How to properly do gutter cleaning and how much?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Can anyone give me an idea on a basic way to clean gutters, besides just hand cleaning. Is it ok to just use hands if all that is evident is leaves and such and no shingle pieces or must u always use a power washer or hose to do a sufficient job or to at least appear to be pro? What tools do I need to do this? A power washer? What is the fastest, and most affordable way to do it starting out? And what should the price range be? I did only one this year and charged $50. I would think that a very small house may be like $40 and large or 2 story jobs could be as much as $120. But what do u guys say?
  2. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    a ladder would be # 1 on the list and some rubber gloves for those wet one that are full, if it has been dry for a while a handheld blower works great for us, blow them out and the down spouts and rake it up. no pressure washer needed most of them less than 1/2 hr. and if one neighbor
    sees ya doing it you'll have more to do
  3. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    I called all of the gutter guys in my local phone book, and they all have a $120 minimum. I'm usually not an undercutter, but $120 for a single story ranch that I can do in 30 minutes is ridiculous, so my minimum is $90 (Still ton of profit). I only know their minumum, not the way they price, but I charhe .75 per linear ft. on a singly story house, open gutters, and a roof that I can stand on. $1.00per ft on a two story house if it is going to be easy (I can stand on all the roofs). It the roof is steep, and I have to move the ladder every 4 feet or so, $1.25 single, 1.75 double.

    I also charge .50 for having to deal with any type of guard system that I have to take off and on. If it does not snap out and in, but is screwed or fixed into position, I do not take the job, to much liability.

    I get alot of single story jobs, a few two story jobs (They work out to be pretty expensive most of the time) and hardly any jobs with guards in place, which is the way I like it.

    I am thinking of buying a gutter vaccum next year, so I can price my two story houses a little better.

    Right now I hand clean, most of the time rinse with a hose, and unclog the downspouts with a hose. I bring my on hose on a hose reel with wheels. I think a pressure washer is unnessecery unless you are doing the outside of the gutters, and then you might as well do the whole house.

    I do not offer pressure washing, because I want to stick to things bring green related rather than being a jack of all trades type of business. Gutters are the only thing I do beside lawn and landscape because of the high profit margin.
  4. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    who makes those gutter vacs you speak of ?
  5. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    I've cleaned hundreds, for myself and other companys that I worked with. Never seen a pressure washer or a blower used.

    You need a hose that doesn't kink, use their water.

    If there's lots of crap in the Eaves you have to clean it out by hand. I usually start at the down spouts and work my way away. I use a 5 gallon pale and dump it into a garbage bag when on the ground. Then I spray the eave out with a hose.

    It's much easier to do on roofs you can walk on and sit on. That's one of the major differences in price for me. But if it's even a little dangerous, go up and down the ladder.

    You have to make sure all the downspouts are clear, if they're plugged you'll know it when you try and spray out the eave. What I do is take the hose gun off and shove the hose done the spout with water running.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    30 cents/ft. for first level, and double that for the second level. The low pitch roofs are nice, because you can blow them out in a matter of a couple of minutes at most. Sometimes, there IS debris to be hosed off the house if necessary, though (occasional muck spatter). It is great when you can do these at the time of fall cleanup, because everything just goes into the yard/beds and is cleaned up then.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Heck for 1-story houses they make blower tube extensions that reach right up there, I ain't never climbed a 1-story but because it's not perfect since I can't SEE and sometimes there's still debris left, I do them for like 50-60 bucks.
  8. fergman

    fergman LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 286

    we always use the redmax 8000. if you can stand on the roof at all then its history. if theres parts you cant reach and the blower isnt strong enough from far away then we take the tubes off of another blower and attach it to the 8000. we move sticks,leaves.water and stick the tube over the end of down spouts and its history. espicially if you stick the high speed tip on the end from the eb8510 and shoot it. we have only done about 100 houses though.
  9. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

  10. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,676

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

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