good idea to take some pictures before you start. Cleaning gutters is one of those jobs you should charge by the hour on the first cleaning.
  5. Leone LawnCare

    Leone LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    maybe takes me ten minutes per house 40 for ranch 50 for trilevel and 60 for colonial
  6. Holloway Lawns

    Holloway Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    just done one about a week ago charged $70 and used the blower plus had to remove screens from the gutters and put them back on also ran water in them to make sure they were not stopped up.

    QUALITY LAWNCUTS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Thanks for the help guys. So being the first time cleaning her gutters what is a reasonable hr rate to charge?
  8. LWNMWR1

    LWNMWR1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    god bless gutters... you charge what you can get go high if they balk negotiate!!
  9. Alan Oncken

    Alan Oncken LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Quality Lawncuts-email or PM me and I may help you a bit more.

    I really don't want to offend anyone by replying here but posts about exorbitant pricing and "blowing out" debris from rain gutters only re-affirms the fact WHY my company has some 1,200 residential customers and approx. 800 commercial condo units we clean gutters for at least TWICE per year.

    A lot of our customers pay for their lawn service so "blowing out" debris (leaves, pine straw and "seeds", sludge, old rusted roofing nails, etc.) on to their lawns, decks, mulch and plant beds, driveways, etc. is not very professional at all. It creates a huge mess on these ground areas and can also sloop the stuff all over the customers windows. What if the customers just had their windows cleaned?

    We specialize in gutter cleaning (for the most part) so we don't TRY to do everything and when I get a request for lawn care I refer the customer to a professional service. That service refers me to ALL of their cutter cleaning customers. Instead of trying to "do it all" maybe consider trying to locate a company like mine and discuss swapping referrals. We also swap referrals with a painting company, a power washing company, a plumber, and a window washing company, all of which, also specialize.
  10. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,157

    We don't do a lot of gutter cleaning, but we usually do it along with leaf cleanup in the fall. When possible, we use backpack blowers and blow them out from the roof. Usually, me, the boss, does it. I don't like having employees with backpacks on roofs. Since we are usually also doing a leaf cleanup at the same time, we cleanup the mess right away. Obviously, I am careful about not getting the customer's house dirty.

    Otherwise, we do the "dig out by hand" method, also with a five gallon bucket to remove the debris. We just use our regular hourly rate for this. We don't do large houses with multiple gutters. I recommend that customers with big houses call a "gutter company".

    The "gutter companies" in my area usually start at $85.00 for small houses, and go up from there. This includes flushing the gutters and downspouts (don't forget to make sure the downspouts are clear!) and minor repairs.

    Actually, after re-reading Alan Oncken's post, he answers your questions quite well.

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